Nature, Culture and Cellars
“Est locus Italiae medio sub montibus altis, nobilis et fame multis memoratus in oris, Amsancti valles” …
In this quotation, taken from Book VII of the Aeneid, Virgil names the Ansanto Valley in Irpinia, where a mysterious place stands for centuries believed to be the passage from earth to the underworld. This is the Mefite, an area known to the ancients for the presence of a lake of the same name, characterized by the exhalations of sulphurous gases coming from the subsoil.
This is just the beginning of a journey that will take us to spend the night in the center of Gesualdo, in Irpinia.
Here Prince Carlo Gesualdo, a madrigalist musician who lived in the century. XVI, found the right inspiration to compose his very special and nostalgic music, still stimulating the imagination of directors and writers on the events of his life.
The magic of green Irpinia will introduce us to splendid medieval jewels such as the Goleto Abbey, the sources of the Ofanto river and the delightful romantic village of Rocca San Felice.
What is not included?
Day 1 - Gesualdo
Arrival in Gesualdo (Av) and check-in at the B&B Zembalo. A welcome drink is provided for guests. The accommodation is located in the center of the town where it is possible to move around on foot.
Guided tour of the ancient village and the grandiose castle of Gesualdo; visit of the splendid Palazzo Pisapia and the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, known for preserving the famous painting "The forgiveness of Carlo Gesualdo" whose authorship is traced back to the artist Giovanni Balducci.
Lunch at the restaurant "Da Peppino". We will have lunch in a restaurant with a panoramic terrace overlooking the Fredane Valley and the town. Family-run restaurant with typical Irpinia cuisine.
We will visit the Cantina Fiorentino, in the village of Paternopoli (AV), built with bio-architecture techniques in local chestnut wood. The entire production cycle will be covered, from the arrival of the grapes to the barrel cellar. Tasting of a selection of wines accompanied by snacks based on typical local cheeses and meats.
"La Pergola" is located in the countryside at the foot of the village of Gesualdo. La Pergola is the pivot of the Mesali Association, founded in 2006. It is made up of a group of Irpinia and non-local restaurateurs, united by the desire to enhance the territory, culture, products and traditions. In the local dialect, Mesali literally means tablecloths, a symbol of hospitality. Here you can experience the good food tasted in the right environment and the right time, accompanied by a great welcome, the true Slow Food philosophy..
We recommend a stop at the town square and then cross and visit the countless alleys where you can walk and meditate accompanied by the quiet of the night.
Day 2 - Rocca San Felice and Goleto Abbey
After breakfast, arrival at Mefite (free parking), naturalistic site, historical and archaeological site with a small sulphurous lake. Meeting with "Osco", an archaic character and expert guide, who will accompany us through the suggestive "Valley of Death", where sulphurous gases are released (access only with expert guides and when the winds are favorable; never alone). The walk continues through an enchanted forest, rich in ferns and endemic and rare flora, where works of art in the open air, created and donated by Osco are exhibited.
Transfer by car to Rocca San Felice, visit the ancient village with the small archaeological museum and climb to the ancient castle (la Rocca), where you can enjoy a magnificent 360 ° panorama over the Fredane River Valley.
A food and wine experience in a typical restaurant, typical products and traditional dishes to get to know the authenticity of the place.
From Sant’Angelo you will then reach the San Guglielmo district where the guided tour of the splendid Abbey and the monastic citadel with double monastery (female and male), founded by San Guglielmo in the 12th century, will begin. The Abbey is based on Roman remains and was destroyed several times by earthquakes, but always rebuilt. We are near the sources of the Ofanto river, facing the Picentini mountain range (southern Apennines). After the visit, return to the hotel and greetings at the end of the experience.