Why It Matters

The Charterhouse of Saint James, known to locals as “the Certosa”, is a medieval monastery on the island of Capri in the Gulf of Naples. Founded between 1371 and 1374, it has survived earthquakes, pirates, wars, plagues, monastic suppression and centuries of neglect, and emerged into the modern era as a priceless architectural treasure. No longer a working monastery, it has assumed a new role as the cultural heart of this world famous island and represents, for generations of Capresi, an iconic monument central to the identity of the population.

Certosa of Capri

Raised:
1%
  •  18.725

    Funding Goal
  •  166

    Pledged
  • 142

    Days to go
Minimum amount is € Maximum amount is €
Island of Capri, Italy

The Story

ADOPT A COLUMN

The elegant and intimate Small Cloister of the Certosa was based on a medieval architectural plan laid out by its founder and patron, Queen Joanna I of Naples, following the rule of St. Bruno, founder of the Carthusian Order. The arches which surround the cloister are supported by ancient marble columns embellished with capitals of Roman and Byzantine origin. Although fairly uniform in size and material, the capitals are of different styles, suggesting variable provenance.

The columns of the Small Cloister are the foundation of the complex and bear the weight of the arches above . Over the centuries, many of the columns have cracked and are in imminent danger of collapse. If a restoration intervention is not urgently carried out, the survival of the Small Cloister will be threatened and the population of Capri will be at risk of losing a monument that is as closely identified with the island as is the sea. The Small Cloister is one of the most important architectural and artistic treasures of Campania and forms part of the historic patrimony of Italy.

 

THE JEWEL ATOP THE CLIFF 

Documented as one of the oldest historic buildings on the Island of Capri, the Certosa nestles in the saddle of land hollowed out between the Castiglione and Tuoro Hills, sitting majestically atop a cliff overlooking the Mediterranean Sea and the monolithic Faraglioni rocks. The complex comprises many large buildings and open spaces including the Church, Refectory, Canonica, Small Cloister, Large Cloister, the Prior’s Quarters and several splendid gardens. Once surrounded by magnificent herbal and floral fragranced gardens, the monastery served for centuries as the island’s apothecary, hospital and spiritual center.

 

 

A BRIEF HISTORY, PAST AND PRESENT 

Founded by Joanna I of Anjou, dubbed the “notorious” Queen of Naples, the Certosa was built in 1371-74 by Count Giacomo Arcucci, nobleman of Capri, Grand Chamberlain and Secretary to the Queen. Its historical record of political intrigue, centuries of misdeeds, pirate raids, pillaging, devastation from disease and military invasion reads like the script of a Netflix production.

Sacked in 1553 by hordes of marauding Turkish pirates, following earlier incursions by the corsairs Kair-ed-ddin and Mustafà Bassà, it was repaired and enlarged in 1563 by the addition of a second, larger cloister and a defensive tower. In 1656 Capri was devastated by an epidemic of plague, which decimated the island’s population. Later, in 1808, the island was invaded by the armies of Joseph Bonaparte, who in true Napoleonic style put an end to monastic life at the Certosa, banishing the monks from the island forever.

Today, the Certosa of San Giacomo is a public monument, property of the Italian State under the supervision of the Ministero dei Beni e delle Attività Culturali e del Turismo (“MIBACT”), acting through the Polo Museale della Campania. No longer a functioning monastery, it functions as a school, library and museum as well as a venue for concerts, art exhibits and conferences. During the summer months a variety of musical concerts, lectures and other cultural events are hosted outdoors.

 

CRITICAL STATE OF THE SMALL CLOISTER COLUMNS 

The columns of the Small Cloister have undergone a number of previous restoration processes, none of which has proved sustainable over time. Metal rods inserted into a number of the columns for the purpose of reinforcement and to help support the weight of the arches have corroded over time, causing the marble to crack. Some have been fitted with metal brackets around the base to hold them together. Given the critical state of the columns, the Director of the Certosa, Dr. Patrizia Di Maggio, has identified their restoration as urgent now.


