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Mercogliano, Province of Avellino, Campania

Mercogliano, among beech and chestnut woods, lies at the foot of the Partenio Mountain (1493 mt). It is surrounded by the hills of Campo Summonte, Campo Virgilio, Campo Maggiore, Campo San Giovanni and Toppa Coruzzo. Located west of Avellino, together with Atripalda, Aiello del Sabato, Monteforte Irpino is included in the Urban System of Avellino.

Info

  • Altitude: 550 m a.s.l
  • Territory: mountainous
  • Population: about 12,300 inhabitants in 2017
  • Zip/postal code: 83013
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0825
  • How to reach it: Autostrada Napoli - Bari, exit Avellino Ovest
  • Patron Saint: St. Modestino, San Fiorentino, San Flaviano celebrated on 14 February
  • Frazioni & Localities: Alvanella, Capo Castello, Loreto, Montevergine, Torelli, Torrette.

Where to stay

What to see

  • The ancient borough of Capocastello, with ruins of the medieval castle and the boundary walls of the town, with frescoes of St. Martin, San Fiorentino and San Flaviano.
  • The sanctuary of the Madonna of Montevergine, that can be reached in seven minutes by cableway; it was founded by hermit San Guglielmo from Vercelli in 1119 and is visited by thousands of pilgrims every year.
  • The Abbey of Loreto, with inside a painting of St. Francis by Guido Reni, a magnificent altar piece by De Maio and leather panels by Mario Volpe in the chorus.

History

The name comes from Castrum Mercurianum, a Lombard castle built on a temple dedicated to Mercury and destroyed in a terrible fire in 1656; its ruins, recently restored, can be visited today.

The origin of Mercogliano goes back to the last decade of the 6th century, when the Lombards invaded Southern Italy. In order to hide from the Lombards, refugees from Abellinum settled down on one of the hills of Mercogliano. The name of the place was first mentioned in a document of 982 AD.

The fiefdom was part of the county of Avellino, whose first lord was Ruggiero of Aquila, who received the town and the Abbey of Montevergine with a donation from king Frederick II (mid-13th century). Later on the abbots were the feudal lords of Mercogliano. Between 1861 and 1866 the Abbey of Montevergine lost all its power and became a national monument.