- VALLATA NEWS - The historian search by prof. Ragazzo Severino/ The translation by prof. Cerullo Pompea.


The historian search by prof. Ragazzo Severino -
- The translation by prof. Cerullo Pompea.

    Vallata with its 3000 habitants is the most populated and biggest town of the centre Irpinia, Baronia di Vico (Vico stands for Trevico, where, during the middle ages there lived the Baron and it also incluted the towns of Flumeri, San Sossio, San Nicola,Castel Baronia, Carife, Vallesaccarda and Scampitella, even if, some local historian such as the archpriest Arturo Saponara sustains that there isn’t anything related to it in confirm).
Certainly Vallata had its independence, except during the Norman period, by 1200 in respect to its civil institution (University) and religions belief (regional catholic diocese ).
    It is ideally situated on a hilltop even though it stants in the valley of mount Santo Stefano, at a height of 870 m and from the North-east it is possible to see its shape similar to a ship or small crib, tipical of many Irpinia towns of South Italy.
    Its position allows a wide and admirable scenery: from North-west there are the mounts of Maiella and reaches as far as the Vesuvio, mounts Picentini, Valle dell’Ufita and the hills of Irpinia; South-east side : the heights of Formicoso, Calaggio Valley ,the lowlands of Puglia on to Manfredonia and the Garganico Appennines.
    The local historians( Tommaso Mario Pavese,Arturo Saponara, De Paola Gerardo, Domenico Maria Cicchetti, Giuseppe Soldati, Tania Cappiello, and Sergio Pelosi) consider that Vallata takes the name, at times, of Vallata and others of Ballata, Ballatae,Ballatam because of its geographical position beneath mount Santo Stefano and maybe because of its aetiological- etymological interpretation of Ballein= to hurl/ hit / strike.
    The first historical documents that remark the existence of the town lead to a certain Pandolfo of Vallata in 1120 and the name Pandolfo suggests its Longobarda origins, even il, the same documents refer also to Crescenzo count of Marsi but the oldest interpretation could be connected to the Irpino-Sanniti settlement.
    The succeeding Pandolfo have been numerons : from the counts of Marsi, to the Del Balzo, Borgia, Del Tufo and Orsini.
    Vallata has had many historical distressing episodes.
    On the social side it is fundamental reminding: in 1199 the destruction by Marcovaldo in the aim of conquering the kingdom of the two Sicilies; in 1496 on the 6th of may the slaughtering ordered by the marquis of Mantova Francesco Gonzaga whose only aim was to please the French (this dates to the arrival of Carlo VIII in Italy).
    The slaughtering in very well described in the studies of “the bitter battle of CHIANCHIONE in Vallata “ by Arturo Saponara.
    As for natural disasters it is due remembering the many earthquakes in particular the on in 1694 which caused the highest number of deths and injuries. The earthquakes of 1962 and 1980 eventhough tragic, fortunately enongh didn’t record any major damage or death reports.
Its reconstructhion nonetheless, is still unaccomplished delaying any further solution for the old town centre that appears to depopulate and regress day by day, as too many large or small buildings seem to witness (one of which is the Palace di Netta).
    From an ancient-architectural-structure point of-view the leading role goes to the Saint Bartholomews church (“the heart and soul of Vallata”, quoting the ex archpriest don Gerardo De Paola ) that has been destroyed and re-built many times by the different priests of the period.
    It is also worth remembering the beautiful portal entrance dating 1568 and the affresco by Giovanni Lanfranco.
    Vallatas folklore from a religions point of view heads to Holy Friday, the most important and participated celebration that each year attraets many nearby towns, together mith the feasts of San Vito protector on the 15th of June, San Rocco and Saint Bartholomew Patron.
    The agricultural territory is mainly composed by arable areas and it doesn’t lack in areas for pasture and reforestation of oaktrees, pine, walnut and hazelnut trees, the latter in being favoured by the European fund.
    The main products are wheat and forage, there still being a significant presence of vineyards, olive and chestnut plantations.
    There is a discrete animal husbandry in which sheep farming use modern technologies.
    There is plenty of initiative concerning the transformation of dairy products ( small businesses with their own brand and garantee of origin ).
    There still persists a small quantity of vegetable growth due to the advantages of natural water resource.
    For the lovers of nature and animal hunting it is possible to find wild fowl such as woodcocks, quails, hares and boars as well as edible boletus and chanterelle, ,mild asparagus and precious mushrooms.
    Industrialization is still latent and the major occupation relies on the bulding trade.
    Craftmanship drops down.
    Small textile laboratories and shoe making business are cropping up,the reason being a consequence of the productive devolution of medium-small metropolitan businesses that are disappearing thanks to the crisis of the same (market globalization process and further foreign out sourcing ).
    The hope of an economical industrial lift off ( in the 70s with Fiat in Flumeri, in the 80s with the areas denominating the article 32, act 219 directed to the earthquake in Calaggio), is today gasping for the realization of area contracts and territorial agreciments.
    During the past years the industrial area P.I.P. locaded in Maggiano has started working ont productive activities in which LAMES in the leading metalworker company.
    The distribution field still registers on family conduction, even if lately there have been a few new supermarkets, and another important resource belongs to the weekly open market.
    Eventhough emigration is widely reduced respect to the past it is still a no turning back fenomenon for some.
    Vallata secondary schools focus on sciences, engenering, surveyors and accountants.
    There is a medical emergency service,a health district and a chemist’s.
    There is a branch of the ex Banca Popolare dell’Irpinia and the Bank of Rome.

    The historian search by prof. Ragazzo Severino/ The translation by prof. Cerullo Pompea.