Vigna San Martino
HOW THE VINEYARD OF SAN MARTINO BECAME A MONUMENT 16.12.2010
The ancient vineyardof San Martino, anevergreen hill in the heart of the city, located at the foot of the great 14th century charterhouse of the same name, became a monument, as established by decree n.851 of the Italian Art and Culture Ministry, issued after a proposal from the Supervisory-Advisory Committee for Architectural and Natural Heritage for Naples and its Province. An urban agricultural space (7 hectares) is declared of“historical and artistic value” and becomes part of Italian Cultural Heritage, as a statue, a castle, a royal palace. Exemplary and exceptional is the fact that the decree was not ordered to protect a cultural site in danger, as usually happens with protest and legal remedies, but it was requested by the owner Giuseppe Morra (Director of Museo Hermann Nitsch).
The ancient vineyard of the monks of San Martino has appeared in images of Naples for at least six centuries, a great piece of land which has miraculously survived the illegal constructionboom, visible from various vantage points ofthe city and dominated by the monastic building of which it was part. It was identified a “landscape site of interest” only in 1967, when it risked being bulldozed and built over, as unfortunately allowed by the Development Plan of 1939.
Giuseppe Morra purchased the vineyard in 1988. The cleaning of the wild vegetation revealed paths, terraces, small farm buildings, built by the monks over the course of the centuries. Today you can walk the whole area using the map drawn in 1775 by the Duke of Noja. In 1999, together with the Associazione Amici dellaVigna di San Martino, an association born with the purpose of protection and enhancement, Giuseppe Morra asked the supervisory committee the most strict and definitive restrictions.