Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi

Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi is a town and comune in the province of Avellino in the Campania region of southern Italy. It has been a historical spot of significance in mezzogiorno history.

Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi
Comune di Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi
View of the Goleto Abbey.
View of the Goleto Abbey.
Coat of arms of Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi
Location of Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi
Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi is located in Italy
Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi
Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi
Location of Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi in Italy
Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi is located in Campania
Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi
Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi
Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi (Campania)
Coordinates: 40°56′N 15°11′E / 40.933°N 15.183°E / 40.933; 15.183
ProvinceAvellino (AV)
FrazioniSee list
 • MayorMarco Marandino
 • Total55.11 km2 (21.28 sq mi)
875 m (2,871 ft)
 (13 December 2017)[2]
 • Total4,207
 • Density76/km2 (200/sq mi)
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0827
ISTAT code064092
Patron saintMichael the Archangel
Saint day29 September
WebsiteOfficial website



Just on a hilltop near the Fredano river, the town is home to a cathedral and a Lombard castle. The town is bordered by Guardia Lombardi, Lioni, Morra De Sanctis, Nusco, Rocca San Felice, Torella dei Lombardi and Villamaina.

Nearby is the Benedictine Abbey of San Guglielmo al Goleto.[3]

Notable peopleEdit

Charles A. Gargano, Italian-American businessman and former U.S. Ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago

William of Montevergine, Piedmontese priest and saint who founded the Abbey of San Guglielmo al Goleto in Sant’Angelo.

Earthquake and reconstructionEdit

The town was virtually destroyed by the magnitude 6.9 Irpina earthquake of 23 November 1980. 300 were killed, including 27 children in an orphanage, and eighty percent of the town was destroyed in the earthquake. A scandal emerged when corruption became rampant and government neglect towards the comune after the earthquake was investigated by the government. [4]


The name "Sant'Angelo" comes from the town's patron Saint Michael the Archangel. Lombardi comes from migrant workers of Lombardy settling there around 1000 AD. Most modern "Santangiolesi" have features and genes similar to the lombards as most of the town has been inhabited with the descendants of these migrant workers to this day.[5] The cathedral was originally built in the 11th century and was rebuilt in the 16th century. Also near Piazza d'Andrea is the castle of the Lombards, built around the first half of the 10th century. Initially, it was a jail/prison/fort and was later modified to serve as a castle. There is a small pathway that was constructed under the castle and from there it leads to the main town square where there was an underground prison. In the late 1800s many people from the town immigrated to Brazil and The United States of America. It is known that the area was already inhabited by the Samnites and then for a long time by the Romans who had settled in nearby Aeclanum along the Via Appia that connected Rome with the port of Brindisi. With the fall of the Roman Empire, central Italy was conquered by the Lombards and the Fredane river was the border between the Duchy of Benevento and the Lombards of Salerno who began the construction of the castle of Sant’Angelo dei Lombardi at the highest point guarding the border. At the beginning of the 10th century, Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi was besieged by the Saracens and then conquered by the Normans who fortified the castle in 1076. The Normans had come from Northern Europe to Southern Italy when called by the church that wanted to impose the Latin rite to replace the Orthodox rites and during their reign they favoured the construction of churches, such as the cathedral of Sant'Antonino Martyr, and of monasteries. In 1133, thanks to the Abbot San Guglielmo da Vercelli, the construction of the great Abbey of San Guglielmo al Goleto began, which included a section for men and one for women. It is said that the saint had lived for years in a tree trunk and that he decided to start the convent of a female cloister. Then he realized he had to provide for the nuns' sustenance with a male monastery. True feudalism began with the Normans and Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi was given as a fief to the Balvano, who descended from the Franks, while the church organized its own administrative structure by creating a bishop's seat. During the Swabian and Angevin period other families alternated with the fief of Sant’Angelo dei Lombardi such as the Ianvilla, also of French origin, and the Di Sangro. Black death brought misery and a decline of the monastery so much so that Pope Julius II in 1506 suppressed the female section while he allowed the male section to continue. Joanna II, queen of Naples, assigned the fief to the Caracciolos and a period of splendour arrived with this family around the 1500s. In 1664, a disastrous earthquake razed the village and the cathedral to the ground and in the reconstruction the castle was transformed into a residence by the Caracciolo family. The monastery was then completely renovated with the construction of a new church designed by the great Neapolitan Baroque artist and architect Domenico Antonio Vaccaro. The cathedral was also rebuilt in the Baroque style. In 1768 the imperial family arrived and then the Carafa family. During the Napoleonic period, Sant’Angelo dei Lombardi became an important administrative centre with the creation of a court and prisons in the castle. Feudalism was abolished, the monastery was closed which fell into ruin and many of its assets were plundered. Fortunately, the remains of the founder San Guglielmo were moved to Montevergine. The village actively participated in the Carbonari uprisings that led to the unity of Italy, which however shattered the dreams of the citizens. In fact, after the unification of Italy, disappointment and misery led to a strong wave of migration to the United States of people who went in search of fortune. Emigration continued after the first and after the second world war. Fate was not merciful and Sant'Angelo dei Lombardi was one of the centres most affected by the disastrous earthquake of November 23, 1980 which practically razed it to the ground. With the reconstruction, the castle has once again taken on its medieval form and today it is home to the archive and museum.

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  2. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Italian National Institute of Statistics. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ "La storia dell'Abbazia del Goleto". Official web site. Abbazia dei Goleto. Retrieved 8 December 2011.
  4. ^ Download - Catalogo Parametrico dei Terremoti Italiani (in Italian), archived from the original on 2009-04-14, retrieved 2009-04-07, 2413 DI 1980 11 23 18 34 52 Irpinia-Basilicata CFTI 1319 100 100 40.850 15.280 A 6.89 0.04 6.89 0.04 6.89 0.04 927 G 553 1587 2413
  5. ^ Ricerche di storia dell'arte, issues 34–36, 1988, p. 39

External linksEdit