Gallinaro is a village located at an altitude of 558 meters above sea level on a hill in the Comino Valley. The territory is predominantly hilly and is crossed by the Rio Mollo. Among the hills stand out Colle Pistillo, Colle Parto, Colle Sgaglioffa, Colle Ippolito, Colle Capoccia and Colle Maggio.
Gallinaro has medieval origins and was a castle like other centers in the Comino Valley. In 1023, the castle of Gallinaro was the subject of a dispute between the Counts of Sora and Emperor Henry II, who decided to donate it to the nephews of his supporter Melo of Bari. The Norman Trostaino conquered the castle with 25 men.
A 13th century document testifies to the existence of a church dedicated to Saint Gerhard, where an hermit lived. In the 14th century, Saint Gerhard’s descendants, Domenico, Pietro, and Andrea de Gerardis, visited the Sanctuary and made donations, also founding a Hospital. During this period, Gallinaro experienced a period of peace, so much so that at the beginning of the century there were nine churches.
Bishop Giovanni, confessor and advisor to Queen Giovanna I, distinguished himself during this period. In 1600, John Gerard, Penitentiary of Saint Peter, donated a silver reliquary for the arm of Saint Gerhard to Gallinaro. However, the situation was not rosy in those years: clay houses, poor families, and almost wild life were the order of the day. To this were added famines, plagues, and raids by bandits such as Marco Fiore, a famous raider of the chronicles of the time.
The 18th century saw an increase in the population of Gallinaro, which reached 750 inhabitants. The economy was still based on agriculture, but only a few were landowners, while most rented the land from the Church. Among the prominent figures were the Archpriest Bartolomeo Baldassari and Loreto Apruzzese. The former made an important contribution by reorganizing the parish archives, but unfortunately he died from a tragic murder at the hands of the bandit Gaetano Mammone. Loreto Apruzzese was a renowned jurist who taught Civil Law at the University of Naples.
With the arrival of the French at the beginning of the 19th century, Gallinaro did not immediately experience the effects of reforms, but was combined with the nearby town of San Donato to meet the requirement that a town have at least 1000 inhabitants.
In 1861, with the Unification of Italy, Gallinaro and the Val di Comino maintained pro-Bourbon sentiments, and the new state reduced investments in the Terra di Lavoro, causing an increase in emigration. Many residents of Gallinaro moved to Paris, where they found work as models, even posing for the famous sculptor Auguste Rodin.
It was only in the 20th century that Gallinaro experienced a period of change and modernization, with the creation of a post office, a telegraph office, a workers’ club, a courier service, and a bank branch.
On April 21, 1948, after a referendum, Gallinaro became an autonomous municipality again.