The Municipality of Caposele rises in the area of the Sele Valley, on the slopes of Mount Paflagone. It's a town with 3,388 inhabitants, located 405 metres above sea level, at 58 km from Avellino. The territory extends for 41.28 sq km and the adjoining municipalities are: Bagnoli Irpino, Calabritto, Castelnuovo di Conza, Conza della Campania, Laviano, Lioni, Teora and Valva.
The etymology of the name seems to come from the Latin phrase Caput Sylaris, or "beginning" of the "Sele": in fact, the river that gives life to the homonymous valley originates from the springs of Piazza Sanità, flowing in the territory of Caposele. The inhabitants are called Caposelesi and Saint Lawrence is their patron.
PLACES OF INTEREST
- Sanctuary of San Gerardo Maiella (Saint Gerard Majella) - Built in the Middle Ages, in the place where there was the apparition of the Madonna (hence Materdomini, the hamlet where it is located). This imposing religious building attracts thousands of pilgrims every year
- Saint Gerard Museum - letters from the Saint, liturgical furnishings and artistic works of various kinds
- Sala dei Fiocchi (Hall of Ribbons) - A place full of wonderful gifts that parents offer to Saint Gerard, starting with thousands of coloured ribbons
- Sele Springs - Springs that represent the starting point of the Apulian Aqueduct, which, from Irpinia, reaches Salento, crossing the entire Tavoliere delle Puglie
- Museum of Waters - Museum where evidence of the important history of the Apulian Aqueduct is exhibited
- Church of Santa Maria della Sanità (Our Lady of Good Health) - Built in the 19th century, adjacent to the Sele springs, it houses a fresco of Our Lady of Good Health dating back to 1200; one of the peculiarities of this church is that the religious building and bell tower are 300 meters away
- Leonardo's Machine Museum - Exhibition museum of Leonardo's inventions with scale reproductions
- Church of San Lorenzo Martire (Saint Lawrence the Martyr) - Also known as "Artistic Temple", it's the Mother Church, located in the historic centre of Caposele
- River Park - Protected area dedicated to the Sele river in which, thanks to a series of footpaths and cycle paths, you can take relaxing walks but also go on excursions
- Path of the 7 Fountains - Historical path that touches 7 fountains in the town full of springs
- Cicle route of the Water - Cycle tour starting from Caposele and arriving in Santa Maria di Leuca (LE)
- Other mountain trails - Prey's Air path (20km D+800m); Faith and Water path (5km D+300m); “Pustedda” path (7km D+400m); Difesa woods and Chestnut trees path (6km D+300m); Calvello di Caposele path (16km D+ 1160); Path on the top of Mount Paflagone (12km D+650m); Saint Gerard path
- Other - Domenico Capone Library, Artistic Temple of San Lorenzo, Zone Saure (area of the ancient cellars), Ruins of the Angevin Castle, Cozzarelli Palace, Cross of the Angel, Chapel of the Angel, Murals by Guido Palmadessa and Mohamed Lghacham, ruins of old mills and water fulling mills
- Feast of Saint Gerard - Tradition that is renewed annually in two different moments: the Great Festival, scheduled for the first Sunday of September; and the Solemnity, which is held on the 16th of October, the feast day of the Saint
- Matasse Festival - One of the oldest food and wine events in Irpinia, proposing a tradition of Caposele cuisine
- European Music Festival - Unmissable event that, on the occasion of the summer solstice, transformed Caposele into the regional capital of music, enhancing musical expressions and naturalistic resources of the territory
- A Tree for All - Lighting of the tallest Christmas tree in Europe with Christmas markets with the charity purpose of raising funds for cancer research
- Jazz&Wine - Annual event that aims at celebrating the splendid union between good music and traditional food and wine products
- Day of the Ill - Religious event held on the 25th of April
- Mothers' and Children's Day - Event held on the last Sunday of May, in which both mothers and their children are blessed
- Feast of Saint Lawrence the Martyr - Feast in honour of the patron saint with music and food and wine stands on the last Sunday of August
- Saint Anthony Bonfire - Traditional celebration held on the 13th of June
- Saint Lucy Fair - Considerable enlargement of the market in the town, which takes place on the 3rd of May of each year, until it fills all the streets
- Day of your Saint and of the Saint Gerard Associations - Religious event held on the 2nd of June
- Solemn exposition of Saint Gerard's Body - Religious event that takes place starting from the second Friday of December
TYPICAL FOOD AND PRODUCTS
- Matasse of Caposele PAT - Long tangle of handmade pasta, usually topped with chickpeas or beans
- Amaretto of Caposele PAT - Typical traditional homemade biscuit, made with hazelnuts
- Muffletto of Caposele PAT - Peculiar loaf, similar to bread, but made with pizza dough
- Soup and Pizza - Mixed wild greens and vegetables such as chicory, cabbage, wild fennel, paired with corn pizza (granuriniu)
- Patate Sfruculiate - Potato-based winter dish
- San Mango fig PAT - Typical fruit of the area, with a juicy pulp and a characteristic flavour
- Caciocavallo Silano PDO - Semi-hard cheese, with spun curd, produced with milk from different breeds of cows, including Podolica
The springs of Caposele, together with those of Cassano Irpino, supply water to a large part of Southern Italy: almost 10 million people among Campania, Basilicata and Puglia.
The writer Giuseppe Ungaretti (1888-1970) wrote in reference to the Apulian Aqueduct: «è un'opera che non vede nessun'altra anche per bellezza» (It's such a beautiful work of art that can't be compared to others).
The origins of Caposele are not certain. The Sele river, however, is mentioned in several writings, including by famous poets and writers, such as Homer, Virgil and Pliny.
It's known that Caposele was, at the beginning of the 11th century, the territory of the Principality of Salerno. Then it passed to the Principality of Citra and the first news of a fief and a probable castle date back to the Norman period, probably to 1160, when Filippo di Balvano (or Balbano) became the owner.
It was first dominated by the Swabians, then by the Angevins, then again by the Aragonese. In 1416 Queen Joanna II of Naples entrusted the income of the fief to Antonio Gesualdo. With Luigi II Gesualdo, the town reached great prosperity, so much so that in 1494 Caposele obtained the title of Universitas, that is, of an autonomous municipality able to freely elect a mayor by show of hands by its inhabitants and to administer justice.
The fiefdom passed, in the 17th century, to the Ludovisio family, that bought it and sold it more than once. It is recalled that in 1714 Inigo Rota was appointed prince of the Land of Caposele, who made available his forests when wood was needed to build the Basilica of Materdomini.
In the 18th century, Caposele had already assumed the characteristic layout of the town that it still retains today.
Caposele welcomes and reveals treasures of a map that leads to the soul of the territory, in which there are worlds referable to art, naturalistic experience, tradition and excellence, all to be discovered
Piazza Dante Alighieri, 1, 83040 Caposele AV, Italia