The land of the Samnites, the Lombards and the Witches
As close to the most renowned tourist destinations in Campania - Naples, the Sorrento and Amalfi Coasts - as it is different, original in terms of history, culture, traditions and human and environmental context, the province of Benevento is known as the land of the Samnites, the Lombards, of the Witches. A land of historical and "magical" suggestions that still live in the present, in the places, in the monuments, in the people aware and proud of their own peculiar culture. A land capable of intriguing and fascinating the most attentive visitor: "Every time I go to Sannio - underlined the famous narrator Domenico Rea - I feel the clear impression of having to change money, of taking a different attitude, of preparing myself, in short, to enter another dimension…”.
Sannio Beneventano is a "promised land" for those who want to live an experience rich in cultural stimuli and, at the same time, enjoy a serene, hospitable and uncontaminated environment. A quiet, silent province, but also lively and cheerful in the celebrations, festivals and entertainment activities that take place throughout the year.
Benevento, the capital, preserves a monumental heritage of great importance, which testifies to the historical eras that have followed one another: from the Samnite (ancient Maleventum) and Roman city, to Lombard Benevento and, then, for eight centuries, papal island in Campania . To visit: the Arch of Trajan, the most imposing triumphal arch of the Roman era; the Roman Theatre; the Leproso Bridge; the Santa Sofia Complex, a World Heritage Site, with the Church of Santa Sofia (8th century) and the annexed Abbey, home to the Sannio Museum which preserves finds from all eras from the archaeological sites of the province; the Church of S. Ilario in Port'Aurea (7th century), now the Museum of the Arch of Trajan; the Cathedral, whose original structure dates back to the century. VIII; the Lombard Walls; the Rocca dei Rettori (14th century). Of great interest as a contemporary work is the Hortus Conclusus by the Samnite master Mimmo Paladino.
The network of new museum centers is notable and widespread throughout the province, which enriches the traditional cultural offer of the Sannio Museum and offers an engaging itinerary in which one can range from the historical-archaeological field to the productive one (agricultural, food and wine and artisanal) : the Paleo-Lab, a multimedia geo-paleontological museum created within the Pietraroja geo-paleontological park (known for the discovery of the fossil of a baby dinosaur called “Ciro”); the Musa, in Benevento, an educational museum-laboratory of peasant civilization and agricultural machinery; the Museum of Time, in San Marco dei Cavoti, which houses tower clocks from 1400; the Meg, in Solopaca, a museum and research center on the topic of nutrition/health; Arcos, contemporary art museum, in Benevento; the Geobiolab – European Naturality Laboratory, in Benevento; the Archaeological Museum of Sannio Caudino, in Montesarchio; the Ceramics Museum, in Cerreto Sannita, bearing witness to an ancient and valuable artisan tradition.
In the province you can visit towns with fascinating historic centres, such as Sant'Agata dei Goti, Cusano Mutri, Guardia Sanframondi and Cerreto Sannita; villages dominated by fortresses and castles; rural landscapes of rare beauty, such as in the Telesina Valley, in the Fortore, in the Alto Tammaro and among the slopes of the Beneventan Hills; places of high spiritual and religious significance, such as Padre Pio's Pietrelcina, with the museum and the birthplace of the Saint; Natural parks with an immense flora and fauna heritage on the Taburno-Camposauro and Matese mountains. Finally, a dense network of paths and sheep tracks allows the practice of naturalistic and sporting hiking.
A strong point of Samnite tourism is the food and wine offer. Restaurants, farmhouses and trattorias everywhere offer traditional dishes of the local cuisine, embellished with excellent typical products such as the famous nougats of Benevento and S. Marco, the Annurca apple, the pecorino cheeses, the Caciocavallo Silano and the Caciocavallo di Castelfranco in Miscano, Laticauda sheep meat and Marchigiana breed beef, honey, cured meats, wines (almost half of the entire Campania wine production) with the excellent production of Aglianico and Falanghina and the presence of other high-quality DOC and IGT quality, extra virgin olive oil with Protected Designation of Origin. A true paradise of taste.