Avellino is a town and comune, capital of the province of Avellino in the Campania region of southern Italy. It is situated in a plain surrounded by mountains 42 km (26 mi) north-east of Naples and is an important hub on the road from Salerno to Benevento.Before the Roman conquest, the ancient Abellinum was a centre of the Samnite Hirpini.
The town was Christianized around 500 AD, becoming an episcopal see. There followed the invasions of the Goths and Vandals. Subsequently Avellino became a Lombard centre, with a castle on the Terra hill. In the early Middle Ages it was part of the Duchy (later Principality) of Benevento and, after the latter’s fall, of the Principality of Salerno.
In 1100, during the Norman rule of southern Italy, it was acquired by Riccardo dell’Aquila. Later King Charles I of Anjou assigned it to the Montfort family, who were succeeded by the Del Balzo and the Filangierian of the House of Candia.
Some ruins of the ancient Abellinum can be seen near the modern village of Atripalda, 4 km (2.5 mi) East of modern Avellino.
The Cathedral, with its Romanesque crypt, stands on the site of a rich and famous Roman villa which was built around 129 BC and abandoned after the eruption of Vesuvius and associated earthquake in 346.
There are some remains of the Lombard castle in Piazza Castello (Castle Square). Because the castle was built at the base of a small valley, its tactical purpose continues to puzzle modern-day historians throughout Europe.