Gesualdo – the city of Carlo, the Prince of the Musicians
Located in a dominant position, 676 m. above sea level, between the valleys of Ansanto and Ufita, Gesualdo is one of the most characteristic villages of the Province of Avellino, in which stands the majestic castle and in which, between ‘500 and ‘600, lived the “prince of musicians” Carlo Gesualdo, great composer of madrigals and sacred music.
It is distant from the chief town of province little more than 30 km, its territorial extension is of 27,34 kmq and it has a population that exceeds the 3400 inhabitants.
Its patron is Saint Nicholas, who is celebrated on December 6th and the countries with which it borders are Fontanarosa, Frigento, Grottaminarda, Paternopoli and Villamaina.
A bit of history
The area was already frequented by humans many centuries before the birth of Christ but it was the Lombards and Normans who gave the imprint of the urban layout that built the Gesualdo we see today. The first ones also laid the foundations of the famous castle, a majestic building that rises from a spur of rock that forms the town.
But the name of the place is inextricably linked to the life of its most famous prince: Charles.
Here the madrigalist lived the last years of his life, transforming the ancient defensive structure in an elegant palace worthy of the most famous courts and in which he welcomed men of letters and artists such as Torquato Tasso. To those years date back also the construction of the convent of the Dominicans and that of the Capuchins.
Along all the renaissance Gesualdo saw the building of palaces and churches, buildings that today compose the historical nucleus of the country and that they make of this suburb one of the centers of cultural attraction more important of the province of Avellino.
What to see in Gesualdo
Among the many attractions that can be admired in this village, can not miss a visit:
– The Castle: built, according to some sources, in the Lombard era, the building is located in a dominant point on the valley of Fredane-Calore. It rises in the ancient part of the country and preserves inside imprints of Norman and Angevin origin. Among the many things that can be admired is the fresco of the ‘500 depicting “The Madonna and Child“, the courtyard and the Permanent Exhibition of Musical Instruments of Carlo Gesualdo.
– The Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie: the church, with the adjoining
Capuchin convent, was built by Carlo Gesualdo in 1592. Besides having inside the famous painting by Giovanni Balducci “The forgiveness of Carlo Gesualdo“, the church is famous because, inside the adjacent convent, in November 1909, Saint Pio from Pietralcina stayed there.
In fact, today, it is possible to visit the cell where the Capuchin monk lived and a Museum with inside preserved the relics and the testimonies of the passage of the saint with the stigmata.
– Piazza Umberto I: here together with the monumental fountain, among the structures stands “Il Cappellone”, a particular building work to be attributed to Domenico Ludovisi and his son Nicolò, who completed it in 1736. Inside you can admire the canvas of the Palio, celebrating the reconciliation between Carlo and Emanuele Gesualdo.
What to eat in Gesualdo
There are many traditional dishes of Gesualdo. Surely, however, you cannot make a trip here without tasting a dish of Fusilli e cauzun’ (fussilli and ravioli with ricotta cheese), of Laghene e fasule (tagliatelle and beans), or of Cecarocquele e vruoccole (Cavatelli and broccoli). Other typical dishes are: Pizza Jonna (cornmeal pie), Menestra Ammaretata (Vegetables with pieces of meat) and Paparott co li paparul sicc (Polenta and peppers).
Festivities and recurrences in Gesualdo
The irpinian country offers many occasions of meeting, some famous in the whole province of Avellino. They must be remembered:
– The flight of the angel: sacred representation held in honor of St. Vincent Ferreri on the last Sunday of August;
– Saperi & Sapori: food and wine festival and cultural event that involves the historical center in the month of August;
– Gesualdo Folkevent: review of popular music and beer festival that is organized in the last week of August;
– Gesualdo Expone: the fair of food and crafts.
Our activities in Gesualdo
Among the various proposals of eiTRAVEL, those involving this Irpinian village are various. Among these we point out “Discovering the Village of Gesualdo“, the experience that allows you to know this place under all aspects, with a tour that will make you immerse in the culture and traditions of this corner of Irpinia.