In 1806, Joseph Bonaparte, King of Naples, abolished feudalism in the Kingdom of Naples, although read Ignazio Silone's “Fontamara” or Carlo Levi's “Christ stopped at Eboli” (both about the inter-war years in southern Italy) and you wonder.
Either way, until then, towns and villages in the south, and the inhabitants, were passed between feudal overlords like chattels. So today’s stage finish, Guardia Sanframondi, derived its name from the noble Sanframondo family, who provided it with a castle to guard the Titernina Valley. Of course, these dynasties themselves rose and fell over time. In 1440 the Sanframondo’s swore allegiance to the new ruler Alfonso V of Aragon. 20 years later, they were dispossessed and forced them into exile by Ferdinand I of Naples, who gave their fiefs to the Carafa family, dukes of Maddaloni and counts of Cerreto Sannita. The town and its people were their playthings until 1806, when Napoleon’s brother abolished the system.