The Municipality of Villanova Del Battista is located in the area of the Ufita Valley. It's a town with 1,592 inhabitants, located 742 metres above sea level, at 57 km from Avellino. The territory extends for 20 sq km and the adjoining municipalities are: Ariano Irpino, Zungoli and Flumeri. It is crossed by an ancient transhumance route, the Regio Tratturo Pescasseroli-Candela.
The etymology of the name means "new city" and appears in 1500, after the reconstruction of the Del Balzo family; in 1862 "del Battista" was added in honour of the patron saint and to distinguish the town from others with the same toponym. The inhabitants are called Villanovesi and Saint John the Baptist is their patron saint.
PLACES OF INTEREST
- Multimedia Museum of Transhumance - Inside the museum there is a cultural and anthropological heritage of particular importance, which traces the history of transhumance linked to the Regio Tratturo (old transhumance route) Pescasseroli-Candela
- Municipal Museum of Villanova del Battista - Small but interesting museum in which there are various sections: materials, modern antiques, peasant civilization, between stories and folklore, a 19th-century bedroom and a gallery of paintings
- Church of Santa Maria Assunta (Saint Mary of the Assumption) - Completely rebuilt after the earthquakes of 1930 and 1980, it houses two 17th century paintings belonging to the school of Luca Giordano
- Historical Palaces - Ciccone Palace, Municipal Palace and Iorizzo Palace: ancient buildings located in the centre of the village
- Tirata del Giglio (Dragging of the Lily) - Historical tradition with the pulling of a finely woven straw obelisk, about 28 meters high: it takes place every year on the 27th of August
- Feast of Saint John the Baptist - Celebrations in honour of the patron saint which take place on the 28th and 29th of August
- Feast of Saint Roch - Celebrations in honour of Saint Roch which are held in October
- Vicoli e Arte (Alleys and Art) - Summer event held in August: two days characterized by craftsmanship, excellent food and wine and culture
TYPICAL FOOD AND PRODUCTS
- Irpinia Colline dell'Ufita PDO - Extra virgin olive oil deriving largely from the Ravece variety, characterized by a pleasant bitter and spicy taste
- Soppressata irpina PAT - Product with an intense flavour and aroma, which contains all the charm of tradition: this typical Irpinian salami is prepared from lean pork cuts, with the addition of a few cubes of fat and the typical natural stuffing
- Caciocavallo Silano PDO - Semi-hard cheese, with spun curd, produced with milk from different breeds of cows, including Podolica
- Caciocavallo irpino di grotta PAT - Spun curd cheese, produced with milk from small and medium-sized farms, mainly from brown cattle, traditionally aged in caves
Transhumance, an ancient practice of pastoralism which consists in the seasonal migration of livestock in the Mediterranean and the Alps, was included by UNESCO in the List of Intangible Cultural Heritage in 2019, recognizing the value of the practice on the basis of a transnational candidacy presented by Italy, Austria and Greece: this extraordinary result places Villanova in a circuit of great cultural importance thanks to the Regio Tratturo (old transhumance route) Pescasseroli-Candela.
The Municipality of Villanova del Battista is linked to the centuries-old tradition of the Straw Carts and Lilies, very common in the Ufita Valley.
The first mention of Villanova del Battista is found in a document dating back to the 13th century, where it appears with the name of "Pulcarino", believed to be a deformation of bulgarinus, a term derived from "Bulgarians", with which the Balkan populations were indicated.
This town was destroyed several times in the past, reborn from its ashes: razed to the ground in the 14th century, it was rebuilt in the following century by the Del Balzo family, but in 1694 it was devastated by an earthquake, rebuilt again, and once again destroyed due to the seismic event of 1930. Unavoidably these events have caused the loss of the historical identity of the place, including possible archaeological and documentary finds useful to identify its origin.
It is known, however, that Villanova del Battista belonged not only to the Del Balzo family, but also to other families, such as the Carafa and Ossario, and that the territory of this fiefdom was crossed by the Regio Tratturo Pescasseroli-Candela on which the flocks for transhumance passed.
Immerse yourself in a resilient community, which makes crafts an art. In Villanova del Battista the soul of a rural world reveals the identity and authenticity like only few places do
Villanova del Battista
Via Fornace, 16/A, 83030 Villanova del Battista AV, Italia
Corso Vittorio Emanuele III, 83030 Villanova del Battista AV, Italia
Completely rebuilt after the earthquakes of 1930 and 1980, it has three entrances and a single…