Irpinia is a historical and geographical zone located in southern Italy, more precisely in the Campania region. It includes the province of Avellino and part of the province of Benevento and it’s characterized by some valleys and hills where a lot of rivers and streams flow with tortuous paths.
The Golden Scope today takes you in the Avellino province, precisely in the municipality of Mercogliano; here there is a beautiful historic but almost unknown building: the abbey of Loreto.
The present building replaced the pre-existing monastic structure that was destroyed by the terrible earthquake of 1732, but the first building dates back to the twelfth century when a young religious hermit and his followers began to build a church on top of a hill.
At present, the “verginian” monks live in the palace, not far from the Sanctuary of Montevergine, and for this reason, it isn’t entirely accessible to tourists because of they live in a cloistered regime.
The cloistered rules are not very strict as they were originally, so the visitors may to admire the first floor, the pharmacy and once a year, in July, the building is officially opened to the public on the occasion of a symphonic music festival named “music in Irpinia”.
This thirty-year event revives the wonderful garden with its nineteenth-century fountain and the public… and of course the music! Public is attracted by the rare opportunity to view the splendid religious structure without the significant limitations that exist during the rest of the year.
Several artists of the time participated in the construction of the building, creating this impressive religious structure which remains a unique example, both for exteriors than for interiors, of the architecture in the southern Italy of the half of the ‘700.
The Abbey of Loreto jealously protects its original centenary Pharmacy, with a wonderful collection of majolica pots, a splendid library, open to the public, with around 200.000 volumes and an amazing archive that preserves over 7.000 ancient scrolls…. while the cellar “hides” an interesting honey production … a real step back in time!
(All the photos are taken from Google.com, and all belong to their original owners)