Torrecuso

Among the medieval streets and the school of taste

Torrecuso malaccuso, ma la gente pur l’erva è malamente.”
(Torrecuso prejudiced , but people as well grass is bad.)

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Location

Built on a promontory, the village probably takes its name from Torus or Torionis which means precisely hill or high ground. It is located in the Taburno regional park. The center lies nestled on the eastern slope of Mount Caruso and on the slopes of Mount Pentime; the slope of Mount Pentime facing Torrecuso is part of the Torrecuso territory up to the summit, while the other slope belongs to the municipality of Vitulano. The origins of the town are to be found in the long period of Longobard domination, as Torrecuso was built as a castle and fortified town put in defense of Benevento, capital of the duchy of the same name.



The whole town has an urban formation proper to the Middle Ages with its historic center close to the castle.
It has a utilized agricultural area of hectares (ha) 1869.40.The town center is located 420 m above sea level.Torrecuso is one of the main towns in the Taburno – Camposauro regional park.

Not to be missed

The walk through the historic center, which developed in the Longobard Era, has remained almost intact. Torrecuso preserves a whole series of narrow streets, or ramps, almost parallel that flow into Larghi and into corners that are picturesque because of the arches that often delimit them and the characteristic stone houses that face them adorned with open staircases.
Those who wander through the narrow alleys that unfold in an ovoid direction and are crossed in turn by others in a radial pattern, pivoting around the small squares in front of the two churches dominated by the imposing construction of the Marchesal Castle, immediately realize that they are in a center that developed solely for defense purposes; for this reason monuments of any kind are lacking.

In the circle of walls, majestic, is shown the present Castle transformed in 1700, which assumed the characteristic Renaissance lines.

The most important buildings are:
Church of St. Erasmus
Church of SS Annunziata
Church of St. Liberatore
Caracciolo-Cito Palace
Palace of Palma
Finocchio Bridge.

A bit of history

It is enough to observe the position where the village is located to understand its origin and the function it played in past centuries: Torrecuso, which has Mount Pentime behind it as a natural defense, for the city of Benevento, center of the powerful Lombard duchy, was a real watchtower. From the top of the hill, sentries could scrutinize and report any movement of troops whether it took place in the Calore Valley below, crossed by the via Latina, or in the Vitulanense valley; the eye of the sentries could look out as far as the hills of Alto Tammaro and Fortore. Torrecuso lies in close proximity to the city of Benevento, which in the past was the center of great political, cultural and religious activity; it was a papal city. Samnites, Romans, Lombards, Normans, Angevins and Aragons here, around Benevento, left clear signs of their civilization and facts of war. Important was Via Latina, which ran from Capua, and, through Alife and Telese, reached Benevento, a true crossroads of very important roads, and continued to Brindisi. In this Valley of the Calore, traces of vestiges from Samnite and Roman times often surface, such as tombs, jars, spearheads, and jewelry, even of fine workmanship. In Lombard times the castle, the “Castrum,” or “Arces,” as the Latins called it, was a fortress intended at first as a garrison of guards, and was the most im-portant place from a strategic point of view; then it gradually came to be enlarged until it became a real village. The dependencies of these castles were called “Casali”; thus Paupisi was casale of Torrecuso. The Lombards occupied Benevento around 571, which later became a very powerful duchy, so much so that it influenced all of central and southern Italy; divided into twenty-four counties it enjoyed almost total autonomy vis-à-vis the king. Arechi II was the most enlightened duke who made Benevento great. Then there were the struggles for the conquest of southern Italy between Charles of Anjou King of Naples, and Frederick il’s son Manfred, King of Sicily, who in 1226 in the fateful battle near Benevento lost his life there. The historic center, developed in the Longobard era, has remained almost intact.
The Marchesal Castle towers over the hill. Its towers were had reinforced, because they were unsafe, in the year 871, by the Duke of Benevento Adalgiso. In the circle of walls, majestic, the present castle is shown, which by engineer Barba in 1700 was transformed and assumed its present Renaissance line. In the cedolary of 1320 Fenucchio is already a very small village with its own administrative autonomy, and so is Torre Palazzo. Due to the earthquake of 1349 the settlement that stood near Finocchio Bridge was destroyed, and so it was abandoned to go up and stand on the hill to enjoy a better strategic position.

Curiosity

In September the wine and food event ‘VinEstate’ is held, close to half a century old, with the aim of promoting the entire wine production and to the products of the Taburno territory.
In the main squares of the town, the exhibition and tasting of wines from the various wineries in the area is organized with a series of events and seminars to discuss the importance of wine understood as a complex factor of culture, history, tradition and experience of a territory. 

Another event is the “Padellaccia e Panporcello” festival held from July 8 to 14.
During the 6 evenings it is possible to taste the traditional dish “la Padellaccia” and the succulent sandwich garnished with the tasty pork “il Panporcello.”

At Christmas, on the other hand, it is possible to stroll through the characteristic Christmas markets.
They are the perfect opportunity to taste the best local products: roasted chestnuts, mulled wine, caciocavallo impiccato, cavatelli in pan and much more. There are, in addition, numerous craft and antique stands in which the following are displayed: wooden toys, handmade candles and ceramics. All accompanied by live music and street performers.