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Routes > Artigianato > La Lavorazione della Pietra di Pescopennataro
La Lavorazione della Pietra di Pescopennataro

In Pescopennataro, the stone manufacturing is quite ancient; the origins of the stone-cutter of Pescopennataro date probably back to the Samnite-Oscan period, as testifies the Samnite fortress (now destroyed) provided of megalithic walls to defend its most vulnerable part.
Also in Agnone there are some testimonies of this art: keystones, portals, churches and palaces. They say that, in 1295, the feudatory Borrello commissioned the artistic portal of Saint Emidio’s Church in Agnone to the stone-cutters of Pescopennataro.
Since 1700 we have more information about the stone-cutters of Pescopennataro; in this town, a real, artistic school was instituted and managed by numerous and skilful teachers. The school lead many farmers and breeders to the art of stone manufacturing. Subsequently, the stone-cutters of Pescopennataro had a remarkable prestige - they were called to make balustrades, stoups, fountains, noble chapels, funerary cippi, portals, houses and churches stuccoes and decorations all over the world – but also economic benefits for the families.
At the present time, Mario Lalli, precise and refined stone-cutter, author of many works like fireplaces and mortars, keeps alive a tradition handed on by three generations. He is also the author of the “butterfly” of “Piacere Molise”, given to the Chamber of Commerce of Isernia and exhibited at the Municipal Museum of the Stone in the Centuries.


The Prehistoric division of the Museum is an important preamble to identify the origins of the stone-cutters activity and in the past it took fame and identity to the people of Pescopennataro.
The whole division derives from the collection of Pietro Patriarca (original of Agnone) and his wife Fortuna Ciavolino, whom cured either its dressing and didactic division. They also gave to the Museum a Christmas curio: an eccentric crib assembled with natural stones, faced only by water and time, representing the different characters of the tradition. The imposing Prehistoric collection, given to the land where it was found, is the result of a thirty-year research and a constant, deep study in the High Molise. It consists in over 1600 flint and limestone manufactures, most of them show an exceptional manufacturing as worked in a refined, highly specialized, lithic industry. These finds testify the continuous presence in those places of a stable and advanced community which has been splintering stones for over half a million years.
These finds testify the presence of both archaic tools of Low Paleolith and the refined ones of Neolithic. The collection is also enriched with original jewels and little idols which are the most attractive things of the Museum. Some world-famous scholars, thanks to the peculiarity of the lithic industry in Rio Verde and the numerous sites and finds, decided to identify in the High Molise, an interesting area directed to further studies still unknown about the regional Prehistory.
To thank Mr. and Mrs. Patriarca, the Museum was dedicated to their little nephew Chiara Marinelli, died before her time.
The “Mario Di Tullio” division of the Municipal Museum of the Stone in the centuries “Chiara Marinelli” is dedicated to the numerous stone-cutters of Pescopennataro, renowned for their dressed stone works, not only in the hinterland, but also in Italy and different foreign countries where they emigrated.

(Source “Pescopennataro, paese degli alberi e dei maestri della pietra” published by the Commune of Pescopennataro)

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