Province of Campobasso, Molise, Italy
Riccia is a comune (municipality) in the province of Campobasso in the Italian region of Molise, located about 15 kilometers (9 miles) southeast of Campobasso, with a population of approximately 5,600.
Riccia borders the following municipalities: Castelpagano, Castelvetere in Val Fortore, Cercemaggiore, Colle Sannita, Gambatesa, Jelsi, Pietracatella, Tufara.
The first people who lived there arrived with the Oscans. At the time of the arrival of the Samnites (4th century BC) the area was well developed and prosperous, as noted by objects found in the excavations of the area.
During the social war (90-88 BC) the area was destroyed and the Romans colonized the Sannio area. The settlers included Roman troops from Ariccia, near Rome. They called the place "Ariccia" which was later changed to "Saricia", then to "Ricia" and finally "Riccia".
In the second half of the 6th century, Riccia came under the dominion of the Lombard duke of Benevento.
In the 13th century, Riccia became part of the Monastery of San Pietro and Severo (San Pietro and San Xavier), located in the nearby town of Torremaggiore. This ecclesiastical feudalism lasted throughout the Hohenstaufen period.
In 1238 Federico II connected the properties of the Riccia castle with those of the municipality of San Severo and exchanged it with the monastery of Torremaggiore. This exchange was confirmed in 1266 by King Charles of Anjou, who granted Riccia to the famous jurist Bartolomeo De Capua, whose family ruled Riccia until 1792.
In May 1397, the count Andrea De Capua brought Costanza Chiaramonte, the ex queen of Naples, to Riccia. Three years earlier, after the fate of his family had precipitously fallen, his marriage to King Ladislaus of Naples was canceled in Gaeta. He remained in Riccia until his death in 1422; it is buried in the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (also called Church of Santo Stefano Corumano).
In 1500, Bartolomeo II De Capua built an elegant castle in Riccia and also restored the Tuscan style church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, where five feudal lords and their women were buried.
At the beginning of this feudal period, the rulers of Riccia, the noble De Capua family, were considered fair and generous with the peasants. But over the years the farmers have endured many difficulties. Eventually they rebelled, releasing enough hatred and fury to burn the castle in 1799. Today, only a few ruins of the castle with its medieval watchtower are still visible in the historic center of Riccia. The noble De Capua family died out with Bartolomeo VI in 1792.
During the Second World War, 84 citizens of Riccia were among the dead and wounded, but was not bombed. After the war, due to the scarcity of work at the local level, Riccia had a strong outflow of immigration to northern Europe (France, Switzerland, Belgium, Germany) and to Latin America (Venezuela and Argentina). However, in recent years, the city's efforts have increased prosperity.
By decree of the President of the Republic, on October 15, 1986, Riccia obtained the title of "City".
Church of the Santissima Annunciata
Read more: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Riccia%2C_Molise