Along the Appian Way and the Volturno River, a very green land meets non-conformist travelers: dense forests of oaks, chestnuts, oases and nature reserves, classical and Romanesque vestiges. To which are the counterpoint orchards and vineyards where forgotten fruits and centenary vines are recovered
Italy owes to Campania international tourist notoriety and testimony of ancient foods. Our thoughts turn to Amalfi coast it's at Capri. Maybe to Ischia? In truth, for over two thousand years it has been synonymous with a sparkling and cosmopolitan holiday Baia Domizia, in the northernmost part of the region. Until the seventies of the last century it was easy to meet celebrities from music and entertainment, but also avant-garde artists. Crowds of swimmers from Scandinavian countries reached Baia Domizia, so much so that topless customs were cleared on these beaches.
In Campania, the first Doc in the world
Although the official arrival is of 1989, This is where the first is to be sought Doc to the world: the ancient Romans in fact certified Falerno with the area of origin and the year with sealing wax to close the amphorae. To taste it you have to go to the territory of Cellole: after centuries the Falerno severus, fortis, ardens has found its splendor in the countryside and hills near the sea thanks to the Villa Matilde Avallone company. The founder, Francesco Paolo Avallone, discovered in the 1950s the screws descendants from some glorious grapes that escaped the filossera: Aglianico and Piedirosso for the Falerno Rosso Doc, Falanghina for the Falerno Bianco Doc. Try the crus Vigna Camarato and Vigna Caracci. You can book the Torre Falerno room, created inside a former grain silos, in the Locanda del Falerno farmhouse, which the two children Maria Ida and Salvatore now manage, the ideal starting point for this journey to discover Campania Felix.
In Campania, among Romanesque remains, wines and grappas
Those interested in the glories of the Roman people immediately take a look, agreeing with the Municipality of Cellole, To the nearby Villa di San Limato for the famous mosaic floor. Going along the Via Appia Antica, the Regina Viarum, you can follow the signs for Falciano del Massico. And Regina Viarum is also the name of the cellar where to discover the third Falerno del Massico Doc, obtained from Primitivo grapes. Here we uncork the cru Vigna Barone: glasses with a dark red color, spicy and licorice aromas are obtained from strains over 70 years of age, not very productive. Herbaceous notes instead distinguish the grappa obtained from fresh pressed pomace: a treat for gourmand.
Face to face with nature
There is no lack of opportunities for those who want to dedicate themselves tophysical activity in contact with nature, by choosing one of the paths in theWWF Oasis of Monte Massico or in the Natural Reserve of Lake Falciano del Massico, of volcanic origin. In the vicinity, in season, you can see many variety of fruits forget that Vincenzo Azzurretti cultivates on his farm: from percoca Puteolana at the plum Sugar stone. TO Carinola and in the nearby village of Ventaroli, those who loveRomanesque art: the unmissable frescoes in the apse of the basilica of Santa Maria in Foro Claudio respond to the capitals of the cathedral. It takes a few minutes to reach Teano, on the slopes of the extinct volcano Roccamonfina. History books report it as the place of the meeting between Giuseppe Garibaldi and Vittorio Emanuele II, but it is the Roman theatre to deserve a stop.
Between hazelnuts, woods and good food
If time isn't running out, it's worth going up to the Cavallerizza complex and enjoy the landscape on the center and the countryside. It is precisely the countryside that reserves another delicious stage with the Mortarelle hazelnuts and i chickpeas, beige, wrinkled and very small, used to dress hand-pulled tagliolini with black pork sausage, Caserta Pelatello, and tomato. Calvi Risorta is a history book to be explored in the open: from the ruins of Cales to the crypt of the cathedral, to the painted caves. Those lucky enough to participate in particular occasions can hope to taste a ancient local dessert, the caleno glove, a pancake flavored with anisette and lemon.
Stop for a tasting in the cellar
Along winding roads surrounded by dense forests of chestnut trees of the Ufarella variety, which tradition wants to be used in soup with porcini and beans, the route leads to Pontelatone, place of origin of Casavecchia grape variety, perhaps the same from which Pliny the Elder noted the Trebulum wine. The Casavecchia di Pontelatone, Doc since 2011, it is distinguished by its intense and persistent aroma, the dry and soft flavor which is followed by sensations of licorice, carob and undergrowth. From the room of tasting of the cellar of Giuseppe Chigi, president of the Casavecchia Wine Route, you can see the medieval tower of Pontelatone, where the vine was recovered at the beginning of the twentieth century. The return to the past continues in the hamlet Treglia, the ancient Trebula, with an easy walk around the cyclopean walls built by the Samnites. The imposing access door recalls the great entrance to the Greek city of Mycenae. Those on the hunt for strong tastes, on the other hand, stop at Strangolagalli, A village of Castel di Sasso.
Wines, cheeses, pizza and tourism
In the Le Campestre farmhouse owned by Manuel Lombardi and his family, the surprise is that Casavecchia is used in the tanning of a cheese, the Roman Conciato. The sheep's cheese are placed in amphorae closed with cork together with chili pepper, thyme serpillo, oil of variety Caiazzana And wine Old house: an ancient method of conservation, already used by the Romans. In the afternoon there is time to stroll along the paving of the historic center of Caiazzo, full of buildings with stone portals from the Aragonese period before settling in Pepe in Grani, the Franco Pepe's pizzeria, considered by the Pulitzer Prize winner Jonathan Gold the best pizza chef in the world. Those who prefer nature trails continue towards Alvignanello, along the Volturno. You can choose a path along the bends of the river staring at the images of egrets and gray herons while the more daring prefer the crossing aboard the otter, flat-bellied boat used until the 1980s. At the end you will find hospitality in the caves, the cellars dug into the rock, with a glass of Casavecchia and Caserta Pelatello sausage thanks to the CSI Association of Alvignanello which organizes trekking days on foot and on horseback.
Last stages: Limatola, Caserta and the Belvedere of San Leucio
It takes 20 minutes to reach from here Limatola along the Volturno. After visiting the workshop of the sculptor Gino Rispoli and the Castle, you can follow the scent of the annurca apple, of uniform red color and crunchy pulp, towards the apple orchards by Biagio Testa. You have to walk the quiet streets of Caserta Vecchia, the Duomo and the Castle, before facing one of the Italian wonders, Caserta. For the story of the solo Royal Palace the entire pages of the journey made up to now would be needed. Beauty lovers, if they can, end the tour at the Belvedere of San Leucio. Not far away is the Antiche Leuciane artisan shop to revive the textile splendor of this small great capital of world tourism.
by Riccardo Lagorio
top photo by Gianniblues / Alamy / IPA
of Sale & Pepe
Villa Matilde Avallone
Via Domitiana, 18
Vincenzo Azzurretti Farm
Via Direttissima, 5
Falciano del Massico (CE)
Via Vellaria, Traversa I
Falciano del Massico (CE)
Il Casolare dairy
Via Olivella, 12
Biagio Testa Farm
Via Sant'Antonio, 11
The Cacciagalli by Diana Iannaccone
Le Campestre farmhouse
Castel Di Sasso (CE)
pepper in grains
Vico San Giovanni Battista, 3
Shops and other activities
Via Volturno, 13
Alvignanello di Ruviano (CE)
Piazza Trattoria, 1
San Leucio, Caserta
Gino Rispoli Sculptures
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