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Porta Seat (XVI century) and Dominova Seat

Amongst the best preserved of Sorrento's antique monuments despite age and neglect, the Dominova Seat can be admired in its entirety thanks also to its recent restoration. Walking along Via S. Cesareo a pleasant shopping street with numerous boutiques, the Dominova Seat stands out, its massive size testifying to its glorious past. Located in the littlesquare called "Schizzariello" a name deriving from the sprayof a fountain located there until the last century, the Dominova Seat is now the headquarters of a secular organisation called the Mutual Aid Society, one of the oldest in Italy. Under the Anjous, Sorrento, like the other towns of the kingdom of Naples, was administered by nobles appointed by the King. The Sorrentine nobles were divided in two seats, that of the "Porta" thus named because it was erected next to the town's main gate (Porta), and that of the "Dominova", perhaps due to its more recent construction (Dominova, in Latin, new house). The Porta Seat was rebuilt in the XVI century at the corner of the Tasso Square where Via S. Cesareo now begins. Its emblem was a door with three keys on a gold background. When the noble's seats were abolished it became first a prison and later headquarters of the city's militia. It is now a private club. Although the ancient construction has undergone continual changes, the side facing Via S. Cesareo has recently been brought to light. The Dominova Seat, on the other hand, can still be admired in its integrity, the last remaining example in the Campania Region. Constructed in the 14th century, it is formed by two trachytetufo arches and two marble balustrades. The two other walls are frescoed with columns figures and ornaments. The dome is made up of yellow and green majolica roof tiles as are the domes of several other Sorrentine churches. Coats of arms of the antique noble families belonging to the seat are represented. The seat's coat-ofarms was a passing she-wolf on a gold background. In the small innerhall the nobles gathered in secret reunions.

(source: Surrentum Magazine)

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