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Ariano Irpino, Province of Avellino, Campania

Today the second largest town in the Province of Avellino, Ariano Irpino is an important administrative and financial center. The town rises in a strategic position, near a natural mountain pass between Campania and Apulia, a trade route between the Thyrrenian and Adriatic Seas.

Info

  • Territory: mountainous
  • Population: about 22,000 inhabitants in 2018
  • Zip/postal code: 83021
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0825
  • How to reach it: Autostrada A16 Napoli-Bari, exit Grottaminarda
  • Patron Saint: Sant'Elziario, Blessed Delfina, Sant'Ottone Frangipane and San Liberatore.

Administrative Division

Frazioni & Localities: Accoli, Ariano Scalo, Bassiello, Cappella San Liberatore, Cappella San Nicola, Carpiniello, Case Bellangelo, Case Meucci, Case Monticchio, Case Petrozza, Case Stillo, Castaglione, Cervo, Cippone, Costa San Paolo, Croce Anselice, Croce Lagrimosa, Ficucelle, Foresta, Frolice, Gaudiciello, Grignano, I Martiri, Macchiarello, Maddalena Madonna delle Grazie, Madonna Valleluogo, Masciano, Masseria Capoiazzo, Masseria Creta, Masseria Cusano, Masseria De Lillo, Masseria Flammia, Masseria Monaco, Masseria Scarpellino, Masseria Starza, Orneta, Palazzisi, Patierno, Pianotaverna, Ponnola, San Liberatore, San Vito, Santa Barbara, Santa Regina, Scarnecchia, Serra, Serralonga, Stratola-Trave, Tesoro, Torana, Torre Degli Amanti, Tranzano, Tressanti, Trignano, Trimonti, Turco, Valdugliano, Varanallo.

History

On the Starza hills there are traces of Neolithic settlements, then the Samnites founded here their city Aequum Tuticum. Under the Lombards three citadels rose on the three hills of Calvario, Castello and San Bartolomeo. Under the Normans it was the main center of Samnium and Irpinia, and here in 1140, Norman king Roger II kept his first Parliament.

In 1266 the city was conquered by Charles of Anjou, and more feudal lords followed, such as the De Sabran, Carafa and Gonzaga families. In 1647 the town was sacked by the revolutionary troops of Masaniello. Also the many earthquakes, most notably those of the years 1456, 1688, 1702 and 1732 brought much damage to the town and its monuments.

What to see

  • At Starza, a prehistoric settlement of 4,000 years BC.
  • Aequum Tuticum, in the area called Sant'Eleuterio, where the Samnite and later the Roman town rose, with temples to Jupiter and Venus.
  • The Castle, originally built by the Lombards, was under the Normans one of the most powerfiul castles in Southern Italy.
  • The Villa Comunale, over 40,000 square meters, one of the most beautiful green parks in the region.
  • The Museo Civico, with ceramic and earthenware pieces of the 8th century BC and the Historical Archive of the municipality.
  • The Museo Giuseppina Arcucci, with documents from the Monastery of the Benedictine Nuns.
  • The Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, built on a previous temple to Apollo, destroyed in 1265 by the Saracens, rebuilt by the Anjou, then damaged by the many earthquakes that hit the area. It has a late Romanesque facade and a Renaissance structure.
  • The church of San Michele Arcangelo with a Spanish bishop seat and an 18th century portal
  • The church of San Pietro de' Reclusis, with annexed the hermitage of Sant'Ottone, with fine frescos of the 16th century.

Where to stay