Last update: 29.07.2016
On the Unity of Italy Benevento was freed from the papal domination by Garibaldi's party during a bloodless mission. By a decree dated 25 October 1860 issued by Giorgio Pallavicini Benevento was declared a Province of Italy.
Important insurrectionay movements were organised in all the territories of the new province against the governmental troops after the foundation of the national government. These movements were repressed by a strong military action that ended in a cruel massacre of the populations of Pontelandolfo and Casalduni (brigandage) by troops of bersagliere led by General Negri.

Among the most important works of the national regime, worth of a note are the monumental Seat of the Government, the Caserma Guidoni, and the recently restored Municipal Park, the green heart of Benevento, created on a project by Alfredo Denhart, already Director of the Botanic Garden of Naples.
After the "Caudine Forks", the Samnites were defeated and conquered by the Romans in the Third Samnite War (298-290 b.C.).
The name of the town, previously Maleventum, was changed by the Romans with an ethimologic straining into Beneventum, in memory of their victory over Pyrrus in 275 b.C. near the boundary wall of the town.
Once entered in the orbit of Rome, Benevento was incuenced not only from the political and administrative points of view, but also from the cultural one. Being also an obligatory passageway to go from Rome, along the Via Appia, to Puglia, Brindisi and then to the Estern Europe, Benevento became a strategic political and economic centre.

Over the centuries, the Romans adorned and enriched the town with important buildings, still visible inside the town boundary walls; the most important buildings of that period are: the Trajan's Arch, the Arch called of Sacramento, ponte Leproso, Ponte Valentino and precious vestiges of the Temple of Isis.
The fall of the Roman Empire started off a period of decline for Benevento, too. It went back to glory under the Longobard domination. At the beginning of this domination with Zottone I, Benevento was a Dukedom; after the decline of the Kingdom of Pavia (774) it was elevated to a Principality by Arechi II: he was a real art and culture -lover and realised several architectural works, including the expansion of the boundary walls wiith the creation of the Civitas Nova (today's Triggio), the Church of St. Sofia, with its particular structure, half circular and half star-shaped; the adjacent Benedectine Monastery with its marvellous cloister. Another important witness of the Longobard period is the Church of S. Ilario, not far from the Trajan's Arch: Arechi's court was an important cultural centre, also thanks to the enlightened mind of Paolo Diacono.

The "Benevento writing" became very important and the "scriptoria" of the Kingdom of Longobards wrote fantastic hagiographical, classical and Liturgical Codes that are still kept in the most important libraries of the world. Moreover, the economy had a substantial boost thanks to the mint introduced to coin money (the golden soldo) Alto the famous legend of the Witches dates back to this period: Longobard soldiers used to meet in a place near Benevento where there was a walnut-tree sacred to God Wothan; while making carousels on horses they would try to pull off the branches goatskins hanging from the sacred tree. Local people transformed with their fantasy the whirling carousels of the cavaliers into dizzy dances of witches. On the Longobards' conversion to Christianity by Bishop Barbato the demoniac walnut-tree was cut down, as a sympbol of the victory of the Saint Bishop over the witches and the devil.
When the last Longobard Prince Landolfo VI died (1077), Benevento went under the Papal domination, which lasted until 1860. In this long period Benevento had changing fortunes: it was first a feud of Federico II and then of Manfredi, who died in 1266, during the battle against Charles of Anjou, and was buried here, "next to the bridge" (Dante, Purgatory, Canto III). It was a feud of the church and administered by a rector first and then by a governor; finally, after the Congress of Vienna it was ruled by an Apostolic Delegate.

In 1806 it was occupied by the troops of Napoleon who elevated it to a rincipality and gave it to Carlo Maurizio Talleyrand, his Minister of Foreign Affairs, who administered it through a Governor. During this domination Benevento was also the cardinal's seat: among the most important names who stayed there we can mention the Cardinal Vincenzio Maria orsini, who was Pope with the name of Benedetto XIII. Pope Benedetto XIII loved Benevento and realised numerous artistic works, including the Rocca dei Rettori, the Cathedral, Palace Paolo V, the Basilica of S. Bartolomeo, the Temple of Madonna delle Grazie.
On the Unity of Italy Benvento was freed from the papal domination by Garibaldi's party during a bloodless mission. By a decree dated 25 October 1860 issued by Giorgio Pallavicini Benevento was declared a Province of Italy.
Important insurrectionay movements were organised in all the territories of the new province against the governmental troops after the foundation of the national government. These movements were repressed by a strong military action that ended in a cruel massacre of the populations of Pontelandolfo and Casalduni (brigandage) by troops of bersagliere led by General Negri.

Among the most important works of the national regime, worth of a note are the monumental Seat of the Government, the Caserma Guidoni, and the recently restored Municipal Park, the green heart of Benevento, created on a project by Alfredo Denhart, already Director of the Botanic Garden of Naples.
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