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Ailano, Province of Caserta, Campania

Ailano lies at the top of a hill, near a spring of sulphurous water, in the middle valley of the Volturno. It is a medieval town with terraced streets, in a territory of pastures and woods. The main economic activities are agriculture with the production of wheat, corn, red and white beans, fodder, oil, fruits, vegetables, wine and livestock.

Info

  • Altitude: 260 m a.s.l
  • Population: about 1300 inhabitants in 2018
  • Zip/postal code: 81010
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0823
  • Patron Saint: St. John the Apostle and Evangelist
  • Frazioni & Localities: Cerqueta, Cerquito, Le Vaglie, Serretelle, Vaglie Padule.

History- Antiquity

There is no definite information on the origins of Ailano, though its territory was inhabited since ancient times, as shown by a dagger and arrowheads now preserved at the Museo Campano in Capua. Inside the village and in the surrounding areas Samnite tombs were found, and in the area called Zappini, where they two bronze statues of Hercules and Mars were found, there was a pre-Roman sanctuary.

History - the Middle Ages

A village rose on the ruins of the Villa Aebutiana on the top of the hill, and the Villa became part of the Norman castle of the Prata barony. From 718 AD the territory was under the Convent of St. John and then the Monastery of Santa Maria in Cingla, then passed to the Abbey of Monte Cassino. In the Norman period there are the earliest mentions of a fortified castle called Aylanum.

In 1230 Frederick II, returning from Jerusalem, took over Ailano. From 1329 to 1381 it was a feud of the Capuano family, then until 1398 belonged to the Gaetani family, then in 1399 passed under the Capuano, the Sanframondi and the Pandone since Mariuccia Capuano married first Carlo Pandone, then on his death married Nicola Sanframondi.

History - Modern Times

From 1530 to 1733 the fief of Ailano passed from hand to hand, until it came to the Pescarini family who kept it until 1806, when feudalism was abolished.

During the Risorgimento there were Carbonari groups who met in the Church of Annunziata, and in 1860 the castle was home to some patriots who were planning to free the Terra di Lavoro from the Bourbons. During the Second World War, for its strategic position behind the hills, the area was occupied by the Germans and the inhabitants were displaced for a period.

What to see

  • The ruins of the Benedictine monastery of Santa Maria in Cingla, which was founded just before 748 AD by the duke of Benevento Gisulf II on the ruins of the church of San Cassiano and, until the coming of the Normans, hosted only noble Lombard girls. Destroyed by the Saracens in 847 and again in 943, it was rebuilt in the early 12th century by Abbot Gerard, on the model of the church of San Martino in Cassino, and was under the rule of the monastery of Montecassino. Excavations on the site brought to light tombs, columns, a mosaic floor and remains of frescoes on the side wall of the nave and in the apsis.
  • The church of San Giovanni Evangelista, of ancient origin and restored in 1906, with three aisles, which preserves the frontal of the altar of the Rosary from the Romanesque monastery of Cingla, and a frontal of the high altar of the 17th century, made of red gravel with gray marble inlays, a baptismal font of the 16th century, a wooden statue of St. John of the late 16th century, a bust of St. Onorio, paintings of the 17th century, and a huge bell dated 1658.

Genealogy & Links

Events

  • 6 May and Dec. 26, patron feast with a great bonfire lit in the Piazza Regina Margherita.

Where to stay