The Municipality of San Martino Valle Caudina is located within the area of the Caudina Valley. It's a town with 4,885 inhabitants, located 315 metres above sea level, at 26 km from Avellino. The territory extends for 22.92 sq km and the adjoining municipalities are: Avella, Cervinara, Montesarchio, Pannarano, Roccabascerana and Sperone.
The etymology of the name is a clear reference to the patron saint of the community, while the specific “Valle Caudina” refers to its geographical location. The inhabitants are called Sammartinesi and Saint Martin of Tours is their patron saint.
PLACES OF INTEREST
- Pignatelli Della Leonessa Castle - Medieval fortress built on a hill of strategic importance as a defensive fortress, it was then transformed into an aristocratic residence and still preserves the original appearance of a medieval manor
- Pignatelli Della Leonessa Ducal Palace - Built during the first half of the 17th century, it is characterised by its large courtyard and is currently used for the organisation of parties and ceremonies
- Del Balzo Palace - Located on a hilly outcrop, it offers a splendid view of Pignatelli Della Leonessa Castle, with the village below and the scenery of the Partenio Mountains in the background
- Church and Convent of Santa Caterina (Saint Catherine) - Exquisite Benedictine complex, it preserves a quadrangular cloister with central well, surrounded by a simple and elegant portico
- Collegiate Church of San Giovanni Battista (Saint John the Baptist) - Contains the remains of Saints Palerius and Equitius, to whom the community is very devoted
- Casa Giulia - Historic home of the Imbriani-Poerio family
- Church of San Martino Vescovo (Saint Martin of Tours) - Small church, recently restored
- Pisaniello Mill - Located along the Murillo path, it dates back to the 19th century
- Pinacoteca d’Arte Moderna (Modern Art Museum) - Located in the Municipal Palace, it preserves works by numerous Italian artists
- Nature trails - Accessible on foot or by mountain bike, they offer the opportunity to admire the Mafariello spring, with its refuge, and the Cascatelle.
- Historical Parade - Re-enactment of the legend of “La Castellana”, takes place in August
- Illuminate the Night - Christmas event, held in December and January
- Feast of Saint Martin - Celebrations in honour of the patron saint, held in November
- Degustarte - Agri-food festival, takes place in August
- Feast of the Queen of Peace - Religious event that takes place in August, near the sanctuary of the same name in Contrada Torretiello
TYPICAL FOOD AND PRODUCTS
- Cicatielli - Traditional handmade pasta usually served with pork sauce, on the occasion of the Feast of Saint Martin
- Tarallo cu l’Ove - Delicious egg tarallo, prepared for the Easter holidays
- Chianella Apple - Particular flattened apple, with white and juicy pulp
- Sergeant Apple - Similar to Melannurca, it is distinguished by a larger size of the fruit
- Melannurca Campana PGI - The “Queen of Apples”, with its characteristic aroma and very fine scent
- Caciocavallo Silano PDO - Semi-hard cheese, with spun curd, produced with milk from different breeds of cows, including Podolica
Casa Giulia takes its name from the sister of Matteo Renato Imbriani (1843-1901), one of the main proponents of Italian Irredentism, a political movement that proposed to reunite with Italy the territories still subject to Austrian domination.
On 17 August 1986, the famous singer-songwriter Lucio Dalla (1943-2012) performed at the “San Martino Arte” festival, in the village of Caudino, presenting the song “Caruso” for the first time, a song destined to become known all over the world.
By virtue of this particular musical event and the specific reference to the “Gulf of Surriento” in the song of the Bolognese singer-songwriter, the Municipality of San Martino has a twinning with the Municipality of Sorrento, established in 2017.
The origins of San Martino Valle Caudina are uncertain, but some finds of ceramics in the territory suggest the first settlements to date back to the Bronze Age (1800-1000 BC). According to a version handed down in the 18th century, the town was born around an ancient fortress garrisoned by the Samnite tribe of the Caudini, on which the Romans, after the conquest of Sannio, would have erected an altar in honour of Mars, God of War, from which derived Ara Martis and then, with the advent of Christianity, San Martino. More plausible, however, is the medieval origin of the town, born when the population of Caudium began to move on the hills where the current San Martino stands, to defend themselves from the incursions of the Lombards.
For many centuries, the town was administered by the Della Leonessa family who, in 1834, changed its name to Pignatelli Della Leonessa, which still exists. Finally, the Imbriani family stayed in San Martino, which played a vital role in the process of achieving the Unification of Italy.
Learning from history and the hidden meanings behind the buildings of a town, weaving ever stronger bonds, only in this way will San Martino Valle Caudina reveal all its secrets
San Martino Valle Caudina
Piazza Girolamo del Balzo, 83018 San Martino Valle Caudina AV, Italia