Caposele – A journey among water, history and faith
The commune of Caposele is one of the most characteristic centers of the province of Avellino. Distant little more than 50 km from the chief town, it is situated to the slopes of the Picentini Mounts, in the tall Valley of the Sele to 405 m s.l.m. It confines is with countries irpini as Bagnoli Irpino, Calabritto, Conza of the Campania, Lioni and Teora, is with communes of the province of Salerno as Castelnuovo di Conza (SA), Laviano (SA) and Valva (SA).
The present population is of 3371 inhabitants and its surface covers 41 square kilometers.
It preserves natural beauties and cultural attractions that make it one of the most beautiful towns to be discovered for the lovers of environment, history and good food.
A bit of history
According to some studies, Caposele would have been founded during the period of the wars between Rome and the Samnites and would have seen, in these parts, even the ruinous defeat of Spartacus, which according to the historian Paolo Orosio, would have happened “at the source of the Sele”. There are many archaeological evidences that tell us that these places were widely frequented in Roman times, especially for the great presence of spring waters.
In the following period, the first news are from the Norman era, where they talk about the feud of Caposele and in ‘500 there are the first news of a church dedicated to “Mater Domini“.
What to see in Caposele
– Sorgenti del Sele: Already the name of the place makes us understand how central the role of this waterway is for the town. Here, in fact, is born one of the most important rivers of the Italian territory: the Sele. The waters that compose its flow come from the Cervialto Mount. These waters, flowing towards Caposele, near Mount Paflagone go to feed the Spring of Sanità, located at 420 m above sea level and then be collected in the bed of the Spring Tredogge, thus giving rise to the course of the river Sele.
The average flow rate of the river is about 4000 l/s.
– River Park: the protected area entirely dedicated to the Sele river. Here you can make a path, on foot or by bike, which starts from the locality Tredogge up to the source Santa Lucia. Along the way you will be surrounded by an uncontaminated nature, where you can observe both the fauna and the flora typical of the place.
– Pugliese Aqueduct: one of the first reinforced concrete works built in Italy that provides water to an entire region. Started in 1906, the structure protects the water catchment facilities. Here are the maneuvering chambers and the original 1909 locks still in working order. From here, from the rock of the Pavoncelli gallery, with the “km 0” starts a route that arrives, thanks to the majestic engineering work, to Santa Maria di Leuca in Puglia.
– Regional Park of Monti Picentini: Caposele is part of the Regional Park of Monti Picentini, established in 1995, a territory falling between the provinces of Avellino and Salerno. A real sanctuary of uncontaminated nature and fauna to observe. The area, calcareous-dolomitic, has as its highest point the peak of Cervialto, at 1810 meters and are part of the Park the natural oasis of Monte Polveracchio, the natural oasis Valle della Caccia and the plateau of Laceno.
– Museum of Leonardo: unicum of the province of Avellino, Caposele has the privilege of hosting a museum dedicated to the genius par excellence: Leonardo da Vinci. The museum itinerary, where you can admire the reproductions of the projects designed by Leonardo, was built on the four elements present in nature: water, air, fire and earth. The consultancy for the realization and design of the permanent exhibition has been entrusted to the Laboratory of Scenography of PUSA University.
– Sanctuary of San Gerardo: it is said that here, in the Middle Ages, an apparition of the Madonna caused the construction of a first building of worship, dedicated to the “Mother of God”.
With the passing of time, the structure expanded to accommodate the convent, still there today, of the Redemptorists. Right here, then, on October 16, 1755, after a life made of prayer and miracles, San Gerardo Maiella died, and here he was buried. Today the sanctuary is a pilgrimage destination, with millions of believers moving every year to pray at the tomb of the saint, located in the ancient church that in 1930 was elevated to the rank of minor basilica.
Inside the religious complex it is possible to visit the Gerardino museum, inside which are collected paintings and memorabilia donated by the faithful, which tell the story of the brother coadjutor who was made a saint in 1904. In addition to the museum, you can admire the “sala dei fiocchi” (room of the bows) totally adorned with blue and pink bows, gifts from mothers in recognition of the saint who, among other things, is the protector of women in labor and children.
What to eat in Caposele
The typical products are those linked to the culinary tradition of the high Irpinia. In particular here in Caposele are famous the Matasse, typical handmade pasta with flour of durum wheat and soft wheat. The typical shape, made of filaments of different thickness and length, make them perfectly match with the typical condiment made of fried chickpeas, garlic and dried peppers slightly spicy.
Besides this dish, typical of the gastronomic tradition of Caposele are the Muffletto, fresh bread whose dough is made of potatoes and flour, whose softness and delicate taste make it a real specialty, and the amaretto caposelese, cookie with the typical taste of toasted hazelnuts.
Festivities and recurrences of Caposele
The main festivities of Caposele are:
– Feast of San Gerardo, held on the first Sunday of September and on October 16th;
– Festival of fusilli and skeins, summer event
–Unalberopertutti, with the lighting of the highest tree in Europe;
– Feast of Sick, which is celebrated on April 25;
– Feast of mothers and children, the last Sunday of May;
– Feast of San Lorenzo Martire, feast of the patron saint which is celebrated on the last Sunday of August;
– Bonfire of Sant’Antonio, traditional recurrence that is held on June 13;
– Fair of Saint Lucy, on May 13
– Day of your Saint and associations gerardine, which is held on June 2;
– Solemn ostension of the Body of San Gerardo, religious event that takes place starting from the second Friday of the month of December.
Our activities in Caposele
Among the many activities proposed by eiTRAVEL, there are some that involve the town of Caposele in the province of Avellino. Among these, one of the most particular is surely “The path of the 7 fountains”, a trekking route that will take the traveler inside the uncontaminated nature of these places, discovering the stories and the legends about the famous 7 fountains.