Venafro is the second city of the province of Irsenia and spreads across the foothills of Mount Santa Croce which has a peak of 1026 metres. Although the city suffered heavy bombardment during World War II and was severely damaged by an earthquake in 1987 it still retains much of its original architecture.
The old historic centre, which was originally Roman, is walled and dominated by the Castle Pandone. The magnificent tall buildings in the old town have shops and businesses on the lower floors while the upper floors are residential.
Castle Pandone - orginally built in the 10th century with three circular towers being added in the 14th century and a moat in the 15th century. Part of the interior is now an art gallery with paintings and works of art that have been gathered up from abandoned and closed churches in the area.
Venafro Cathedral - dates back to the 5th century but has had many renovations over the years.
A large village with good examples of medieval style architecture and nineteen churches. The thing it is most famous for is the manufacture of bells with the Marinelli Bell Foundry being one of the oldest companies in the world. The same family have been running the foundry for one thousand years and made the bell for the Leaning Tower of Pisa. They have a musuem with a good display of the history of bells and you are also able to watch skilled craftsmen making them.
Cerro al Volturno
Only 25 km from the city of Isernia this unusual small, medieval mountain village is located right in the heart of the rugged Volturno Valley.
Twenty kilometres east of the city of Isernia, Frosolone is famous for its production of knives and scissors. There is a museum dedicated to the traditions of this craft and a statue in the centre of the town reminding everyone of the great lineage of blacksmiths in the village.
It was almost destroyed in 146 it was the epicentre of an earthquake. The village was hit by an earthquake again in 1805 when all the buildings in the town were destroyed and 518 people were killed.
This interesting, historical village is situated at the bottom of a group of towering rocks called 'Morg Caraceni'. On the outskirts of Pietrabbondante, at almost 1000 metres above sea level, are the remains of a Samsonite religious complex. This consisted of a theatre, a temple and two arcaded buildings on each side. Work is said to have started on this complex during the 2nd century BC but it was not finished until 95 AD. It was built to accommodate recreational activites as well as being a place of worship.
Once famous for the production of bagpipes, this village now draws visitors to its bagpipe museum (Il Museo della Zampogna) and to its bagpipe festival in the summer. This festival is held annually in July and attracts pipers from all around the world who come and perform during the festivities.
Castel San Vincenzo
This small village is a popular tourist spot in the summer months due to its proximity to the Monastery of San Vincenzo al Volturno and the adjoining lake. Capracotta Lying at 1,421 meters above sea level this is the highest village in the Apennines and the third highest in Italy. It is an important ski resort and is renowned for alpine skiing and cross-country skiing. The Italian cross country championships were held there in 1997.
Limosano is a totally unique medieval hilltop village with the external structure of the houses remaining totally unchanged while the interiors have all been modernised. Guardialfiera An ancient village built on a hillside overlooking the artificial Lake Guardialfiera. The main church, Santa Maria Assunta, dates back to the 11th century and was built from 7th century stones, many of which have Pagan and Early Christian engravings.
Like many other towns in Italy now, particularly in the south, Larino is really two small towns, the old town and the new town. The new town here actually has a different name, Piano San Leonardo, and is built on the side of a mountain. The old town, when seen from above, is shaped like the wing of a bird.
There is a first century Roman amphitheatre built into a natural depression in the terrrain and which could seat up to 12,000 people.
The 10th century cathedral is considered to be one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in Italy.
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