Airola

The timeless hamlet

Location

Airola is located in the western portion of the Caudina Valley, facing Mount Taburno; it is dominated by Mount Tairano and by the remains of the medieval castle lying on the Monteoliveto hill. It extends on the slopes and at the foot of the Monteoliveto hill. In its territory the Tesa and Faenza streams join to form the Isclero river; the Carolino Aqueduct also starts from here, coming from the source of the Fizzo, which feeds the waterfall of the palace of Caserta. A quiet and hospitable village, it offers the visitor a healthy climate, renowned clubs and modern sports facilities. Airola is full of buildings of notable historical and architectural interest, which bear witness to an illustrious past, and numerous churches including the most important, the SS. Annunziata.



Not to be missed

Among the places to visit: the Castle, Palazzo Montevergine, the Church of the Santissima Annunziata, whose façade was designed in 1754 by Luigi Vanvitelli, and that of San Gabriele, with an adjoining monastery.

Furthermore, the hamlet is part of the “Pilgrim Spirit“, a route of approximately 28 km, divided into 6 stages, which represents, in the Taburno territory, the old stretch of the “Via Francigena” which connects Arpaia to Benevento and which proposes the journey undertaken by the Archbishop of Canterbury towards Rome, and then continued towards Jerusalem

This route is alternatively divided into two directions called “Tracing the sleeper” and “On the trail of the Lombards”.

A bit of history

The first settlements date back to the Roman imperial era, a period in which, thanks to the fertility of the land, important patrician villas were built. Only later, in the Early Middle Ages, did the city center extend around the Castle, whose ruins are still visible today on the Monteoliveto hill.

The oldest document in which the name Airola is found is a deed of donation from the year 820, in which Trasimondo, a nobleman from Benevento, donated the assets of the Caudina Valley to Montecassino, however reserving the usufruct of them to his wife Crissa, with the exception of the fund of Airoaldo, son of Roaldo.

Most likely, the term “Airola” would therefore derive from Airoald himself – according to the medieval custom of giving the place the name of the owner – who governed from 623 to 636.

His name is made up of two terms deriving from the Lombard language: “haria”, which means army, and “walda” which means powerful, and this is why the expression “he who has military power” has been attributed to him. ”.

The town, before passing under Norman domination, was part of the Duchy of Benevento. Among its first feudal lords was Rainulf I of Alife, brother-in-law of Roger the Norman, who conquered it in 1130.

The fief then passed to the Della Leonessa family until 1460. Subsequently, it became the possession of the Marquis Alfonso D’Avalos and the Caracciolo family and, finally, in 1732, of Bartolomeo di Capua, Prince of Riccia.

The latter, in 1754, granted the waters of the Fizzo springs free of charge to feed the waterfalls in the park of the Royal Palace of Caserta. Thus, in recognition of the magnanimous gesture, King Charles III of Bourbon gave Airola the title of “City”.

When Bartolomeo died, having no heirs, Airola passed to the Royal State Property in 1792. Until 1816 it was part of the Ultra Principality (Avellino) and until 1861 of the Terra di Lavoro (Caserta). With the unification of Italy it passed to the province of Benevento.

Curiosity

The Patron Saint, San Giorgio Martire, is honored on April 23rd. Worth mentioning are the traditional Good Friday procession and the celebrations in honor of San Pasquale Baylon, in May and those for the S.S Addolorata which close, in September, the now consolidated “E… state in Airola” promoted by the Municipal Administration.

 With a Decree of the President of the Republic dated 31 July 1997, Airola was authorized to display its own Civic Coat of Arms and the title of City already assigned to it by Charles III of Bourbon on 2 August 1754 was confirmed.