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Villanova del Battista, Province of Avellino, Campania

The urban center is located on a hill, in a dominant position on the Ufita valley, in the historical-geographical district of Irpinia, and is part of the Ufita mountain community.
The territory, famous for its sulphurous waters, extends to the Apennine watershed line, and is crossed by the ancient Pescasseroli-Candela "tratturo", an important path of transhumance.

Info

  • Altitude: 742 m a.s.l
  • Population: about 1600 inhabitants in 2017
  • Zip/postal code: 83030
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0825
  • Patron Saint: St. Giovanni Battista celebrated on 24 June
  • Frazioni & Localities: Costa delle Rose, San Nicola, Spina Taverna.

History

The presently inhabited settlement rises far from the original historical centre which was on the hill of Saint Nicola. According to a document of the 13th century AD the name of the first settlement was Pulcarino, from "bulgarinus", a possible reference to the Bulgarians led by the Avar leader Alzeco in the 6th century AD, who settled on the site.

In the 15th century it belonged to the Vico Barony, then passed to the Duchy of Ariano. In 1591 still held the name of "Polcarino de' Schiavoni" (schiavoni was the denomination of settlers of Slav origin in Italy). It is also certain that at the time a large part of the population spoke only a Slavic language, since in 1584 a formal request was produced to the Diocese of Ariano to obtain the assignment of a Slavic archpriest.

The name Villanova (=new town), to which "del Battista" was added in honor of the patron saint, appeared only in the 17th century. The municipality was repeatedly devastated by earthquakes in the course of its history (in 1694, 1930, 1962, 1980).

What to see

  • The parish church, rebuilt in 1980 after an earthquake, with two fine paintings of the 18th century representing the baptism and passion of Jesus.

Where to stay