A municipality of Campania, in the province of Avellino, with more than two thousand two hundred inhabitants, is found at 547 meters above sea level, in the Sabato valley, on the right bank of the river with the same name, near the confluence of the Rio Finestrelle, on the north western slopes of Mount Terminio.
The name, which was simply Santo Stefano until 1863, comes from the cult of the saint; the specification "of the Sun" (del sole) refers probably to the geographical position of the town, kissed by the rays from sunrise until sunset.
The little rural village, an expanding building center stretches across a green slope, flowings into the Piazza del Sole, where three lime trees (planted during the victorious battles during in the Italian Napoleonic campaign) give refreshment and restwith their thick foliage. From its terrace you can enjoy a beautiful view on the gentle hills covered by trees; behind it you can see the Picentini peeks which rise up, cloaked in lush coppice (oaks, oaks mixed with maple and chestnut) and tall trees, interspersed, at lower elevations, by extensions of mediterranean scrub.
From Santo Stefano del Sole the spring of Urciuoli departs and leads into Naples. It has an average capacity of 1,200 liters a second from one end to the south and it is believed that they derive from the winter lake called Dragone, set in Volturara Irpina. This source through a chasm known as Bocca del dragone (the dragon's mouth), infiltrates slowly into the soil. In 1808, the sources were sold for 300 ducats to the Lords of Urciuoli of Cesinali, who, 70 years later, resold them to the Naples Aqueduct Company.
On the red background of the municipal coat of arms, granted by the Decree of the President of the Republic, Santo Stefano stands, dressed in surplice and white Dalmatian; the saint is standing on the third of four steps and turns his head toward a pilgrim dressed in white, placed on the top step, holding in his left hand a gold drone; between the two figures, on which shines a golden sun, there is a dog.
The Samnites were the first citizens of Santo Stefano del Sole. In relatively recent times the town Castellucio (district of the old town) unearthed archaeological findings, amphorae, ampoules and lachrymatories, now kept in the Irpino Museum.
The town originated around 1000, when the Serpiceti, the population who lived exclusively on pastoralism and agriculture, went to work everyday on the land in the territories of Castel Serpico. There are many streams like that of Tufo (which flows through the center of town, just below the Oscar Brini square) and the river Sabato. So, the Serpico people because of the several kilometers to do in order to return home, decided to build houses closer, precisely on the current site of the municipality. Since it was objectively forming an urban settlement, the local feudal lord also decided to build the building to house his court, just below the church dell' Annunziata, with the church of Santa Maria delle Cristarelle.
In the year 1045 the name of Santo Stefano del Sole was found on an existing certificate in the archive of the church Santa Sofia in Benevento.
Since 1525 the village of Santo Stefano del Sole, which until then had always been combined with that of Sorbo Serpico, was split and was administered by an independent auditor, under the jurisdiction of the feudal local lord.
The earliest records relating to its existence date back to the Norman domination (XI century), when it appears in some documentary sources as a feudal of the county of Avellino. Incorporated in the possessions of the Di Capua, later belonged to the families Galeota and Capece, who held it until the mid-XVI century. It was then sold to Gesualdo family by Giovanni Luigi Capece Galeotait and passed to the Del Sangro in 1771 and then to the Zamaglia’s, who held it until 1806, the year of the abolition of feudal rights in southern Italy. The terrible earthquake of 1980 caused serious damage also to its facilities.
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