The ancient fortress Characterized by a polygonal and irregular ring plan that goes around a wide internal courtyard, the Ducal Castle stands on the site of an ancient fortress built by the Romans after the Social War, as evidenced by traces of ordinary walls and other works come in the light of the princes of the century in the quadrangular courtyard. Drogone the Norman Some local scholars assumed, as manufacturers, the palatine counts of Loretello, Lords of Bovino from 1059 to 1182; while others argue that it was the Norman Drogone, Count of Apulia arrived in the Bovinese territory in the first half of the eleventh century, to destroy, after several fights, the first defensive construction and to build on its own ruins the initial core of the castle, barricaded to the massive cylindrical tower designed to guarantee him safe defense; the latter located “astraddle” on a truncated pyramidal spur maintained this form for another four centuries, as evidenced by the oblong crenels of the sixteenth century. The Swabian bridge house Next to it there is a building known as the Bridge House, the only trace of the original Swabian building built to accommodate the lieutenant of the Emperor and a small number of soldiers. In the twelfth century the castle housed Manfred, son of Frederick II, during the trip before a battle. The rich house of the Guevara In 1563, after belonging to various lords and nobles, the castle became the property of Delfina Loffredo, mother of Don Juan Guevara, whose descendants would inhabit the ducal palace until 1961 and gradually transform it into a rich home worthy of hosting royalty and famous characters (Torquato Tasso, Maria Theresa of Austria, Pope Benedict XIII, Giovan Battista Marino). Since then, the ducal castle has belonged to the bishop’s dining hall and has been the subject of constant interest aimed to give it a new life and prestigious cultural value. In the private chapel of the Lords of Bovino are preserved various relics of Saints and a thorn from Christ’s crown, probably gifts bestowed by Popes Gregory XIII and Pope Innocent VIII to the Dukes of Guevara, their relatives. Sources: Giovanni Anzivino Ester Lorusso
A very remote past The History of Bovino has its roots in a very remote past. Its origins and the people who inhabited it in early times are unknown. It dominates the hills of Southern Sub-Appennines just where it degrades and begins the vast plain of the Tavoliere delle Puglie (‘Table of Apulias’, ndt.), in a control position along the valley of the Cervaro. Hence the reason why, many times destroyed, it has always been re-established, because of its strategic location. Polybius, Pliny and Hannibal Bovino was a Roman town, after the Social War of 90 B.C. The first explicit mention of Bovino is found in Polybius (Historiae III, 87 – 88) and in Pliny who, hinting at Vibinum, speaks of Vibinates peoples (Naturalis Historia III, 16). The first said that Hannibal, descended from Daunia, encamped around Vibonio or Vibonium and from there ran to rob the Arpinati and the whole Daunia. A memory of the event, the place where Hannibal stopped is still called “Monte Castro.” Still standing When The Roman Empire collapsed, Bovino suffered first the Lombards’ and then the Byzantines’ domination. In those years it was destroyed by the Byzantine Emperor Constant II and, later, it was again destroyed by the Normans who, by the work of Drogo, burned it and razed it completely to the ground (1045). On the ruins the town was rebuilt and on the ancient fortress Drogone built his castle. From the Germans to the Spaniards The Normans were succeeded by the Swabians and the Anjou. Later, it was ruled by the Counts of Loretello of the house of Bertrando dei Reali,, of the Estendardo, of the De Spes and ultimately of the Dukes of Guevara, powerful Lords of Navarre, descendants of one of the greatest and most illustrious families of Spain, who ruled for a long time its territory ensuring peace and prosperity. Past and present inextricably linked Its diocese is very ancient and saw more than seventy bishops taking turns on its episcopal throne, including characters of high stature, human and Christian, who, with their work and their teaching, worked tirelessly for the moral and civil growth of the town. In 2002 Bovino was recognized as one of the “most beautiful villages in Italy ‘” by ANCI (National Association of Italian Municipalities). Today, the story of Bovino is eloquently told by its monuments, churches, various inscriptions, remains of walls in “opus reticulatum”, the ruins of a Roman aqueduct, the remains of mosaics, the quaint old town and many exhibits at the civic museum, irreplaceable reference points for those who wish to know and deepen its several thousand years past.
ACCOMMODATION Agriturismo Tenuta Capaccio Località Carpine Tel. 3402600484 / 3355600137 Bed & Breakfast : “La Casa del Borgo” Località Rione Sant’Angelo Tel. 0881/615125 Albergo “Oasi di Valleverde” – Località Valleverde Tel. 0881912087, 2 Stars Camping RESTAURANTS La Taverna Del Duca – Ristorante Pizzeria Piazza XX Settembre – tel. 0881/966326; Closing day: Wednesday Osteria Zi; Gennaro – Piatti tipici C.so Vittorio Emanuele, 44 – tel. 333/2208845 Closing day: Monday La Sacrestia Di Don Armando ; Ristorante tipico Piazza Guido Paglia,12 – tel. 0881/966442 Closing day: Tuesday Trattoria Del Ponte;Da Tonino; Cucina Casalinga Contrada Ischia – tel. 0881/961465 ; Closing day: Monday Le Querce Albergo ; Ristorante S.S. 90 Km. 54 (a 4 Km. dal Ponte Bovino) – tel. 0881/961256ALBERGHI