Anzano di Puglia, Province of Foggia, Puglia

Anzano di Puglia coatofarms Anzano is 66 km from Foggia, the province capital and about 150 km from Bari, the region capital. It rises on a Roman road junction, namely the intersection of the Herculea to Venosa with the Via Aurelia Haeclanensis to Herdonia (Ordona). This position would be the site of the famous "villa vicina Trivici" (country house near Trevico), in which Horace stayed in his journey from Rome to Brindisi in 37 BC. Perhaps for these reasons its coat of arms is a Greek temple with four Doric columns, crossed by a Roman consular road with basement.


  • Altitude: mt 650 a.s.l
  • Surface area: 11,12 km2
  • Population: ca. 1700 inhabitants (2010 census)
  • Zip/postal code: 71020
  • Dialing Area Code: +39 0881
  • Patron Saint: the Madonna di Anzano, celebrated on the Monday after Whitsuntide
  • Frazioni & Localities: Carifano, Lo Russo, Losciarpo, Mastralessio, Morra, Nocelle

The Territory

The territory lies in equal parts on the side of the Apennines of Campania and Puglia. The two sides gently slope onto undulating hills characterized by torrents, often dry from July to September.

History - Antiquity and the Middle Ages

The territory hosts valuable traces of Neolithic and Bronze Age. Throughout history the place changed names several times: Anxanum, Avezani, Antianus, Anzanus, Axanto. Its current name is of Roman origin, and appears officially in 841 AD, when it is part of the feud that Holy Roman Emperor and King of Italy Lothair I (795-855), grandson of Charlemagne, gave to the monastery of Farfa (Rieti). In an act of October 10, 1086, Anzano is named as "serra Anzano".

In 1343 it was a "casale" of the Barony of Vico and Flumeri. In the mid-15th century the war between the Aragonese and Angevins brought about the destruction of the Barony of Accadia, and perhaps even Casaleandra and Anzano. In fact, in 1462 Ferrante of Aragon, King of Naples, defeated John of Anjou, and during the 19 days when he kept Accadia under siege, almost certainly also Anzano was destroyed. In 1487 Anzano was officially uninhabited, and its territory merged with that of Trevico (AV). The real reasons for the depopulation are unknown, but probably the causes were both natural disasters such as earthquakes and plague, and human actions such as war and looting.

History - Modern Times

According to local historian Michael Auciello, the depopulation of Anzano was due to the fact that the inhabitants, to escape robberies, moved to safer places, as Trevico and Sant'Agata, which were protected by defense walls. In the early 1700's people returned to Anzano with "haystacks" (animal shelters), and stone farms, the "masserie", still in use until the middle of the 20th century.

In 1799, during the Neapolitan Revolution, Anzano asked for autonomy from Trevico because of the excessive distance (9 miles) and the lack of connections. Anzano as an independent municipality was officially founded on January 1, 1810, as part of the province of Principato Ultra (Avellino), then ir was included in the Capitanata (Foggia) province in 1812; in 1862 it went again to the province of Avellino, with the name of Anzano Irpina and finally in 1931 returned to the province of Foggia, with the name of Anzano di Puglia.

What to see

  • The present settlement consists of modern buildings, as the old town was destroyed by several earthquakes, including the most recent of 1851, 1910, 1930, 1962 and 1980. The earthquake of 1930 also caused the deaths of 39 people, the fall of the ancient parish church and the destruction of much of the historical center. The few older houses go back to the early twentieth century. The only remaining architectural heritage should be considered the portals of some houses owned by private citizens, in what remains of the old town. Despite these profound changes the place has kept its culture and the simple life of small communities of southern Italy.
  • The territory of Anzano is flanked by the Royal Tratturo (cattle track) "Pescasseroli - Candela", and in the historical memory of the people are still the "parrozzo" (bread of the poor, made of corn flour), the "shepherds from Abruzzo" and "transhumance". Abruzzo is also linked by a typical local dish: "sweet ravioli".

    Bibliography: http://www.comune.anzanodipuglia.fg.it/
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