THE ‘MASSERIA ROTA’ IN NAPLES (ITALY). A VERNACULAR HERITAGE TO PRESERVE
Keywords: Vernacular architecture, Restoration, Naples, Masseria Rota, Cercola
Abstract. The ‘Masseria Rota’ in Cercola, near Naples, is one of the best-preserved examples of the important vernacular architectural heritage of the Vesuvian area. Built in the 17th century upon more ancient pre-existences, the farm is an extraordinary example of the construction capabilities typical of the Neapolitan area and the dual vocation, productive and residential of the Vesuvian ‘masserie’. The production area for slaughter and winemaking – located on the basement floor and still in good condition – coexists with the residential part with a sober decorative apparatus, enriched by the nineteenth-century transformations. Its planimetric U-shaped layout denounces a development for subsequent integrations that is also evident from the mensiochronological analysis of the walls. Unfortunately, despite the its indisputable historical, architectural and documentary value, the ‘Masseria Rota’ is in a serious state of abandonment, suffocated by contemporary buildings often devoid of specific values. The contribution to be presented illustrates the results of a teaching experiment that aims to propose methodological guidelines for the drafting of a restoration project aware and respectful of the identity of the aforementioned 'Masseria', and intends to provide a contribution of knowledge for the preservation and enhancement of a vernacular building heritage present on the slopes of Vesuvius, guiltily forgotten and abandoned in recent decades, which, instead, represents one of the most interesting and important of the settlement and construction modes of a territory inhabited since antiquity – despite the cyclical destructions caused by the volcanic activity of Vesuvius – for its environmental and landscape characteristics.