Giovan Francesco Alois
The 16th century humanist
The Alois family, whose origins are from the ancient Roman city of Capua, came to Caserta in the second half of the 15th Century.
Although their Lombardi roots are well documented, the Alois family was not nobility. They were common people, but well placed enough in society to establish matrimonial alliances with the important noble families of the Bourbon kingdom.
Giovan Francesco Alois was born to Aloisio Alois and Ippolita Caracciolo, who was of a noble family, around 1510. He married Isabell Caracciolo and had five children: Ippolita, Beatrice, Luigi, Orazio and Giovan Battista.
Although their primary residence was in Piedmont (where the house still exists), they spent the majority of their time in a house above an arch named Supportico dei Caserta in Casertavecchia near the church of San Nicola.
There, Giovan Francesco had several well-known tutors such as Pietro Summonte (1453-1526) and developed an association and friendships with several of the famous Humanists of that time, such as the philosopher Scipione Capece.
Among the Neapolitan humanists, Giovan Francesco Alois was known as “Il Caserta.” He died on March 4, 1564, condemned to death by the Inquisition for his reformist ideas. Giovan Francesco was beheaded by the guillotine and his severed head was burned.
A riot ensued which some historians believe formed the beginning of a much larger rebellion.