Ariano Irpino is a town in Campania.
Ariano Irpino lies upon the Irpinian Apennines and is almost centred between the Adriatic Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea. Its population is roughly 22,200 and its elevation is 788 metres (2,585 ft) above sea level, which brings the town a mild climate in summer and some snow in winter.
It used to be called Ariano or weirdly Ariano di Puglia ("Apulian Ariano"), although it was never part of Apulia. The town is also known as la Città del Tricolle ("the City of the Three Knolls") because it towers on three rounded hills. Ariano Irpino was legally granted the status of città ("city") in 1952.
The official and most widely spoken language in Ariano Irpino is Italian. A variety of Irpinian dialect (similar to Neapolitan) is used too. English is the most commonly spoken foreign language, although the average knowledge of English is far from excellent.
Naples International Airport (NAP IATA) (Aeroporto Internazionale di Napoli, also known as Capodichino Airport) is 100 km away from the town, which is easily accessible via A16 highway. From the airport you can also take an AIR bus for €5; you should buy your ticket at a bar or a kiosk specifying the destination ("Ariano Irpino"). There are several AIR buses on working days and Saturdays, but only a few on Sundays.
Alternatively you can arrive at Napoli Centrale train station and take an AIR bus to Ariano Irpino. You can also get to Foggia railway station and there take an AIR bus to Ariano Irpino, but on working days only.
- 1 Ariano Irpino railway station (Stazione di Ariano Irpino).
AIR bus daily connects the town with Naples, Avellino, Benevento and, on working days, Foggia too. Two companies (Caputo bus, Caruccio bus) connect the town with Rome-Tiburtina train station, but only Caputo arrives right at the Ariano Irpino terminal, while Caruccio stops in the suburbs only.
Ariano Irpino is directly connected with the A16 highway by Grottaminarda junction. The trip takes generally less than 2 hours from Naples or Bari, and at most 3 hours from Rome. Alternatively you can follow the SS 90 road for Foggia and take there the A14 highway for Pescara-Bologna.
Except at peak hours, traffic is flowing and parking is easy and cheap. Most distances in the historic centre are small and can be walked in a matter of minutes: only remember to always look left for incoming cars or motorbikes because circulation follows European standards.
The bus terminal is a 10-minute walk-away, but you can conveniently use the intermediate stops.
There is also Circolare, an urban bus service that connects all points of the town (except the train station), but the frequency is poor (1 every hour on weekdays, 1 every 2 hours on holidays); you will pay €1.20 if you buy the ticket onboard the bus, but only €1 if you buy it at an authorized selling point or tobacco shops (Tabaccheria, easily identified by a big white "T" on a rectangular black field). In any case the validity is one hour.
Despite wars and earthquakes the town retains several historic buildings and ancient sights.
- 1 Cathedral (Cattedrale di Santa Maria Assunta), Piazza Duomo. The Romanesque cathedral preserves a High-Medieval baptismal font, various artistic works and a silver museum, while nearby are the bishop's palace, many other churches, the diocesan museum and the museum dedicated to Giuseppina Arcucci, founder of the Congregation of the Holy Spirit's nuns.
- 2 Norman Castle (Castello Normanno), Piazza Lusi, ☏ . Tu-Su 10:30-12:30, 17:00-19:00. Founded by the Lombards, this castle became very important under the Normans, when it was the head of a powerful county; there did King Roger II stay and there he held the Assizes of Ariano and coined the ducat. Later the castle was remodeled by the Aragonese and today houses the museum of Norman civilization. All around the castle there is a wide and panoramic public park.
- 3 Palazzo San Giacomo, Via Tranesi. On a cliff overlooking the Irpinian valleys, it used to be a hospital. Thereabouts were many ancient majolica furnaces, and nowadays the building houses a permanent exhibition of majolica art.
- 4 Palazzo Forte, Via D'Afflitto. Home of the European Center for Norman Studies, and the Archaeological, Civic & Ceramics Museum. The town has a long, ancient history and is still a center of ceramics manufacturing.
- 5 Palazzo Bevere, Via Mancini. It is a majestic building that in 18th century was converted into a high-school complex. Today it hosts a branch of the University of Samnium.
In the verdant countryside there are the sanctuary of Our Lady of Valleluogo (who appeared to a shepherdess there, near a mill) and the shrine of Saint Liberatore martyr, both ancient.
Halfway between the Romanesque Cathedral and the Norman Castle, along via Tribunali street, there is the Communal Cinema-Theatre. Instead the nightclubs are in the suburbs, along the statal road.
BioGeM is a university consortium based in Ariano Irpino. Its campus runs master's degrees in biomedical, biochemical and bio-juridical fields. The town is also home to Pegaso e-learning university and the European Center for Norman Studies.
An employment office is available along SS-90 statal road, but if you want to find a job in a short time ask around at the hotels, restaurants, bars and shops. However, learning Italian is a worthwhile activity if you plan to stay in Ariano Irpino for any length of time.
In the historic center there is plenty of small and typical shops, among which the traditional majolica ones stand out. There are important fairs on Palm Sunday, on Sunday in Albis, on June 13th, on July 16th and on November 1st. The weekly market takes place on Wednesday.
Large distribution chains find a place in the outskirts, with two big fairs: on the second Sunday of May in Cardito suburb, and on the first Sunday of August in Martiri suburb.
The thematic fairs, on a variable basis, take place in a modern structure 8 km from the center, along the S.S. 90 Dir (information on Fiere della Campania).
- La Pignata, a high level restaurant near the bus terminal, offers many typical local products.
- San Domenico, another medium-level restaurant, is just in front of the police station.
- Agrodolce Zincone, the most convenient bistro in the historical center, next to the Romanic Cathedral
- Pizzerias, delis, rotisseries and pastry shops are everywhere, whereas agritourism accomodations are numerous in the countryside.
The typical place for nightlife movida is around the bars and cafes on Piazza Pasteni, at the terminal bus, becoming busy after about 22:00. If you want to venture to the outskirts of the city, there are many clubs and discos along the statal road.
- 1 Suore dello Spirito Santo (Sisters of Holy Spirit), Via Mancini 16 (behind the town hall building), ☏ , fax: , ✉ email@example.com. Cheap hostel with refectory, inside a monastery, in the middle of the historic center. The nuns speak English fluently.
A few luxury hotels are instead in the suburbs, along the statal road.
The town has a free network of public Wi-Fi access, which covers several areas in the historic center with each area being indicated by a special signal.
All around the town there are several medieval villages, each of them with only hundreds or, at most, a few thousand inhabitants. Among them, Zungoli, Savignano Irpino and Greci better retain their ancient shape and the surrounding natural environment.
|Routes through Ariano Irpino|
|Foggia ← merges into ←||NE SO||→ merges into → Benevento → Avellino → Napoli|