Tenuta Maglietta oil

molise

History of our territory

MOLISE, A LAND OF HISTORY AND TRADITIONS

The history of Molise is that of a region dominated since antiquity by the Samnites. During the 3rd century BC, the Romans invaded it, creating colonies in some already inhabited areas (Larinum, today’s Larino, Saepium, today’s Sepino and Aesernia, today’s Isernia-Venafro). Once the Western Roman Empire no longer existed it came under the control of the Longobard Duchy of Benevento. The name Molise is thought to derive from the Latin mola (mill) and the suffix ensis.

HISTORY AND TRADITIONS OF THE TOWN OF LARINO

Among the monuments that the Frentana town of Larino offers visitors there are The Amphitheatre, the Cathedral and the Ducal Palace.

THE AMPHITHEATRE

The construction of the Amphitheatre dates back to around AD 80-150. Today, only the arena with the podium and the ambulatory structures of the first order, i.e. a connecting space, are visible to the visitor.  The building could accommodate up to 18,000 spectators. It was used for gladiator fights and hunting shows. Inside, four main gates could be found. The main one was the one to the north also called the ‘Gladiator Gate’ through which the winning gladiators exited. The west and east gates were side entrances through which spectators entered the arena. The southern gate was the one through which the bodies of the slain gladiators were transported. The seating inside the Amphitheatre was divided according to social classes. The lower tiers were reserved for the nobility, the upper tiers for wealthy families, while the poorer people were forced to sit on the higher tiers where visibility was poor. During the Middle Ages it lost its original function and was used as a burial place.

THE CATHEDRAL

Another iconic monument in the town of Larino is the Romanesque cathedral built around the 13th century and recognised nationally through the EXPO in the Italian Pavilion. The date of its consecration in 1319 can be seen inside the lintel of the central portal made in Gothic characters. On the upper façade of the church, characterised by Romanesque elements, we can admire the central rose window with thirteen rays. Inside the Cathedral can be found the relics of St. Pardo and St. Primiano. On the outside, we can note the Bell Tower with an imponent pointed arch dating back to 1451.

THE DUCAL PALACE

The last historical building is the Palazzo Ducale. It is located in the historical centre of the city of Larino and is accessible by a wide staircase leading to a porticoed atrium.  Its foundation can be traced back to a period between 1100 and 1200. It was only in 1800 that the palace was purchased by the municipality of the Larino.  It currently accommodates the Town Hall, the Civic Museum, the Municipal Library and the offices of the municipality. Three splendid mosaics can be admired inside the Civic Museum: that of the She-wolf, one of the Lion and one of the Birds.  The She-wolf mosaic is from the 3rd century AD. It depicts a she-wolf with a tiger’s fur while suckling twins.

CELEBRATION OF ST. PARDO

One of the historical traditions of the city of Larino is the Festival in honour of San Pardo, which for more than 100 years has been celebrated on 25, 26 and 27 May.  

On 25 May at around 5.30 p.m., a procession of 120 carts departs from the historical centre. Among them are some small ones pulled by children. After taking the statue of St Primiano to the cemetery, the carts return to the Historical City Centre accompanied by torchlight. 

On the morning of 26 May, the carts gather in front of the cathedral to begin the procession through the narrow streets of the Old Town, which put the oxen’s endurance to the test.

27 May is the final day.  At around 10 a.m., the carts leave the cathedral and make their way to the cemetery, where St Primian will be escorted back. Here the traditional picnic takes place. The three-day festival ends with the return of the saints to the cathedral.