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Ancient village of Gesualdo

The village of music and beauty

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Where is


83040 Gesualdo AV, Italia (682m s.l.m.)


What it is and where it is

To arrive in Gesualdo is to take a trip back in time, to an enchanted place, immersing yourself in a Renaissance atmosphere. From the road leading to Gesualdo, already in the distance you can make out the outline of the town and the castle that dominates the landscape. It is Neviera Square that begins the tale of this wonderful place. Here stands majestically the church of the SS Rosario with the Dominican monastery attached, a place of worship and the protagonist of the tradition so beloved by the people of Gesualdo. Taking the road leading to the castle, one pauses to admire the landscape of immense beauty and fills one's soul with serenity.

Why it is special

What unfolds at the foot of the castle of Gesualdo like a nativity scene is a village standing still in time, characterized by hanging gardens and harmonious loggias that slope gracefully to the southeast and make the whole township evocative on the whole. The narrow alleys crisscross the fan-shaped ancient village, and lead to ancient stately palaces of intact splendor. Prominent among them are the interconnected Palazzi Pisapia and Mattioli, perched at the foot of the castle.

Not to be missed

On the last Sunday in August, the "Flight of the Angel" takes place. On a steel rope, stretched between the castle's keep and the bell tower of the Church of the Holy Rosary, a child dressed as an Angel is suspended, who halfway along meets another actor disguised as a devil sprouting from a stage as if from the underworld. The dialogue between the two has a fixed plot to which topical notes are added each year and represents the eternal struggle between good and evil. Once the play is over, the Angel completes his flight to the Church. In the evening there is "The Return of the Angel," not before blessing all the revelers amid the excitement of young and old alike.

A bit of history

Between the 15th and 16th centuries, Prince Carlo Gesualdo da Venosa hosted his illustrious contemporaries who had distinguished themselves in the arts, creating a coterie of intellectuals among whom the name Torquato Tasso stands out. Unique musical instruments were collected here and prominent paintings including Caravaggio's "The Savior," now lost. So, in Gesualdo Castle at that time there was a magnificent court united around the art of its magnificent, introverted and ill-fated Prince. In time, this place was a destination for artistic pilgrimages, such as the one made by Igor Stravinsky.


The church of Santa Maria delle Grazie preserves the testimony of a terrible act of bloodshed. Telling us about it is the "Pala del Perdono" by Giovanni Balducci. The Renaissance artist depicts Prince Charles and his uncle St. Charles Borromeo praying before God for forgiveness for the uxoricide they committed. Despite its beauty, the work was not enough to obtain the longed-for forgiveness, and the Prince could never find peace.

gesualdo-volo-dellangeloThe Flight of the Angel, the last Sunday in August - Ph: Maria Circelli (CC BY-SA 4.0)

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Rocio Badillo

A wonderful village of musical soul, over which dominates the castle guardian of the history of the madrigalist prince Carlo Gesualdo. Situated in the midst of a hilly landscape against which the mountain ranges hide the Tyrrhenian Sea.


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