Avellino is the capital of the province of the same name in the Campania region in Italy. The city is situated about 50 kilometers east of Naples, on a lower stretch of land at the foot of the Monte Vergine.
Avellino travel guide
Tourist office (Ufficio Informazioni Turistiche): Piazza della Liberta’, 50 – Avellino (Phone: +39 0825 74732). Alternatively, Ufficio Informazioni Turistiche e Pro Loco nella Provincia di Avellino – E.P.T. (Ente Provinciale per il Turismo) Via Due Principati, 5 – Avellino (Phone: +39 0825 74695). Town hall: Piazza del Popolo, 1 (Phone: +39 0825 2001).
How to get to Avellino
By car: Avellino is connected to Naples by the E842, to Salerno by the E841 and to Benevento by the SP48 followed by the SP12.
By train: The city has its own railway station. There are direct connections to Benevento, but not to Naples and Salerno.
What to see
Unfortunately many of the older buildings in the city cannot be seen in their original states, because of the many earthquakes the city has had to suffer.
The Cathedral was constructed in the 12th century. Other religious highlights are the 17th century Costantinopoli Church, the San Genorosa Church and the Chiesa delle Oblate. The latter two both date back to the 18th century.
The Palazzo della Dogana and the Torre dell’Orologio are the most important civic buildings.
One of the best known monuments is the Bellerophon Fountain.
A brief history of Avellino
The present Avellino was founded after the Lombard conquest of southern Italy, in the early Middle Ages. Earlier there had been a town called Abellinum, which had been founded by the Samnite people, in the area. This town was located on the territory of what is now the nearby city of Atripalda. The Romans conquered this town in the 2nd century BC, to abandon it in the 4th century AD.
The Lombards founded the present city on a hilltop near the original town. The Byzantines took over in 969. They were followed by the Normans, who were in turn succeeded by the Swabians (1194).
After the House of Anjou had conquered Italy in 1268, they created a new principality called Ultra. The territory of this principality more or less equals the present province of Avellino. The city itself became the new capital of the principality.
In the 16th century, after Frederic of Aragon had been dethroned as King of Naples, Avellino was given to the French. In 1504, the French-Spanish alliance ended, and the Spanish conquered Naples and its territories.
In 1581, the area was purchaased by Marino Caracciolo.
In 1806, under Napoleon, Avellino again became the capital of the pricipality of Ultra.
In 1820, the city was the central point of a rebellion that managed to force Ferdinad I of Bourbon to accept a constitution.
The name of Avellino derives from the ancient Abellinum, which means “city of apples”.