Welcome to Castel Volturno, a small comune in the Province of Caserta in the Italian region of Campania. Despite being located just 35 kilometers northwest of Naples and 35 kilometers west of Caserta on the Volturno river, this hidden gem is often overlooked by tourists. Castel Volturno has an interesting history dating back to the Oscans and then the Etruscans who called it Volturnum. It was a trade point on the road to Casilinum and Capua. Volturnum became a Roman colony in 194 BC and received a large bridge connecting the two shores of the river with the same name. The town decayed after the fall of the Western Roman Empire and, in 806, the Lombard Prince of Benevento Grimoald III gave its port to the abbots of Montecassino. The town was ravaged by Saracens in 841 and after a period under local counts, in 1062 it was again given to Montecassino while in 1206, Frederick II donated it to the archbishops of Capua. Alfonso V of Naples gave it to his daughter, but, when her husband, Duke Marino of Sessa, rebelled, besieged it and destroyed part of the walls (1460). In 1860, it was annexed to the newly unified Kingdom of Italy. Castel Volturno has received a boost in its agricultural activities after the nearby lands were dried during the Fascist government, and after the new Domiziana Road and a new bridge were built (1954). The beach resorts were expanded after the Second World War into a holiday resort. Holiday guests included members of a nearby US Army base. However, after an earthquake in 1980 in the Campania region, the Italian government temporarily housed homeless people in the apartments. Then the homeowners left the apartments empty and later leased them to African migrant workers. Since then, the living substance of the seaside resort has decayed continuously. The beach is often littered with garbage despite regular cleaning because of the illegal waste disposal of the Camorra. In addition to regular garbage, toxic waste leeching from unregulated landfills in the vicinity, also from the Camorra, has contaminated the beach and forced a near complete prohibition on entering the water in places. Today (2019), the quarter Villaggio Coppola is inhabited by destitute Italian and African squatters. The Villaggio Coppola was used as the principle setting of the 2018 film Dogman, where it serves as an eerie interstitial microcosm and earns a credit for il Patrocinio Morale, or morale guidance. According to Camorra’s opponent Roberto Saviano, in the 2000s Castel Volturno is said to have been completely handed over to foreign clans by the Camorra, namely clans from Lagos and Benin City – for the purpose of cocaine trafficking and for the transit of prostitutes to the whole of Europe. Many crimes were prevented or clarified by members of African immigrants. Saviano considers Castel Volturno to be a city of the future as it is controlled and managed by immigrants – so anti-criminal forces should be supported. Castel Volturno is a unique destination that offers a glimpse into the history of Italy and is a prime example of the complex cultural dynamics that are shaping the country today. Come and explore the rich history, beautiful beaches, and vibrant community of Castel Volturno!

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