For around 35 years now, the Aragonese Castle has hosted cultural events of indisputable international prestige. In particular, since the late '70s, Gabriele Mattera, a part owner of the manor and highly insightful artist with a courageous and passionate spirit, has managed to restore life and splendour to the Castle by organising exhibitions of the greatest Italian and foreign artists. Over time, the events of the Aragonese Castle have become fixed cultural events for those who, be they passing tourists or inhabitants of the island, love art. Among others, were the Manzù, De Pisis, Morandi, Burri and Picasso exhibitions at the Church of the Immaculate Conception, which made the Castle an important landmark for the whole of southern Italy.
The success of this experience led to a close collaboration with the owners of the Castle which still continues today, all of whom carry out, both collectively and individually, other cultural initiatives in valuable places such as the Casa del Sole, the Church of St. Peter in Pantaniello, the Political Prisons and the Terrace of Olive Trees where Antonio Mattera has hosted art exhibitions and polyphonic choir concerts.
In the aftermath of Gabriele Mattera's death, in July 2005, the "Friends of Gabriele Mattera" association was founded which has, thanks to the collaboration and support of many of Gabriele's friends in Italy and abroad, brought forward the work of artists and painters with exhibitions, publications and events that educate critics, but which also pursues his activities by organising cultural events with great importance to the Aragonese Castle.
The association is continuing this journey, while trying to respect the spirit of a man who knew how to be an artist of not only imagining and making the Castle a place of history, past and testimony, but also a meeting and reference point for contemporary artists and for everything beautiful that's happening from a cultural point of view in today's society.
So, as it did in the past, the Castle is shining and has once again become a source of inspiration and comparison in the field of contemporary art, music, cinema and architecture.