BENEVENTO, an ancient city first Scripture, then Roman, then an important Longobard Duchy: the best architectural monuments of the city belong to Roman and Longobard times.
On arrival, take the ring road, Via di Torre della Catena, to the left, passing along Via Porta Arsa to sec the imposing remains of the Roman Theatre, now restored and in which classical drama is performed.
Continue as far as Porta Arsa past the railway station to Poole Leproso over the River Sabato, of Roman times Going back to Via Porta Arsa, one arrives at the River Calore, along the right bank of which runs Via Posillipo; to the left, the fine bridge rebuilt by Vanvitelli; now along Corso Vittorio to Piazza Orsini in which stands the wonderful Cathedral, Romanesque, with a strong campanile, and of balanced proportions.
It has a bronze door which is the artistic masterpiece of the city, from the 13° century with richly carved frames. To the left, off Corso Garibaldi, is the street leading to Trajan's Arch, one of the finest of Roman triumphal arches, built in 117 AD, with carved panels celebrating the Emperor's exploit. Returning to Corso Garibaldi, follow it as far as Piazza Santa Sofia with the church of Santa Sofia in whose elegant Romanesque cloister the art collections of the city are housed.
In the nearby Piazza Cinque vembre is the Fortress of the Rectors, an ancient Longobard fortress altered in the 14° century.
Leaving Benevento by the Via del Sole, we go up the valley of the River Sabato towards the mountains of the Irpinia.