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Ariano (Pulgia) Irpino

Ariano Irpino

Ariano Irpino (formerly Ariano di Puglia or simply Ariano) is a municipality in the province of Avellino, in the Campania region of Italy on the railway between Benevento and Foggia, 24 miles (39 km) east of the former.

At a height of 2,680 feet (817 m) above sea level, Ariano Irpino is practically centred between the Adriatic Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea. Formerly called just Ariano, it was built on three hills, and for that reason it is also known as Cittā del Tricolle (City of the Three Hills). From 1868 to 1930, when it became part of Campania, it was known as Ariano di Puglia. Irpinia is the name given to the area of the Apennine Mountains around Avellino. The name derives from the Oscan word hirpus, meaning wolf.

Ariano lies in the centre of a fertile district, but has no buildings of importance, as it has often been devastated by earthquakes. A considerable part of the population still dwelled in caves until 1911. It has been supposed to occupy the site of Aequum Tuticum, an ancient Samnite town which became a post-station on the Via Traiana in Roman times; but this should probably be sought at S. Eleuterio 51 miles (82 km) north. It was a military position of some importance in the Middle Ages. 13 miles (21 km) south-south-east is the Sorgente Mefita, identical with the pools of Ampsanctus.

Its origins are very ancient; the first inhabited site of the land is in fact neolithic (circa 7000 BC) which continued to be inhabited until 900 BC. Successively a row of the brave Samnites - the Hirpi, the warriors of the wolf - foundates Aequum Tuticum; a site which within years becomes Roman and a very important stradal node (which still continues to be), in the crossing between the Via Traiana road and the Via Herculeia.

Romanic Cathedral (X century)The decadence of Aequum Tuticum arrives with the first barbaric invasions. And this way the three hills start to be inhabited, a high and easily defendable place, and it's here that Ariano is born, fortified city in a strategic position; today it's ancient and imponent defensive walls are still recognizable and are part of the city. In a secure place away from the invasions of Goths and Byzantines, Ariano is a fortified city of the Lombards. Around 1000 is built the Castle to defend the city against the Greeks which, also if a little bit wrecked, proudly stands in the big and green Villa Comunale, i.e. the city park.

Successively conquered by the Normans, in 1140 it was the place where were promulgated, by Roger II of Sicily, the Assizes of Ariano, the then-new constitution of the Kingdom of Sicily. This legal corpus will be adopted almost integrally and with a few variations into the Constitutions of Melfi of the Emperor Frederick II. In the same year it is coined the ducat, a coin that will last for seven centuries, until 1860.

In 1255, Manfred of Hohenstaufen, son of Frederick, besieged the city, which resisted strongly thanks to its walls and the combative nature of the inhabitants. During the siege, a group of soldiers from Lucera pretended to be disserters of Manfred's army, and were welcomed into the city. During the night, they revealed their double face, sacking and destroying the city with the fire and killing all the inhabitants. There's still a road in memory of that tragic event, called La Carnale (The Carnage).

More than ten years later, in 1266, Charles of Anjou rebuilt the city and gave it two thorns of the crown of Christ, still conserved in a reliquary into the city's Romanesque cathedral. All these happenings are reproduced every year in the Rievocazione Storica del Dono delle Sante Spine (Historical Reinvocation of the Gift of the Sacred Thorns) and in the reproduction of the Incendio del Campanile (Belltower Burning), a pyrotechnic event that lights the main square of the city and the side of the cathedral.

After the Capetian House of Anjou lost control of Sicily to Peter III of Aragon in the War of the Sicilian Vespers, the city passed to the Provenzale dei Desambramo family from 1294 to 1413; and then in the hands of the Carafa family and House of Gonzaga. Still today are there in the city buildings that were of the Spanish families which governed at that time. On 2 August 1545 the city rebelled against the feudal regime and became a Cittā Regia (city-state) dependent on the Viceroy of the Kingdom of Sicily.

Ariano is known for the production of majolica, a tin-glazed pottery. The first examples date from the 13th century under the Moorish influence of the Spanish, but Ariano Irpino's majolica became more refined around the 18th century, when the first amphoras and pitchers appear, often simple in the shape, but thinly elaborated. Today's production is bigger than ever, including flask, busts, cups, plates, figures, amphoras. All pieces are splendidly decorated by the craftsmen of Ariano, and often have a fine and elaborate shape.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Location of Ariano Irpino in Italy 
Country Italy 
Region Campania 
Province Avellino (AV) 

Elevation 817 m (2,680 ft) 
Area 185.52 kmē (71.6 sq mi) 
Population (as of (2007)) 
- Total 23,218 
- Density 125/kmē (324/sq mi) 
Time zone CET, UTC+1 
Coordinates 41°9'0?N 15°5'3?E? / ?41.15°N 15.08417°E? / 41.15; 15.08417 
Gentilic Arianesi
Frazioni vedi elenco


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