In ancient times, Sedile Dominova was called the meeting place of the city’s aristocracy. In this place, the affluent families and the nobles (men only) have gathered to solve the city’s most critical problems, discuss politics, and make crucial decisions. Sedile Dominova, via San Cesareo (the ancient main street of the town), was built in 1300, between two central streets, Via Padre Reginaldo and Via San Cesareo, in the historic part of Sorrento.
Back then, there was only one Sedile in Sorrento, located at the city’s gates, currently Piazza Tasso.
The old Sedile on Piazza Tasso
However, a conflict among the nobles turned into a rebellion, and in 1319 was built a new ” Domus” was. From the Latin – house and “nova” – New (Sede Dominova), it is the last surviving noble Seat in the entire Campania region.
In 1877 the Sedile Dominova became home to the Association in support of the workers. To this day, the Seat performs its function. The city’s pensioners gather to discuss the news, exchange information, or play cards.
The building’s beautiful architecture, dating from the Middle Ages, has become an invaluable attraction, attracting hundreds of tourists annually. The building’s construction took a little time; its foundation includes a high single-story building with two walk arches and one spherical dome. To construct the Seat, Dominova uses the typical construction material for the Sorrentino Peninsula – tiff (Tufo). The Seat Dominova has a domed structure covered with Yellow-green ceramic tiles called “riggioli” majolica. They resemble the shape of the flake of fish. The tiles were made of Neapolitan “riggiorali” and placed in the 1700s.
The decoration inside is fascinating, where the standard smooth walls are adorned with frescoes, coats of arms, heraldic symbols of the noble family, Sorrento components, and numerous profound columns that increase the space from the inside. The theme of the frescoes is from biblical stories with mythological motifs. These magnificent frescoes were painted in the 18th century by an artist who belonged to a school of the famous Italian artist Carlo Amalfi. Artist Petnya painted the lower part of the dome in the 19th century, for which he received 52 dukes. (As seen on the original document found inside the Seat Dominova) The walls, arch, and all upper parts drawings, located at an altitude of more than a meter and a half, are preserved in excellent conditions. But everything else below this level is unfortunate, no longer subject to restoration.
In the central part above the front door is the coat of arms of Sorrento with the five rhombuses (worn by angels).
Sedile Dominova has kept his original look through the years. The Domino’s Seat is illuminated with special illumination, Emphasizing the frescoes’ beauty and the high vault in the evening.
In front of Sedile Dominova is a small square called “schizzariello,” which means- sprayer. There used to be a water fountain in that place in the courtyard from a spring, where Sorrento women would go to fill water into their ceramic amphorae. Currently, the faucet moves along San Cesareo Street.
The inlaid woodwork of Sedile Dominova
Places you can visit near Sedile Dominova
Corso Italia -Sorrento’s main street
Sorrento City Hall