THE RESTORATION PROJECT 

Prior to initiating the actual restoration process, a thorough scientific investigation needs to be carried out by an expert team of diagnostic technicians to discover the exact internal state of the columns. This will be accomplished by using radiography and similar non-invasive methods. Each column in turn needs to be dismantled, restored and put back in place.

The restoration will be carried out in four phases, one for each side of the portico of the small cloister. We will proceed in this first phase with the restoration of the first five columns.

In collaboration with…

In 2006, a group of dedicated volunteers formed the Friends of the Certosa di Capri, a group of charitable organizations based in Italy, the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada dedicated to raising funds for the restoration, maintenance and support of the Certosa and its programmes. The Friends, who have financed a number of important restoration projects over the years, are collaborating with LoveItaly in the crowdfunding campaign established to finance the restoration of the columns of the Small Cloister.

GET INVOLVED

Slabs of white marble columns sequestered from the Imperial era and capitals of various styles and epochs support the arches of the small cloister. Alongside composite capitals from the upper half of the 1st century AD and capitals from the medieval period, presumably dated between the twelfth and fourteenth century (cf. characterized by smooth leaves and large angular volute), the small cloister is decorated in crocheted style capitals of white marble, with smooth abacus on two overlapping and staggered orders of wide stylized leaves, on whose hook ends appear globular elements. The Corinthian capital of the Giulio-Claudia era shown here crowns one of the eighteen columns that support the foundation of the monastery. A keepable jewel. Join Our Crowd – “Adopt a column!”

 

THE GOAL

The goal to reach for the campaign for the first phase to restore the first five columns is €18,725: The costs of the restoration amount to €15,895 (22% VAT incl. annex), 6% for the costs of the operation of the platform, 3% credit card commission, communication material and the management of the campaign.

Click here for Breakdown of Costs

Rewards

€25

Donor Certificate + Name Recognition on LoveItaly crowdfunding platform, LoveItaly newsletter email subscription

€50

Donor Certificate + Name recognition on LoveItaly crowdfunding platform, newsletter email subscription + Exclusive digital postcard of 13th century fresco painting featuring Joanna, Queen of Naples

€100

Donor Certificate + name recognition on LoveItaly crowdfunding platform, newsletter email subscription + Invitation to participate in LoveItaly activities

€250

Donor Certificate + Name recognition on LoveItaly crowdfunding platform, newsletter email subscription + Invitation to participate in exclusive LoveItaly events + EBook Nancy Goldstone -bestseller, Joanna the Notorious Queen of Naples

€500

Donor Certificate + Name recognition on LoveItaly crowdfunding platform, newsletter email subscription + Invitation to participate in exclusive LoveItaly events + Fresco Image Screen Saver: Oueen Joanna of Naples; Curated tour of the Certosa

€1000

Donor Certificate + Name recognition on LoveItaly crowdfunding platform, newsletter email subscription + Invitation to participate in esclusive LoveItaly events and Private Openings + Meeting with the Director of the Certosa + Name on Wall Mounted plaque in the Small Cloister

€2500

Donor Certificate + Name recognition on LoveItaly crowdfunding platform, newsletter email subscription + Invitation to participate in esclusive LoveItaly events + Invitation to Patrons Summer Garden Party + Name on Wall Mounted Plaque in Small Cloister

€5000

Donation Certificate + Name recognition on LoveItaly crowdfunding platform, newsletter email subscription + Invitation to participate exclusive LoveItaly events and Private Openings + Membership of the Prior Circle (Adopting a Column); Name on Wall Mounted Plaque in Small Cloister

We accept offline donations as well, here is the information for bank transfers. If you choose to send us a bank transfer, please email us a copy of the receipt so we can list you as a Donor on our website!

LoveItaly Associazione Culturale
Unicredit Banca / Roma Non Profit
Piazza Barberini n.40, 00187 – Roma
IBAN: IT45W0200803284000103456316
Swift/Bic: UNCRITM1RNP

Name Date
Stefano Pighini August 06, 2017
Jonathon Spada August 03, 2017
Helga Ruth Weishaupl August 02, 2017
Tracy Roberts August 01, 2017