The first contact with the village of Campomaggiore is with the unique and evocative ruins of the original nucleus of the village, Campomaggiore Vecchio, which was destroyed by a landslide in 1885 and is located a few km away from the new settlement. Known today as “City of utopia”, also the title of a show held there every summer, it was Count Rendina’s dream who wanted to make it a sort of ideal city. The family obtained the fiefdom in 1673 and planned its reconstruction, which took place in the 18th century by architect Patturelli, a pupil of Vanvitelli. The plan of the inhabited centre is quite original, with the arrangement of the houses in a checkerboard pattern, the position of the church and the palace of the feudal lord facing each other in the Piazza dei Voti, all built according to the will of the Rendina family. In addition to the particularities from an urban-architectural standpoint, Campomaggiore Vecchio owes its title of “city of utopia” to an edict issued by the Rendina counts to encourage the re-population of the village providing accommodation and land for those who chose to move there. In this way, the population grew considerably and the village developed, but the utopian and ideal city, which had the aim of being a place where there were no more poor people, was upset by the disastrous landslide that destroyed the village and the dreams of the Rendina family. .
In Campomaggiore Nuovo we can visit the Church of the Madonna del Carmelo, built after the features of the Church located in Campomaggiore Vecchio, and from which the wooden statue representing the Madonna del Carmelo (datable to the 18th century) was also recovered, which is placed in the apse with the original vestments of the time. Do not miss the Utopia Museum, a multimedia museum dedicated to the history of Campomaggiore Vecchio and the events linked to the utopian design of Teodoro Rendina.