The Tropean house.
When the nobles’ house was intended as an external display of the dignity and power of the family, it had, a similarity with the neapolitan art, whit its particular local characteristic, its expressed and maintained proportion as a result of a sensitivity and a need for individualization.
The Typical Tropean house has a sturdy portal with litic dresse-stone (possibly granitic), at time ‘tufaceous’ with pillow-like – ashlar, either diamond-point-shaped or trunk-like, or geometrical borders, but very rarely plain. It has windows on both sides and is dominated by a balcony of equal formal appearance, with duck-breastshaped railings of ‘700. At both sides there are two ashlar ‘corner-paraste’. On top, a large brickwork forms a ‘chiaroscuro’ frame. The Portal opens into a hall with a barrel-shaped dome limited, inside, by a big arch made of cutting-stone. From the hall we enter a small light-bringing yard, with windows framed by brickwork-mouldings. The floor was, and still is partially present, in cobblestones. In this yard the horses and carriages used to stop. The yard was connected to the barn, which is nowadays used for other purposes, and was usually located on both sides of the yard. At the end of the yard there is a scissors-like, shaped stair-case, with alternating flights and galleries. Through the stairs it was possible to reach a number of flats which had been planned with reach a number of flats which had been planned with the growth of the family in mind.
The scheme of the Tropean house remained unchanged from ‘400 and on although with different and distinct characteristics. The house of ‘600 and ‘700 is much cosier and better balanced. In ‘800 it assumes a more scenographic and lavish look and is larger. In ‘900 everything changes and the look of the house is subordinated to the criteria of a flat and bewildering space saving principle. Belonging to the former type, among the buildings not alterated by recent restoration, we can see: Tranfo’s house in Vicolo Manco, Fazzri’s house in Largo Galluppi, Arena-Fazzari house in Libertà street and Toraldo-D’amore’s in Lepando street.
As for the second type, the notable ones are: Toraldo’s house in Ottavio Glorizio street, Gabrielli’s house in via Indipendenza and Di Tocco’s house in Largo Municipio.