Solopaca

Dominated by steep mountain walls and home of wine

Location

Solopaca is a mountain village, born in the Middle Ages in a territory populated since ancient times; motherland of a very renowned vine, widely marketed, it is also supported by traditional rural activities, by industry and commerce. The territory is characterized by significant altimetric fluctuations, it develops, in effect, partly on the edge of the flat Telesina Valley, one of the most fertile areas of the entire province, and partly on the sides of the Camposauro massif; the village, therefore, is dominated on one side by steep mountain walls, covered with pine forests and forests of beech, ash, maple, downy oak and hornbeam, while on the other side it overlooks the eminently rural scenery of the banks of the Calore river. The mountainous part of the Solopaca area, characterized by the presence of vast banks of tuff, rocks and vertical walls, constitutes the habitat of numerous varieties of birds and reptiles as well as foxes and wild boars.



Not to be missed

The historic center of Solopaca, with its characteristic elongated shape, preserves historic buildings of great artistic value: The Chiesa Madre or Chiesa del corpo di cristo (Mother Church or Church of the Body of Christ, inaugurated in 1660)with typical baroque decorations, with the adjacent bell tower in Vanvitellian style, finished in 1794,

the Santuario della madonna di roseto (Sanctuary of the Madonna del Roseto), a Benedictine sanctuary until 1803, preserves a wooden statue of the Madonna of Byzantine workmanship, the Palazzo Ducale dei Ceva – Grimaldi (1672), with the front decorated with “rinzaffo” located on Corso Umberto I,

Castel San Martino, an 11th century Norman castle, of which a circular tower remains near the Chiesa Madre (Mother Church).

A bit of history

About the origin of the name various hypotheses are made, we report here that of Monsignor Canelli who derives Solopaca from “super pagos” that is, a farmhouse village located in an elevated position compared to Santianni and the other villages in the valley. According to the author, from the original SURROPAGO as a result of the reversed “rhotacization” (of the “R” into “L”), SULOPAGO would have derived from which SULOPACA and then SOLOPACA.

Inhabited since the 12th century BC. Solopaca was part of the Roman colony of Telesia. The current town originated in the Middle Ages from the aggregation of some villages and farmhouses located around the Norman castle of San Martino.In the 12th century BC it appears in the “Catalogus Baronum” as a manor of the earl Roberto of Caserta. In 1268 Charles I of Angiò granted the county of Caserta and its possessions to William of Belmonte. Later the manor belonged to the Sanframondo, Della Leonessa and Gaetani families; it was subsequently divided between the Monsorio family and the Carafa. In 1574 it was purchased by the Ceva Grimaldi of Genoa, who promoted a notable urban improvement but were also the bearers of violence and abuse. In 1764 the fief passed to the royal state property, then it was purchased by the Duke of Campolieto Lucio Sangro, whose successor, the Duke of Casacalenda, was its last feudal lord. The church of San Martino dates back to the 15th century, with a wide double flight of stairs: inside, a single nave with transept and apse, it preserves valuable frescoes from 1784. Baroque stuccos and a Vanvitellian bell tower embellish the 17th century church of the Santissimo Corpo of Christ, coeval with that of San Mauro, decorated with 18th century frescoes and stuccos. Among the examples of civil architecture, the ducal palace from the seventeenth century stands out. There is also numerous archaeological evidence: some rustic Roman villas house, among other things, presses for pressing olives and wine.

Curiosity

The grape festival is held on the second Sunday of September, and includes a parade of allegorical floats covered in grapes set up in the districts of the town. Its origins are very ancient: the first festival dates back to the 17th century when ox-drawn carts carrying gifts such as grapes, corn and chickens paraded through the streets of the town to thank Madonna Addolorata for the good harvest. On this occasion the inhabitants of the village decorate their neighborhoods with flags and banners of different colours. The festival is organized by the local Pro loco, the Solopaca winery and the municipal administration.

Tour del centro storico