If you are thinking about driving in a picturesque wine region in Italy off the beaten paths – and of course having a good wine tasting – I would suggest Irpinia. It’s a wonderful hill region, vineyards everywhere full of grapes for the Greco di Tufo, Fiano and Taurasi wines production (all DOCG quality). If you should follow this suggestion, I absolutely recommend a visit to the village Montefusco, not far from Tufo.
It lays on the top of a hill at about a 2.300 feet height: in the Middle Age people built their villages on high levels so to feel protected in case of one of the frequent attacks by other feudatories. While you are driving up on the mountain of Montefusco you will see the typical Italian ancient village landscape, houses just clinging on the ropes! Once you’re there, you will have a really wide view all around, going to the provinces Avellino and Benevento, and even looking up to Puglia upland!
Due to its dominant position Montefusco became in the Middle Age the capital of former Ultra Principality. It also got the function of jail: prisoners had no way to escape from here.
Last week I was with a group of Americans and Canadians on a wine tour. They docked with a cruise ship in Salerno and booked an Irpinia wine tour with me. I wanted them not only to drink wine and taste the incredible cuisine from Irpinia, but also visit some typical, unique places.
Montefusco is absolutely not touristic, but all the doors were opened to us with joy and proud by the people from Montefusco! My Canadian and American guests were so happy: after all the crowd in Florence and Rome, they could finally see the simplicity of a typical Italian “borgo” and enjoy the Italian hospitality! We visited the ancient Bourbouns’ Jail. Daniele, the vice mayor, personally showed us the ancient house of an aristocratic family, Palazzo Giordano, recently restored, with amazing paintings on the ceiling from the 18th century. Pasquale, the owner of a B&B in Montefusco, opened us the door of his property and let us onto an ancient terrace with a vegetable garden and a breathtaking view on the Sabato river valley!
Though some problems we had then with our bus, my guests were simply happy to experience the Italian hospitality, the beauty of Montefusco and of the Irpinia vineyards hills: a joy for their eyes… and later for their palate, of course!
See more interesting articles about wines in Campania and Irpinia: