Villa Principi Della Spina  (a Boutique Hotels Chain Owneed by Prince Roberto Garraffa Della Spina  direct descendant of Pope Paul IV (1476-1559)  host the  permanent collection of the “Pope Paul IV Foundation ” In the famous popes room

The collection consists of 20 antique portraits ( popes room ) of the most representative Popes of the’ late Middle Ages from the year 1000 DC to the year 1500 DC on wards during the period of the crusades in the holy land against the infidels. The collection has been remarkably restored recently due to the bad conditions in which they had been preserved. It is said that they were made by a painter Campano Tommaso De Vivo (1790 – 1884) commissioned by Prince Carafa Della Spina di Roccella in the mid-1800s.

But legend has it that they are even more ancient and that they were even commissioned by Gregorio Carafa 1614-1690, great master of the order of Malta (1680 – 1690) to his friend Knight of Malta Mattia Preti one of the greatest painters of his time (born in a tavern in 1613) in the period in which they were or together in Malta e of which they made part of the golden decade of the two Calabrians in Malta. In any case, traces of signatures by Tommaso De Vivo and not by Mattia Preti were found.

The Crusades, or holy wars, were religious wars launched by the feudal nobility and the European maritime republics, with the support and the spur of the Church, to free the holy places (Jerusalem and Palestine) from Turkish-Muslim domination. In fact, behind the religious motive there were also other interests: the desire to control profitable trade with the East and the will of the Church to pacify Europe, subject to continuous struggles between the ruling houses.

Antique Popes portraits collection at Villa Principi Della Spina popes room

Antique Pope’s portraits collection can be visited at Villa Principi Della Spina

VRBANVS II 1040 – 1099 ; EUGENIVS III  1080 – 1153 ; GREGORIUS VIII 1100 – 1187 ; INNOCENTIVM III 1161 – 1216 ; GREGORIVS IV  1145 – 1241 ; BONIFATIVS  VIII 1230 – 1303; CLEMENS V 1264 – 1314 ; MARTINO V  1369 – 1431 ; IVLIVS  II 1443 – 1513 ; PAVLVS IV 1476 – 1559;  NICOLAVS V    1397 – 1455 ; PIVS  II 1405- 1464 ; INNOCENTIVS VI 1295 – 1362; ALEXANDER VI 1431 – 1503; CLEMENS VI 1291 – 1352 

Biography of the House Princes della Spina:

The illustrious and historical Neapolitan House Carafa family descends from another older Neapolitan family: the Caracciolo family. The progenitor was GREGORIO by Giovanni Caracciolo who lived in the XII century, called Carafa because he held the position of concessionary for the wine gabelle called “Carafa champion”. It was divided into two large branches called Spina and Stadera; forefather of the Carafa della Spina family was ANDREA, a family member of Queen Giovanna I of Anjou, who followed Charles III of Durres in the Hungarian War. The representatives of the House held the highest positions in the civil, military and ecclesiastical fields up to the papal throne.It was ascribed to the Neapolitan Patriciate of the Seggio di Nido and, after the suppression of the seats (1800, was entered in the Neapolitan Golden Book. Several times he wore the dress of Malta (see Lapidary). Numerous were the fiefdoms owned and were awarded prestigious titles, among which: Barons of: Bianco (1629), Carreri (1629), Cerro, Forli (Pentina (1629), Petrella, Rionegro (1666), Ripalonga, Roccasicone, Rocchetta, San Nicola di Leporino, Torraca Counts of: Arpaia (1605), Condojanni (1629), Conte palatino (1622), Cerro, Grotteria (1496), Policastro, Roccella (1522) Marquesses of: Brancaleone (by succession Casa Staiti), Tortorella, Castelvetere (1530) with annexed the first-class grandate of Spain (1581). Dukes of: Bruzzano (1646), Forli (Petina 1625), Montenero, Rapolla (1623), Rionero, Traetto (1712). Princes of: Roccella (1594), Holy Roman Empire (1563). The Carafa family held important high ecclesiastical roles with various caradinals and the election of a Pope, Paul IV Carafa

II in villa principi della spina

Pope Urbano II proclaiming the first crusade 1095 DC

POPE PAUL IV ( Gian Pietro Carafa 1476 – 1559 )

Belonging to one of the oldest families of the Neapolitan nobility, at 14 he fled to the Neapolitan convent of S. Domenico Maggiore but was brought back home;   at 18 he was a cleric; at 26 he was appointed papal waiter and lived intemperate at the court of Alexander VI. Apostolic protonotary (1503), bishop of Chieti (1504),  tied to Ferdinand the Catholic (1506) and Henry VIII (1513-14), cardinal (1536), archbishop of Naples, inquisitor (1542); Pope since 1555. All his work, before and after his election as pontiff,   he concentrated on fighting heresy and reforming the Church.

Antique Pope's collection at Villa Principi Della Spina

Antique Pope’s portraits collection can be visited at Villa Principi Della Spina

BOOK A ROOM  in Villa Principi Della Spina and You Will have a Free Pass for the Popes Room