3 minutes reading time Italy
If you have already been to the South of Italy, you have nonetheless ever heard of Benevento. Probably it’s because it is a small and hidden city and despite being in a very convenient location it is not really advertised. However, the city is full of historic reminders of past epochs. If you are curious about how people in the past used to live, and how they were able to construct a city from the ruins of the previous epoch, you should definitely visit it.
It is suitable for a stop when leaving Naples or before heading to Southern destinations (especially Apulia).
When you come there you should expect a nice but quiet city, with many historical evidence: churces, walls, buildings – even a Roman theatre and a Roman Arch. If you want to find a little of ancient Rome, shuffled with medieval times, but with a small hint of Egpyt, then you are in the right place. And there’s still space for contemporary art lovers!
Top sights include Roman Theatre, Roman Amphitheatre, Saint Sofia Church, Trajan’s Arch, Rocca dei Rettori. All of them and more sights are to be found in the same area, which corresponds to the city centre. In this way a nice walk (2-3 hours) covers most of the city. If you would like to make your tour longer, a visit to a residential yet characteristic district could be added. And not to forget that there are at least three different museums you could add to your visit.
Best season to visit Benevento is late spring or summer. Then you could find many people around, you will have a chance to stay longer in the main public parc – called Villa Comunale – which has closing times during winter. Moreover, in late spring and summer you could have a chance to see small local artisan markets and attend a variety of cultural events. However, if you prefer to travel in winter, Christmas season should be preferred. The city is transformed with a cozy atmosphere due to public lights and Christmas market.
If you come by train, you are very close to the city centre. After ten minutes walk you will face the so called Duomo, which is the most important christian church in town. Recently rebuilt, it has historical evidence even in the basement. For 3 euros you get access to the basement tour that includes a sight of what remains from the previous buildings.
After the first impression with history, you just turn your face and see the start of the main road of the city – Corso Garibaldi – that connects all the most important sights.
Points Not to Miss
First of all, you’ll stop at S. Sophia’s church. Heritage of UNESCO which contains elements of different epochs. From ancient Rome columns to medieval sculpture,everything is harmonised in the construction. Other points include Roman Theatre and Trajan’s Arch, which is a Roman Arch telling the story of a former emperor. This Arch is the emblematic sight of the city.
If you want to spend more time and are a fan of museums, you should not miss the museum of contemporary art (ARCOS), Samnium Museum and Hortus Conclusus. The latter is dedicated to contemporary art and consists of a small garden full of artworks.