The Municipality of Santo Stefano del Sole is located in the area of the Sabato Valley. It's a town with 2,106 inhabitants, located 547 metres above sea level, at 10 km from Avellino. The territory extends for 10.78 sq km and the adjoining municipalities are: Atripalda, Cesinali, San Michele di Serino, Santa Lucia di Serino, Serino, Sorbo Serpico and Volturara Irpina. Its territory is delimited, to the south, by the course of the Sabato river, while to the east by the apartment blocks of Volturara Irpina.
The etymology of the name is a clear reference to the patron saint of the town, while the specification "del Sole" is explained by its geographical position, as, while the sun has already set over the entire Sabato Valley, Santo Stefano is still illuminated by its rays. The inhabitants are called Santostefanesi. Saint Vitus the Martyr and Saint Stephen the Protomartyr are their patron saints.
PLACES OF INTEREST
- Church of Santo Stefano (Saint Stephen)- Located in Piazza del Sole, it's the Mother Church, dating back to the 17th century, and it's distinguished by its white Irpinian stone staircase
- Church of the Immacolata Concezione (Immaculate Conception) - Also known as "Church of San Giovanni", it is also located in Piazza del Sole, near the Mother Church
- Baronial palace - Built in the 17th century, it was purchased and restored by the municipality in the early 20th century, to be used as the Town Hall
- Chapel of the Santissimo Sacramento (Most Holy Sacrament) - Adjacent to the Mother Church, it has recently regained its nature as a religious place
- Chapel of the Annunziata (Our Lady of Annunciation) - Located at the beginning of the town, in Piedicasale, it is characterized by its very simple and sober structure
- Rural Church of the Angel - Located on the hill of the same name, it's a small church dedicated to Saint Michael the Archangel, as well as the oldest in the town
- Church of San Giuseppe (Saint Joseph) - Newly built, it overlooks a large square, from which you can admire the ring of mountains that enclose the Upper Sabato Valley
- Piazza del Sole - The square where the Mother Church stands, from which it's also possible to admire the three centuries-old lime trees and a splendid panoramic view
- Castelluccio locality - The oldest area of the town, with its charming historic centre and its beautiful view over the Sabato Valley
- Solearte - Cultural review of art and crafts, accompanied by the performance of musical and street artists and the tasting of typical products, scheduled for the month of August
- Cherry Feast - Food and wine event, scheduled between the end of June and the beginning of July
- Feast of Saint Stephen - Religious celebrations in honour of the patron saint, scheduled for the month of August
- Feast of Saint Vitus the Martyr - Religious holidays in honour of the co-patron of the town, scheduled for the months of June and August
- Santostefanese Festival - Food and wine review, also known as the "Festival of the flavours of Santo Stefano”
- Podolico spit-roasted veal Festival - Long-standing food and wine event, scheduled in August, simultaneously with the patronal celebrations in honour of Saint Vitus
- Feast of Saint Joseph - Religious event in Sozze, which takes place in July
- Good Friday - Religious procession, accompanied by the lighting of bonfires in all the districts of the historic centre, scheduled for the Easter period
TYPICAL FOOD AND PRODUCTS
- Cherry - Typical Santo Stefano product, used for the preparation of various typical recipes, such as cherry risotto or chocolate and cherry cake
- Fiano di Avellino DOCG - One of the finest white wines in Italy and on the international market
- Serino Chestnut PGI - Among the best varieties of chestnuts in Italy, as well as the most exported to international markets
- Melannurca Campana PGI - The "Queen of Apples", with a characteristic aroma and a very fine scent
- Caciocavallo Silano PDO - Semi-hard cheese, with spun curd, produced with milk from different breeds of cows, including Podolica
Santo Stefano del Sole is well known for the Easter rite of "La Rosamarina": in addition to singing the homonymous popular song, the Santostefanese community usually collects tree branches to prepare the so-called "frasche", with the addition of oranges and lemons on each branch, which will then be distributed to individual families as a sign of good wishes.
Since 2020, the Fly Sunrise project has been active, conceived by the Santo Stefano Pro Loco, in order to organize paragliding sessions on the splendid setting of the Sabato Valley, as well as hiking and mountain biking in the Pietra della Madonna area.
Santo Stefano del Sole has very ancient origins, as evidenced by the discovery, in the Castelluccio locality, of archaeological finds from the Samnite era, such as amphorae, ampoules and lacrimatories, now kept at the Irpino Museum in Avellino.
The depopulation of Castel Serpico contributed to the demographic increase of the current urban core, with the transfer of the Serpiceti population towards the Sabato river in the 10th century and, more precisely, between Piazza Oscar Brini and the Piedicasale Fountain. The first official document certifying the existence of the town dates back to 1045: it is a diploma kept in the archive of the Church of Santa Sofia in Benevento and which indicated Santo Stefano as a fiefdom belonging to the County of Avellino.
In 1525, Santo Stefano del Sole became an autonomous municipality, under the jurisdiction of the local feudal lord. Later, it belonged to several families: Di Capua, Capece-Galeota, Gesualdo, Del Sangro and finally, the Zamagna family of Dubrovnik, until the subversion of feudalism, which took place in 1806.
Maybe we all have this point on our to-do list, especially lovers of extreme sports and adrenaline. Paragliding in Santo Stefano will allow you to see the town from a different point of view, far from traditional ways. Do you have the courage to launch yourself?
Santo Stefano del Sole
Via Colacurcio, 54, 83050 Santo Stefano del Sole AV, Italia