The founders
Astorgio Agnese(Naples 1574-1660)

Nobleman of Naples’ administrative Seat of Portanova, the Agnese family was linked in various ways to the Hospital of the Incurables out of which the Pio Monte was built in 1602. In 1597 Astorgio married Claudia Capece Piscicelli, cousin of the co-founder Giovan Vincenzo Capece Piscicelli.

He was baron of Rotondella in Basilicata, and well linked to the Neapolitan cultural and religious world at the time, in particular to Andrea Avellino and the clerical Theatine Order in general. In addition to being Governor of Pio Monte three times, Agnese was also Governor of the Banco del Sacro Monte della Pietà (the associated bank of Pio Monte) between 1626 and 1628.

Between 1648 and 1649 he directed an oratory called “Of San Nicola” for orphaned girls, after the revolts that occurred in the Kingdom, and from 1641 to his death, he was governor of the Holy House of the Redemption of the Villains.

Giovan Battista d’Alessandro(circa 1580 -Pozzuoli 1656)

Nobleman of the Seat of Porto, d’Alessandro most likely had amongst his family members the Jesuit Geronimo d’Alessandro, who played an important role in the decision by Pio Monte to found the church of Carminiello al Mercato.

Giovan Battista Severino, cited by sources as a leading figure in the foundation of the organisation, was certainly part of his family. D’Alessandro was Governor of Pio Monte between 1609 and 1611 as well as of the Banco del Sacro Monte della Pietà and the Monte dei Poveri Vergognosi.

In 1639, the year in which he held the title of Duke of Castel di Lino (today Castellina del Biferno, in Molise), he was Governor of the Incurables. Between 1645 and 1649 he was Governor of the Holy House of the Redemption of the Villains.

Giovanni Andrea Gambacorta(1569 circa -Limatola 1638)

Nobleman outside of the city’s administrative seat (although the family was traditionally linked to the Seggio di Montagna) he married Diana Gambacorta in 1601, who ceded to him the barony of Limatola in 1627, a fiefdom later bought back by the family of which he became duke in 1628.

In the same year he was also Governor of the Monte dei Poveri Vergognosi and of the Pio Monte della Misericordia. He was most likely linked to the Theatine order, so much so that two of his sons became regular clerics.

(Giovan?) Geronimo de Lagnì(?-1605)

Nobleman of the administrative Seat of Capuana in 1581, he left the barony of Romagnano al Monte in the province of Salerno due to strong and long-standing family conflicts.

He is likely to be identified in a testimony by Manso who alluded to him as “War Captain” of the Seat of Capuana at the time of the Starace revolt in 1585.

A recent study hypothesizes his identity as “Captain” (representative of the sovereign with legal powers) of the city of Massa Lubrense between 1597 and 1598.

Giovan Battista Manso(Naples 1567-1645)

A nobleman outside of the city’s administrative seat whose family also had a governmental role among the Incurables, Giovan Battista was among the most prominent men of the Spanish Viceroyalty nobility.

He held important military and political positions and was also a scholar, patron and founder of the Accademia degli Oziosi.
During his lifetime he was aquainted with figures of the caliber of Torquato Tasso, Giovan Battista Marino and Galileo Galilei.

In 1608 he founded an important charitable institution which is still active today: the Real Monte Manso di Scala, in order to support young nobles without the means for their education.
In 1621 he obtained the title of Marquis of Villalago.

Amongst all the institute’s founders he is the only one to whom historiography has dedicated particular attention.

Giovan Vincenzo Capece Piscicelli(Naples 1571 circa -1651)

Belonging to a noble family from the Seat of Capuana, Capece Piscicelli also had ties with the Incurables and with the Holy House of the Annunziata, being its governor between 1604 and 1605 and later in 1625.

He governed Pio Monte four times and in 1608 was also amongst the very first governors of Monte Manso. He, too, was particularly close to the Theatines and Andrea Avellino and also held the position of Governor of the Banco del Sacro Monte della Pietà between 1627 and 1628 and from 1631 until his death.

In 1640 he was the acting Governor of the Monte dei Poveri Vergognosi.

Cesare Sersale(Naples 1576-1654)

Noble of the Seggio di Nido, he was particularly sensitive to the religious and welfare sentiment of the time, so much so that he was indicated by some sources as the first among the founders of Pio Monte.

Although married and, like many noblemen, well integrated into the society of the time (in 1607 he was Governor of Pio Monte and also Governor of the Banco del Sacro Monte della Pietà), he chose to wear the Theatine order habit the following year.

Sersale was ordained a priest in 1610 and remained so for the rest of his life, serving mainly in Naples.