Il Conte di Melissa
2nd of April 1608: Gian Battista Campitello died aged 63 in the Castle of Strongoli.
His land and patrimony was then divided between his four sons.
The Castle of Strongoli was assigned to Annibale who stayed to live in it together with his sister Giovanna.
The Casabona land went to Pompeo, and the Castle of Melissa together with its annexed territory was given to Francesco.
On 22nd of August of that same year, Francesco and his court reached Melissa. The small town was celebrating the event and people welcomed the new master with dances and songs. Francesco Campitello was impressed and happy to see that several villagers had come to greet him. He noticed beautiful Eleonora who, feeling continuosly watched by the Count, hid herself behind her family and disappeared in the crowd.
The Count asked his cousin Patanè about the girl. Patanè, who knew everything about Melissa, informed Francesco that Eleonora was engaged to be married to a man named Luigi Vulcano.
The Count was already in love with the girl and at first he decided not to use his power as he wanted Eleonora to offer herself to him willingly. Having not achieved anything, he later decided to exercise his authority and used old traditional habit "jus primae noctis" to have Eleonora at least for one night.
There were, of course, consequences: Eleonora discovered she was pregnant and hid her daughter Marianna by passing her off as a boy; the Count's abusive powers increased and finally led to people's revolt. Marianna risked her life too. The Count of Melissa's dream died away tragically.