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Cercemaggiore, Province of Campobasso, Molise

Province of Campobasso
Only 25 km from Campobasso, this ancient town rises on an elevated position, overlooking the Tammaro Valley, the Matese and the Majella, and southwards as far as the Mountains of the Salerno area.

Provinces of Molise

Info

  • Altitude: 982 m a.s.l
  • Territory: mountainous
  • Population: about 4400 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 86012
  • Phone Area Code: 0874
  • Patron Saint: S. Vincenzo celebrated on September 11

Administrative division

Frazioni & Localities: Barrea, Cacerno, Canale, Capoiaccio, Caselvatico, Castagna, Catrocca, Cicco di Toro, Convento, Coppari, Coste Crugnale, Cupa del Medico, Di Florio, Fasani, Fonte Casale, Fonte Dei Serpi, Fonte di Tonno, Fonte La Noce, Fonte Senigallia, Galardi, Macchie, Marcantonio, Martinelli, Migliarese, Monti, Nardoni, Pantanello, Paoletta, Pescocupo, Pesco Morello, Pesco Strascino, Petroccolo, Piana Altare, Piana d'Olmo, Piscero, Ponte Cinque Archi, Quartarella, Riglioni, Rocca, San Marco, San Vito, Selvafranca, Selvapiana, Sterpara del Piano, Torre, Vallazza, Veticone, Vicenna.

History

The name derives either from Quercus Maior (meaning big oak) or from the Arabic "cerce", meaning rock. It was inhabited since pre-historic times, then was a center of the Samnites, a fierce, warlike Italic people, and fought courageously against the Romans before being conquered.

It was also occupied by the Saracens, and later, in the 11th century, by the Normans. All these populations left their traces in the monuments and the culture. It is today a favourite starting point for those who love trekking and horse riding along the ancient "tratturi" of the Sannio.

What to see

  • Parish Church of Santa Maria della Croce, very ancient, restored in the late 16th century and again after the 1807 earthquake. The church hosts paintings by Benedetto Brunetti from Oratino, a painter of the 17th century.
  • The Castle.
  • Church of Santa Maria da Monte, on the top of the nearby Monte dell'Assunta, which was built, according to the tradition, on the site of a Pagan temple.
  • Summit of Monte Saraceno, with a wide view on the surrounding areas.
  • Church of Santa Maria della Libera, 2 km from the town, built in 1412 in the Romanesque style and a favourite destination of pilgrims, containing fine works of art, such as a wooden statue of San Vincenzo Ferreri by Paolo Saverio di Zinno from Campobasso (18th century). A painting of Madonna di Costantinopoli, by Tommaso Guarino; another painting of the Virgin Mary and Saints by Sebastiano Pasquale from Capua, 1612; near the altar two ancient Roman stone lions.