The Municipality of Ospedaletto d’Alpinolo is located within the area of the Partenio Park. It's a town with 2,123 inhabitants, located 725 metres above sea level, at 8 km from Avellino. The territory extends for 43.61 sq km and the adjoining municipalities are: Avellino, Mercogliano and Summonte.
The etymology of the name seems to date back to the 14th century, from the Casale dell’Ospedale Nuovo di Montevergine, the place where most of the population from the Casale al Rione Terra moved, while the specific “d’Alpinolo” probably alludes to the mountain position of the territory. The inhabitants are called Ospedalettesi and Saints Philip and James are their patron saints.
PLACES OF INTEREST
- Triton Fountain - It is located in the centre of the town and was built in the 20th century by local stonemasons
- Chair of the Madonna - Also called “Cappella Misura” (Custom-made Chapel), it is located on the ancient path towards Montevergine and, according to legend, would have welcomed the rest of the Virgin Mary along her ascent to the sacred mountain
- Monument to the Pilgrim - Group of statues representing the scene of pilgrims heading to the Sanctuary of Montevergine, by Abbot Ferdinando Vignanelli
- Other - Church of Santi Filippo e Giacomo (Saints Philip and James) and Chapel of SS. Rosario (Chapel of the Most Holy Rosary), War Memorial, Municipal Villa, Pilgrims’ Square, tomb in blocks of tuff of the Samnite age
- Juta in Montevergine - Re-enactment of the traditional pilgrimage to the Sanctuary of Montevergine, held in August
- Feast of the Chestnut of the Priest - Food and wine event featuring the Chestnut, accompanied by theatrical and musical performances, held in October
- Fair of the Nougat - Food and wine event, focused on the promotion of the traditional local product
- Strawberry Festival - Food and wine event held in June
- Feast of Saints Philip and James - Religious celebrations in honour of the patron saints, held in May
- Feast of Saint Roch - Religious event in honour of the co-patron of the town, held in August
- Grandparents’ Day - Traditional event, held in October
TYPICAL FOOD AND PRODUCTS
- Nougat of Ospedaletto d’Alpinolo PAT - Typical product, widespread in the town since the end of the 19th century: it is present in two different variants, namely the classic one (nougat based on honey, egg white, hazelnuts or toasted almonds) and the one stuffed with sponge cake
- Chestnut del Prete PAT - Also known as “castagne ro ‘prevete” (chestnuts of the priest), they are called by this name because it was a friar who discovered the particular cooking process
- Fiano di Avellino DOCG - One of the finest white wines of Italy and the international market
- Chocolate and other confectionery products - Made with the addition of nuts, hazelnuts and other types of dried fruits
- Caciocavallo Silano PDO - Semi-hard cheese, with spun curd, produced with milk from different breeds of cows, including Podolica
The famous and precious nougat of Ospedaletto d’Alpinolo is also known by the dialect term “cupeto”.
With regard to the origins of Ospedaletto d’Alpinolo it must be said that remains of pre-Roman tombs have been found in the Localities of Curti and Piana. The current town, however, dates back to the medieval period and its birth can be dated precisely in January 1178, with the name of “Casale delle Fontanelle”.
Its history is closely linked to that of the Sanctuary of Montevergine, whose vicissitudes over the centuries have strongly influenced its development. From the feudal domain of the Abbey, it passed to the dependencies of the Church of Santa Maria del Preposito and assumed the name of the “Casale di Santa Maria del Preposito”. In the current municipal territory then arose a hospital – which is remembered to have also hosted famous people, including Frederick II – with the function of allowing the pilgrims to rest before facing the ascent of the mountain to visit the Sanctuary; the name of the town, therefore, was changed first to “Casale dell’Ospedale di Montevergine” and, subsequently, to Ospedaletto, as evidenced by a notarial document of 1463 in which it is reported as Casale di Ospedaletto.
In 1806, with the abolition of feudalism and the suppression of the monastic orders, Ospedaletto became part of the province of the Ultra Principality and, from 1861, assumed the specific “d’Alpinolo” to differentiate itself from other municipalities of the same name.
Ospedaletto d’Alpinolo is an evocative experience, a journey towards new kinds of tourism, renewed perceptions on how to live and experience the places for wandering souls
Via Municipio, 15, 83014 Ospedaletto d'Alpinolo AV, Italia