The History

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.