Vitulano

The treasure chest of red marble

Quannu u petucchiu salle n’gloria… perde a scienza e a memoria.”
( When the louse gets on his head… it loses intelligence and memory)

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Location

Vitulano is a small town of about three thousand inhabitants, dominated by the Camposauro and Pentime mountains, characterized by twenty farmhouses. Its territory falls within the “Taburno Camposauro Regional Park.” Downstream from Mount Pentime and Camposauro descend four perennial springs: Fontana Reale, Cortedonica, Fuggiano and San Pietro.
Here it is possible to experience the past with all the comforts of the present. Food and wine tours, mountain walks in total relaxation immersed in silence, surrounded by an almost fairy-tale setting.



Not to be missed

Vitulano is one of the oldest and most historic villages of the Vitulanese Valley and Sannio, full of evocative places.
There are numerous churches, among which the one of the Holy Trinity stands out for its beauty. Located in the center of the town, it dominates it with its majestic Vanvitellian-style bell tower. The Royal Fountain and the Vico/Via Fontana, which until a few decades ago was a baronial dwelling place.
Then climbing the Camposauro mountain, you can observe breathtaking views, retrace the old sheep-tracks of shepherds and visit the remains of the ancient Monastery of the Madonna delle Grotte (in Grupis).

S. Maria in Grupis
The abbey was founded between 940 and 944 by the Lombard prince of Benevento; today only ruins remain, located in the mountain split between Vitulano and Solopaca. The monastery, in past centuries, had under its rule countless properties in the form of fiefs inscribed in areas even as far away as Capua and Pontecorvo. Because of the state of decay it was in, and the constant assaults of brigands, during the pastoral visit of 1705 Cardinal Orsini deconsecrated the abbey, ordering its abandonment.

History

The settlement originally consisted of several hamlets dependent on the town “Tocco.”
In 1437 it was the scene of clashes between the Aragonese and Angioni. It was briefly occupied by the French of Charles VIII when they tried to occupy Benevento. Under the Aragonese it was given as a fief to the Acquaviva, then later passed to the Carafa, and to the D’Avalos, until 1806. In the 15th century Vitulano began to increase its population at the expense of the town of Tocco.
In 1595 the so-called “State of Vitulano” was established, which included 20 hamlets (twelve of which belonged to the university of “Santa Maria Maggiore” and the other eight to that of “Santa Croce”). In the same period, halfway between the church of “Santa Maria Maggiore” and “Santa Croce,” the collegiate church of the Holy Trinity was built, a sign of the unity of the Vitulanese people.
In 1832 the two universities of “Santa Croce” and “Santa Maria Maggiore” were united to form a municipality with today’s name of Vitulano.
One of the oldest hamlets in Vitulano is the Royal Fountain, in Vitulanese dialect called “U’ Riale.” Named so because it stands in a place where a castle was supposedly born, from which the area then takes its name, that is, Via Castello. The road that you take to get to the Fountain from the Square until a few decades ago was an area inhabited by baronial families. In fact, walking along this street it is possible to see portals belonging to these families.

Curiosities

The marbles
The history of Vitulano’s marbles begins in the 1700s, when the famous architect Luigi Vanvitelli used it for the construction of the spectacular palace of King Charles III of Bourbon in the city of Caserta, and subsequently for many other important works.
The marble from the URIA Quarry is richly veined with gray to red chromatics; it is URIA Red.
Today, the extraction of this precious material continues through careful parameters, respecting the historic environment, in a protected site where each stage of processing is both ancient and technologically advanced.
Between the municipalities of Cautano and Vitulano, at the foot of Mount Camposauro, there are numerous outcrops of polychrome limestone breccias, crushed limestones and calcareous alabasters that together take the name “VITULANO MARBLES.”
Vitulano marbles have been used since ancient times imposing themselves throughout the world so much so that Charles of Bourbon (18th cent.), King of Naples, secured its use and Vanvitelli used it to compose the sumptuous “Staircase of Honor” in the REGGIA DI CASERTA, Naples and Portici.

Feast of Saint Menna the Hermit
Religious civil celebrations in honor of St. Menna take place, in spring, on the Monday after Pentecost. A procession reaches the Saint’s Hermitage, while the next day, Tuesday, folk, cultural and musical events are organized in the village.
Then, on November 11, the death of St. Menna (583 AD) is commemorated.
Chestnut Festival Sagra della Castagna e del Pecorino Vitulanese.
The usual autumn event with the chestnut festival, takes place between the months of October and November.
The chestnut is the queen of the festival: sweets, crepes, croissants, pasta dishes, various courses, roasted chestnuts and much more, from traditional peasant dishes to more elaborate ones expertly prepared by the caterers present at the event.