One of the oldest residences in Amalfi.

Palazzo Casanova is one of the oldest residences in Amalfi; it is part of a group of houses located in the Sopramuro district. In the Middle Ages they made up the Convinicio of S.Bartolomeo that  went down, flanking the public street ( today’s Salita Sopramuro), to Municipio Square and it also included St.Bartolomeo’s Church.

The palace’s history is very old: as early as 1367, the site of today’s Palazzo Casanova was home to the domus ( urban residences) of the Merculino merchant family. A 15th century fresco depicting the scene of the “ Escape to Egypt “ is still visible on the outer facade of a passageway connected with the palace on one side and covering a section of the public street.

Today’s architectural structure of Palazzo Casanova shows traces of the original medieval domus, particularly in the corridor area. In later centuries it was completely transformed into a palace, mainly between the 18th and 19th centuries. The area where we have the honour of hosting you today was the main floor of the building, composed of several levels in different wings with different entrances and gardens.

The members of our family, the Casanovas, moved into this building in the early 1800’s. In the renaissance period they acquired the status of notables and with it a coat of arms depicted in several places in the building. You will see one of them hanging on a wall of the central bedroom  in a beautiful decoration on 19th-century terracotta tiles, after careful restoration work.

The noble floor of Palazzo Casanova underwent a long renovation project (from 2018 to 2020)  that gave a new lease of life and new splendor to the most characteristic architectural elements of the building, where the traditional hospitality of family is handed down with a renewed enthusiasm today.

Nicola Casanova was mayor of Amalfi from 1902 to 1920. You can see him in a photo together with his wife Anna in his study in the house. He loved living within these walls as much as his daughters, our beloved aunts, who spent their long lives in these rooms embroidering linen, delighthing palates, loving their nephews and nieces. He headed a liberal-democratic political group, called “il partito delle giacchette”, which opposed “ il partito delle sciamberghe “, openly conservative. The goals of his political and administrative program were the progress of the city, the fight against illiteracy and better socio-economic conditions for the lower classes. In 1917 the mayor Casanova organized the reception of refugees from Veneto and Friuli italian region on the run after the defeat of Caporetto.

He is famous in the history of Amalfi also for the traditional Christmas lunches at Palazzo Casanova, during which he used to offer 27 courses to his family and to his guests. The famous journalist Gaetano Afeltra, born in Amalfi town, has described in details, in his book “Desiderare la donna d’altri”, his childhood memories of Christmas at the Palazzo and has given has an extraordinary description of our ancestors and their ancient traditions:

…but for Mrs Casanova, Nicola’s wife who was mayor of Amalfi for 18 years, a man attached to ancient rites and old customs, it was not just a question of cooking zeppole.