The phenomenon of banditry, which spread in southern Italy in the late eighteenth century and the first decade, following the proclamation of the Kingdom of Italy, was mirrored in the person of Lorenzo De Feo, or Laurenziello as is well known.
Lorenzo De Feo, , nicknamed Laurenziello, was born in Santo Stefano del sole on 23rd of June 1774. Son of the shepherds Giuseppe De Feo and Maria Romano and himself a pastor, he was called by the Marquis of Saint Lucia di Serino to be part of his band of criminals.
The unfortunate day, August 3rd 1809, went down in history as the bloodiest in the history of the town.
In the afternoon, suddenly, he heard a few carbine shots from the area of Capocasale. The first to be killed were a mother and her infant child, the Mayor Ciriaco De Feo and a priest of Aiello del Sabato, who were there in passing. In all, only on that day, the dead were dozens and countless wounded. Each family of Santo Stefano counted its victims.
The history of Laurenziello quickly due to adverse circumstances, started at sunset. Some of his brigands were defeated in a conflict with the royal troops, causing the robbery. The same Laurenziello was forced to take refuge in a village of Terra di Lavoro, where, shortly thereafter, he was captured and put on trial, along with his brother and three other robbers. The sad cycle of blood and horrors closed on November 17th , 1811, when Laurenziello was captured, then put on trial and finally on May 6th , 1812, at the Largo dei Tribunali (now Freedom Square) of Avellino, surrounded by 600 soldiers and an immense crowd, was hanged along with his companions.
His body was left in the square for twelve hours, so his head was severed and it was then locked in a cage and exposed on top of a long pole in Porta di Puglia. It is said that a mule man, repeatedly robbed, passed over and shaking the pole exclaimed: "Oh Laurenziello! Laurenziello! Quante me n'hai fatte passare?" (Oh Laurenziello, Oh Laurenziello, How many bad things you did to me?). At that moment the cage broke away and fell on the head of the mule man, smashing his skull! The unhappy man fell down and died.
This fact, certainly unfortunate, increased the sad reputation of Laurenziello, as the saying goes: "Laurenziello pure 'roppo muorto facivo 'natu' micidio (even after he died he committed another murder). This fact is partially true, therefore, it should be seen more as a legend.
Santo Stefano del Sole is a land rich in resources and by reading these pages you can discover the beauty of its artistic, historical and cultural past. ((The streets of the historical center are characterized by buildings made with precious stone (from the XVIII-XIX).