The Municipality of Zungoli is located in the area of the Ufita Valley, on the border with the province of Foggia. It's a village with 1,057 inhabitants, located 657 metres above sea level, at 60 km from Avellino. The territory extends for 19.22 sq km and the adjoining municipalities are: Anzano di Puglia, Ariano Irpino, Flumeri, Monteleone di Puglia, San Sossio Baronia and Villanova del Battista. It is crossed by an ancient transhumance route, the Regio Tratturo Pescasseroli-Candela.
The etymology of the name, although still uncertain, is attributed to a Norman who exploited the strategic position to build a castle, called "Castrum Caroli". The inhabitants are called Zungolesi and Saint Anne is their patron saint.
PLACES OF INTEREST
- Susanna Castle - Private castle with a mighty façade, born with the intention of defending the area from Byzantine raids and which became, over time, the home of the marquises Susanna di Sant'Eligio
- Convent of San Francesco or of Frati minori riformati (Saint Francis or Reformed Friars Minor) - Located in the lower part of the town, it preserves a precious wooden choir, rich in walnut sculptures, and a canvas depicting Saint Francis in ecstasy
- Byzantine Caves - Developed on several levels, they date back to the Byzantine era: over time, they have assumed the function of premises for the extraordinary refining of tasty cheeses
- Historic Centre - Characteristic village in which the historic centre, all in stone, marvellously preserves various places of worship, such as the Mother Church of Santa Maria Assunta (Saint Mary of the Assumption), the Church of San Nicola (Saint Nicholas), the Church of Santa Maria di Costantinopoli (Our Lady of Constantinople) and the historic palaces, such as Annicchiarico-Petruzzelli Palace, Iannuzzi Palace and Caputi Palace
- Regio Tratturo Pescasseroli-Candela - Third tratturo in order of magnitude in southern Italy: it was the route of transhumance, a tradition that, since 2019, has been part of the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage List, and is becoming a route for cultural, sporting and environmental excursions
- Other - Church of S. Maria Assunta, Church of S.Nicola, fountains and aqueduct, military memorial stone with inscriptions in Via Traiano
- Ravece Food Festival - Event linked to local production, born to celebrate the Ravece, one of the most precious cultures of the Italian and international olive growing scene
- The Romantic Night - Initiative of the I Borgi più belli d'Italia (Italy's Most Beautiful Villages) association, it's a mix of musical, theatrical, literary and artistic events, accompanied by tastings with a setting of great romanticism to rediscover the beauty of the village
- Feast of Our Lady Crowned - Religious celebrations scheduled in April
- Feast of Saint Anne - Celebrations in honour of the patron saint which take place in July
- Transhumance Feast - Feast that takes place on the first Sunday of September, with the opportunity to taste and buy the typical products of the area
TYPICAL FOOD AND PRODUCTS
- Capicollo di Zungoli PAT - Seasoned salami consisting of the leanest and most valuable parts of the ham with the addition of salt and pepper; it has been produced exclusively in Zungoli for over 25 years, according to traditional methods that have been handed down for generations
- Irpinia Colline dell'Ufita PDO - Extra virgin olive oil deriving largely from the Ravece variety, characterized by a pleasant bitter and spicy taste
- Fresh handmade pasta - Hand made artisanal product, also called "past accattat" by the local population
- Caciocavallo Silano PDO - Semi-hard cheese, with spun curd, produced with milk from different breeds of cows, including Podolica
Zungoli is the only town in the province of Avellino to be able to boast both the Orange Flag, the prestigious recognition of the Italian Touring Club for small villages of Italian excellence, and the presence in the network of "Italy's Most Beautiful Villages", demonstration of the quality of the small village in terms of hospitality and beauty.
In 1618 the writer and poet Giambattista Basile (1566-1632), author of the beautiful fairy tales “Lo Cunto de li Cunti”, was governor of Zungoli.
Traces of the first historical settlements in Zungoli, found throughout the municipal territory, suggest the existence of a village already in Roman times. The discovery of coins, stone markers and other ancient objects testify, in fact, the importance of the area in which the Irpinian village stands, characterized by the connections with the Appian and Trajan roads and with the Regio Tratturo Pescasseroli-Candela, historical routes that are decisive for the socio-economic development of the local community.
The town assumed its current conformation around the 11th century, when the population began to gather in a single inhabited centre, fortified through the construction of walls and castle, of clear Norman origin. Under Frederick II of Swabia, in 1232, the village became "Universitas", that is a municipality governed by the mayor and a small circle of elected administrators.
The autonomy lasted a few decades: with the victory of Charles I of Anjou over Manfredi in the battle of Benevento in 1266, Zungoli passed under the Angevin domination of the Montefuscolo (1266-1442), which was followed by that of Alfonso of Aragon (1442- 1500), up to the Loffredo family, who administered the village from 1513 to 1806, the year in which the subversion of feudalism took place.
Walking along the route of the Regio Tratturo as in an unwritten ritual, Zungoli becomes a travelling companion for an experience that is both an adventure and a search for meaning
Via Provinciale, 19, 83030 Zungoli AV, Italia