Rediscover the pleasure of moving without haste and with a wandering spirit. Where is it? In the surroundings of Rocchetta Sant’Antonio, suburb of the Subappennino Dauno inserted by the Italian Touring Club among the Welcoming Villages of the Orange Flags, and of which in addition to the country we have appreciated the countryside that in spring gives its brightest greens among which the yellow of wild flowers and lavender of borage.
Wandering without haste
As a first step we suggest the fountain r’Mocc at the gates of the village, one of the many scattered in the territory of the village. A short walk leads to this rectangular pool that collects spring waters. The suggestion is to dedicate oneself to a trek that leads to the discovery of these particular mouth-told fountains of which Rocchetta is rich given the large quantity of water in the area.
Here we will indicate some of them: Fontana d’Uva, a name that derives from Rue which in French indicates street and then transformed, Fontana Nuova, Fontana San Lorenzo, Fontana San Martino, Fontana di San Nicola and la Pescarella, famous in the area for its beneficial effects and for the sweet taste.
In our tour Giuseppe Palladino accompanies us, a passionate lover of history and local traditions and a skilled photographer (many of his photographs accompanying this article): where the water flows there is peace and silence and a herd of placid white cows that they immediately attracted the attention of our Otto.
Then we took advantage of the availability of Professor Alessandro Forlé, now a retired principal, who accompanied us on a very special tour of the village because it included the interior of three of the most beautiful buildings in Rocchetta Sant’Antonio.
In fact, we had the privilege of being able to visit apart from the granaries and cellars of Palazzo Ippolito, open only on the occasion of the Orange Flag Day, even the apartments. The entire building is a real museum as the family of the lawyer who now resides in Rome has preserved tools, barrels, furnishings, toys and all kinds of artifacts and objects from the last centuries.
Very suggestive are the rooms used as barns where the large wooden containers seem almost like safes: let’s not forget that wheat was a great source of wealth until the last century.
Peculiarity of Palazzo Bizzarri is the cave that houses the lime quarry active until the first decades of the last century and accessible from the terraced garden that extends under the house that overlooks the most modern part of the town. Here too it impresses as everything is as if suspended in time, from the elegant carriage to the office of the podestà with plaques and decorations hanging on the walls.
A plaque recalls that Rocchetta Sant’Antonio was a stop on the electoral journey that in 1875 the candidate for parliament Francesco De Sanctis made in the lands of Upper Irpinia. It was on that occasion that the future Minister of Education was a guest at Palazzo Castelli, which over time was also the seat of a nursery school, while today its ancient manger becomes the cave of the Nativity during the representation of the living nativity scene.
At this point, if the stomach claims, it is highly recommended to stop at the Tarallificio del Pozzo (Corso Dauno Irpino, 147 – +39 349 0502024) to taste the many baked products proposed by Francescopaolo Sansone, a young artisan of taste who, after a diploma at the hotel business in Vieste and having traveled the world, he returned to his Rocchetta Sant’Antonio to bake scaldatelli and jam pastries based only on traditional recipes and processing methods.
To get an idea of the typical goodness of the village, instead, you have to go to find the perky Mrs. Teodora called Dorina, a teacher in preparing typical dishes, from stew to wild asparagus to mugliazza, a kind of corn polenta with onion and pancetta, orecchiette, cavatelli, ravioli, calzoncelli, exquisite Christmas cakes filled with almonds and chocolate, and fried pizza, the protagonist of the festival organized on 16 July in honor of the Madonna del Carmine.
In the center of the village, a few steps from the Chiesa Madre and a convenient square where you can park your car, there is the B&B Strada Larga (Via Filangieri, 14 – +39 345 3528659), a little bit home, a little hotel.
Housed in an ancient noble mansion dating back to the end of the 19th century to which a narrow paved street leads with the ancient basole that once characterized all the streets of the village, it is welcoming and ideal both for living the experience of sleeping in the heart of the village for a relaxing holiday for those traveling with four legs due to the large spaces. The atmosphere is simple and informal and there are dishes, juices, drinks, herbal teas, tea, coffee and biscuits available for guests throughout the day.
Rocchetta Sant’Antonio is waiting for you!