The village in the past was known for the Abbey of St. John the Baptist, whose Foundation seems to arise even before the 990. It is located at the foot of Mount Bulgheria, toponym that resembles Bulgarian immigration to Italy of 667.
Cappelli says that in 1020 monk Luke copied the code of Innocent XI to Isidore, priest and hegumen of the monastery of San Giovanni a Piro. Certainly the Byzantine cross with shapes and glazes, now in the Church of Gaeta, certainly coming from St. John.
Laudisio informs that many Eastern monks arrived in the territory, expelled from Calabria and Puglia by Robert Guiscard, taking refuge in the abbeys of San Giovanni a Piro and San Cono of Camerota.Lack, so far, other documents that tell us of the civil and religious life of the village whose were barons the local Abbots of the Abbey «nullius», in the locality of Ceraseto.
Other documents inform us on time domain of the Abbey: one is that of 1294 with whom Charles II exempted from taxes the village subject to the monastery of Saint John. We have no relevant documents to inform us on the Abbey in 1300.In 1400 the news begin to thicken. The March 7, 1417 chapter of Policastro elected Bishop Nicola of the monastery of San Giovanni a Piro, election that Ughelli says confirmed by Pope Martin V. The February 15, 1447 Pope Eugene IV was elected Bishop of Capaccio, Masello Mirto, Archimandrite of the monastery of Saint John.
The November 3, 1449, by order of Pope Nicholas V was deposed the Abbot of that monastery.
The March 22, 1458 arrived at the monastery the Apostolic Commission, chaired by Archimandrite Athanasius Calkeopilo in pastoral visit, found only five monks. During the visit one of the monks did not know if the Greeks were Christians or Turks and the monk Joachim railed against the Cardinal, whereby the Archimandrite had him imprisoned and then, released him, he moved as a punishment to the monastery of Santa Maria of Carra, near Catanzaro.
Dated to November 5, 1473 is a document of Pope Sixtus IV della Rovere, still preserved in 1600, in the archives of St. Basil the Great in Rome, document especially interesting for the consent to be given to new order, proposed by the monastery Abbot.In this process there is also news of the donation of the fief, held by Royal assent, which Antonello de Petruciis, count of Policastro, went to his third son. It contains a detailed description of the boundaries of the fief of Policastro and the monastery of Saint John.
In 1496 he was invested in the County of Policastro the Neapolitan Giovanni Carafa who, besides Policastro, received the territory of Roccagloriosa.In 1552 the Turkish privateer Dragut landed with 123 galleys, attacking at the same time, Vibonati, Giovanni a Piro, San Bosco, Torre Orsaia and Roccagloriosa.
After the first raid, the village and the monastery is surrounded by walls with the help of Cardinal Tommaso de Vio, General of the Dominicans, newly appointed commendatory Abbot, who died in November of the same year.In 1793 Tersa Carafa, Countess of Policastro, had a header, for the previous damage rejoins possessor, the badia of San Giovanni.In 1806 the French were against the shrine of Pietrasanta, considered a fortress.
In 1764, and in 1817 the village was struck with famine.Alfano reminds us that the village was a barony of Abbey Basilian fathers, that the civil jurisdiction was in the Sistine Chapel, at the time in dispute with the taxman and with the accounts belonged to Carafa, the criminal jurisdiction, and that mattered in 1593.
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