House of Caracciolo

House of Caracciolo
Coa fam ITA caracciolo.jpg
Country Italy
Founded10th century
FounderTeodoro Caracciolo
Cadet branches

The House of Caracciolo (Italian pronunciation: [kaˈrattʃolo]) is a prominent aristocratic family from the city of Naples. The Caracciolo are considered one of the most important families in the history of the Kingdom of Naples, holding relevant posts in the Spanish Empire as well.


According to a tradition based on the writings of Agatharchides of Cnidos and Sergius the Confessor, the family is of Greek descent, originating from Byzantine nobility.[1]

The first documented mention of the family date back to the 10th century with the progenitor Teodoro Caracciolo (reported in ancient documents as Theodorus Caracziolus), of which we have only archival information: he was buried together with his wife Urania in the Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, in Naples. He is reported to have died on March 20, 976, the date of a document in which it is learned that in this period his daughter Theodonanda made a donation to the Monastery of Saints Sergius and Bacchus.[2][3][4]

At the time of the Duchy of Naples the family enjoyed nobility during the reign of the Sergian dynasty, benefiting from special privileges granted by Duke Sergius VII. The family then divided into numerous lines, including the so-called ancient lines (Caracciolo Canella, Caracciolo Ugot, Caracciolo Viola and Caracciolo Ciccola), then into the lines of the del Sole, Bianchi, Rossi and Pisquizi. Specifically, the line of the Caracciolo Rossi had as its progenitor Riccardo, son of Landolfo, who lived in the early twelfth century, while that of the Caracciolo Pisquizi Filippo, also son of Landolfo. From the latter the branch of the Caracciolo del Sole and that of the Caracciolo di Pisciotta were born.[3]

Thanks to the great importance of the Caracciolo family, most of the most important events of the Kingdom of Naples had various members of the family as protagonists, sometimes even on opposing fronts.[5]

In 1869 the family was enrolled in the Golden Book of the Italian nobility.

Notable members

  • Marella Caracciolo di Castagneto (1927–2019), Art collector and designer, widow of Gianni Agnelli
  • Mario Caracciolo di Melito (1883-1958), Italian cavalry officer and American actor known as "Mario Carillo"
  • Miriam Caracciolo di Melito (1888-1966), American socialite and wife of Mario Caracciolo di Melito
  • Carlo Caracciolo (1925–2008), 9th Prince of Castagneto, 4th Duke of Melito Newspaper publisher; founder of Gruppo Editoriale L’Espresso
  • Niccolo d'Ardia Caracciolo (1941–1989), Painter (from a branch in Ireland since the 20th century)
  • Rudolf Caracciola (1901–1959), Racing-driver (from a branch in Germany since the 17th century)
  • Giuseppe Caracciolo (1892–1975), Cinematographer
  • Filippo Giudice Caracciolo (1785–1844), Archbishop of Naples (1833-1844)
  • Franco Caracciolo (1920–1999), Actor and conductor
  • Tommaso Caracciolo (bishop of Gerace) (1687–1689), Bishop of Gerace
  • Carmine Nicolao Caracciolo (1671–1726), Viceroy of the Spanish Colony of Peru (from a branch in Spain since the 16th century)
  • Tommaso Caracciolo (archbishop) (1636–1637), Archbishop of Taranto
  • Gerolamo Caracciolo (1617–1682), Marqués de Torrecuso, Governor of Navarre and soldier (from a branch in Spain since the 16th century)
  • Tommaso Caracciolo, Count of Roccarainola (1572–1631), Spanish Field Marshal
  • Pasquale Caracciolo (1566–1608), writer and horsemanship expert
  • Tommaso Caracciolo (archbishop of Capua) (1478-1546), Archbishop of Capua (1536–1546), Bishop of Trivento (1502–1540), and Bishop of Capaccio (1523–1531)
  • Marino Caracciolo (1468–1538), cardinal and diplomat
  • Giovanni Caracciolo (c. 1372–1432), often called Sergianni, Minister of the Kingdom of Naples and favourite of Queen Joan II
  • Riccardo Caracciolo (c. 1320–1395), one of two rival Grand Masters of the Knights Hospitaller


Maria Pina Cancelliere, Lo Stato feudale dei Caracciolo di Torella: poteri, istituzioni e rapporti economico-sociali nel Mezzogiorno moderno, Terebinto Editore, Avellino, 2012,ISBN 8897489079.


  1. ^ Χασιωτης, Ιωαννης Κ. (1966). Μακαριος, Θεοδωρος και Νικηφορος οι Μελισσηνοι (Μελισσουργοι) (16ος-17ος αι) (in Greek). Society for Macedonian Studies. p. 176. Ο Παπαδόπουλος θεωρεί την οικογένεια αυτή ελληνικής καταγωγής. Και είναι αλήθεια ότι και σήμερα ακόμη υπάρχει η παράδοση ότι οι Caracciolo έχουν βυζαντινή καταγωγής ή παράδοση αυτή στηρίχτηκε σε αποσπάσματα του Αγαθαρχίδη από την Κνίδο και του Σεργίου του Ομολογητου...
  2. ^ "CARACCIOLO in "Enciclopedia Italiana"". (in Italian). Retrieved 2021-11-30.
  3. ^ a b "Famiglia Caracciolo-Rossi". Retrieved 2021-11-30.
  4. ^ "Storia dei Caracciolo". Retrieved 2021-11-30.
  5. ^ "LA STORIA DEI CARACCIOLO, PRINCIPI DI AVELLINO" (PDF).{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

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