Address: Piazza Madonna delle Grazie, Cocullo

Hours: In winter - Monday to Friday 8:00 to 14:00; July and August daily 10:00 to 13:00 and 16:00 to 19:00


Housed on the second floor of the town hall, the centre has a well-stocked library of books and videos with themed material of cultural anthropology on the rite of the serpents and, more generally, on the folk traditions of Abruzzo.   There are also the works of Di Nola, those published by the centre and the publications from the conferences which are held annually.   There is also an archive of folk traditions and ancient historical documents relating to the events of the village and a rich newspaper library. All material is catalogued digitally.
Since 2004 it has also had a permanent multimedia exhibition on the procession of San Domenico and the rite of the serpents - which for years was held on the first Thursday in May and has only recently moved to the 1st of May - and which holds great fascination for the thousands of people every year who attend.
The different sections of the exhibition allow the visitors to learn in detail about the various stages of the event: from the arrival of the pilgrims to the religious moments - the bell with teeth, the collection of the blessed earth, the covering of the statue with snakes - and the procession itself. Now the procession and the figure of the Serpari have become the most characteristic part of the event and the symbols associated with it showing the relationship between St. Dominic and this land such as a molar and the iron of the mule - have become mere relics, 
The herpetological theme is enhanced thanks to a number of display cases in which the natural habitat of living snakes has been reconstructed.

Historical Notes

The characteristic rite of the Serpari, which is linked to the figure and to the cult of San Domenico Abate, has assumed increasing importance over the years and has drawn the attention of national and international scholars, including a man who distinguished himself with his passion, dedication and anthropological study - Alfonso Maria di Nola. In 1997, shortly after his death, the municipality of Cocullo, in agreement with a group of scholars, agreed to establish this centre for the study of issues relating to the traditions of the town and which has now become a centre of interest for both experts and anthropology enthusiasts. Its work covers not only the organisation of conferences, seminars and the publication of scientific articles but also provides training for schools and visitors covering the theme of nature and the relationship between man and the environment. The activities are managed by the "Alfonso M. Di Nola” Cultural Association which has, since 2009, not only taken care of the management of the library, but also the "Multimedia Show about the Rite of the Serpari and the feast of St. Domenico Abate" .