Benevento: between history and legend. Discovering the beautiful city of Campania.
Benevento is an elegant provincial town, nestled sly overlooking a valley, surrounded by the Apennine hills, one of which takes on the appearance of a sweet female figure, in a reclining position, known as the “Sleeper”.
The City of Witches
Benevento is also known as the “City of Witches“. The legend, born during the Lombard domination, enriched with more and different details. It seems that, just outside the city walls, the Lombard warriors, devoted to the god Wothan, they used to meet around a walnut tree on which hung a goatskin which then tore to shreds, turning around. Locals watched with terror their demonic ritual. As time passes these magic rites were attributed to evil women who gathered around the walnut tree in an orgy of banquets, dances and songs. Even today the myth of the witch lives in a good local alcoholic beverage, that takes its name and icon.
Between art and history
Benevento is not just ancient superstition and popular beliefs; the city lives a past rich in art and history: its monuments are the testimony of the Roman, Pontifical and Lombard domains succeeded over the centuries. Walking through the old town, very nice, we admire in particular:
- Trajan’s Arch, the symbol of the capital, built in honor of the Emperor Trajan at the inauguration of the Appian Way, is a well-preserved evidence of Roman civilization, as well as the Roman Theatre;
- the Church of St. Sophia, listed among the UNESCO World Heritage List, one of the most important Lombard monuments on the Italian peninsula;
- the Fortress of Rectors, architectural evidence of the Pontifical period, majestic castle built on a former Lombard site.
Benevento definitely worth a visit to learn about a reality full of history and charm; a destination outside the usual routes but certainly able to surprise the visitor.