10 Best Things To Do In Benevento, Italy

things to do in Benevento
| 5 min read

Full of history and architecture that date back to the 700s, Benevento, Italy is one of the country’s most impressive gems. With museums, churches, and even its own in-use theater, Benevento is the perfect stop to experience Italy. Read on to learn more about the best things to do in the area!

1. Museo del Sannio

Benevento-Museo del Sannio-lapidario
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Decan used under CC BY-SA 3.0

Explore the history and architecture of Benevento at the Museo del Sannio. Perfect for single travelers and families, this museum is a historical gem in the center of Benevento. Divided into four parts, this museum is a collection of historical testimonies from all ages concerning Benevento. During your visit, you will find the first three collections, Archeology, Medievalism, and Art, located in the cloister of the church of Santa Sofia. The last collection, History, is found in the tower of the Rocca dei Reettori. What takes the Mueseo del Sannio above and beyond your typical museum is it is more than just presenting the history of Benevento. The museum is also home to a specialized library and a workshop for analysis and restoration of artifacts.

Museo del Sannio

Address: Museo del Sannio, Via Giacomo Matteotti, 5/A, 81054 Telese BN, Italy

Website: Museo del Sannio (in Italian)

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2. Chiesa di Santa Sofia

Benevento exterior Santa Sofía 08
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Miguel Hermoso Cu... used under CC BY-SA 4.0

In the square Giacomo Matteotti, the ancient church of Santa Sofia stands as a piece of religious history. A perfect destination for vacationers and historians alike, this church is one of the most important examples of Longobard architecture in the Langobardia Minor. What makes the church more unique is, over the centuries, it has been repeatedly upgraded, hence its modern appearance (the church was originally built around 760 AD). Since 2011, the Chiesa di Santa Sofia has been protected by UNESCO, making it a true historic monument and beautiful symbol in Benevento.

Chiesa di Santa Sofia

Address: Santa Sofia, Piazza S. Sofia, 82100 Benevento BN, Italy

Website: Chiesa di Santa Sofia (in Italian)

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3. Centro Storico di Benevento

Benevento-San Francesco alla Dogana
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Decan used under CC BY-SA 4.0

The Centro Storico di Benevento, or the Old Town of Benevento, is a section of Benevento that is often populated by tourists thanks to famous city sections like Piazza Duomo and Piazza Orsini, Corso Garibaldi, Trione Triggio, Fravola Wire, Trescene, and Customs Square. Beautiful pieces of architecture including fountains and churches line the area as tribute to centuries of Italian builders. During your trip, be sure to look for certain structures like the cathedral Palazzo V Paolo, the Arch of Trajan, Vittorio Emanuele Municipal Theater, and Terragnoli Palace. All of this and so much more are just waiting to be explored when you go to the Centro Storico di Benevento.

Centro Storico di Benevento

Address: Via Traiano, 82100 Benevento BN, Italy

Website: Centro Storico di Benevento

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4. Arch of Trajan

Benevento-Arch of Trajan from South
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Decan used under CC BY-SA 4.0

As a highlight of the Old Town, the Arch of Trajan is a unique structure in Benevento, and is a well-preserved symbol of Roman civilization. Originally erected to celebrate Emperor Trajan, it came to be known as the “Golden Gate.” The arch itself was used as the city’s official entrance from the Via Appia. When you visit, you will see Trajan himself carved on the arch’s side, relating his story of victory for the Romans. The Arch of Trajan is definitely a picture-worthy side-stop during your Benevento vacation.

Arch of Trajan

Address: Via Traiano, 82100 Benevento BN, Italy

Website: Arch of Trajan (in Italian)

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5. Hortus Conclusus Paladino

Benevento - Hortus Conclusus - Paladino
Source: Photo by Flickr user cuba49 used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Brought to you by the mind of noted Transavantgarde artist, Mimmo Paladino, “Hortus Conclusus”, is a permanent art exhibit in the garden of the former Convent of San Domenico in Benevento. This unique garden is now dotted with his works which are not random, but a specially designed group meant to complement each other and explore the city’s Samnite, Roman and Langobard eras. What’s more, the sculptures mingle with the monastery’s original structure in a stylistic contrast. During your visit, you will see sculptures like the ‘Bronze Horse,’ the ‘Disk,’ the ‘Shell’, the ‘Horse Head’, and the ‘Helmets.’ With each symbol designed to be a modern interpretation of Benevento’s tradition, you’ll not only see stunning pieces of modern art, you will experience an important part of Benevento itself.

Hortus Conclusus Paladino

Address: Hortus Conclusus Paladino

Website: Hortus Conclusus Paladino

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6. Villa Comunalle

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Francisco ninho used under PUBLIC DOMAIN

Enjoy Italy’s outdoors at the Villa Comunalle. Located in the historic center’s highest point across from the Rocca dei Reettori, this park was designed by Alfredo Dehnhardt, the director of the Botanical Garden of Naples. Since the 1880s its romantic appearance has drawn visitors to explore the winding trails that spontaneously travel throughout the garden. Tanks, ponds, meadows, and flowerbeds aren’t the only beauty to be found, with marble busts of illustrious Hannah characters found throughout the garden. The best part is, because this garden is public, it’s a completely free adventure waiting to be had.

Villa Comunalle

Address: Piazza Castello, 82100 Benevento BN, Italy

Website: Villa Comunalle (in Italian)

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7. Teatro Romano

Teatro romano-Benevento
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Adam91 used under CC BY-SA 3.0

The past and present collide at the Teatro Romano. Originally built in the 2nd-century by emperor Hadrian, and abandoned in Lombard times, this theater is in use today for concerts, representations, and other events. Built in a semicircular plan, the theater was originally big enough to hold around some 10,000/15,000 spectators. While much of the exterior has disintegrated with time, the cavea, or interior, has mostly survived. Three monumental gates lead to the orchestra, with one of the parodoi still having its original mosaic and polychrome marble walls. What’s more you will find masks decorating the entrance alley, similar to those once worn by actors.

Teatro Romano

Address: Via Port'Arsa, 1, 82100 Benevento BN, Italy

Website: Teatro Romano (in Italian)

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8. Rocca dei Rettori

Rocca dei Rettori, Benevento
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Antonio De Capua used under CC BY-SA 4.0

While the piece of land the Rocca dei Rettori was built on has been in use since prehistoric times, the structure in Benevento today was pontificated by Pope Benedict XII in 1338. Built with a castrum and a palatium, and fenced in with moat-lined walls that had to be crossed by three lifting bridges, the castle was meant to protect and withstand attack. After 1586, the fortress was slowly turned into a prison, and remained active until 1865. Since the 18th-century, reconstructions have been made to decaying parts, so it is likely that of the ancient castle, only the original dungeon remains. Today, you can see the castle in person. As the home of the historical section of the Museo del Sannio, and next door to a beautiful garden, the castle is both a historical piece of architecture and culture.

Rocca dei Rettori

Address: Piazza Castello, 82100 Benevento BN, Italy

Website: Rocca dei Rettori (in Italian)

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9. Diocesan Museum and Ipogeo Archaeological Path

Ipogei lagrasta
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user it:Utente:Campidi... used under CC BY 1.0

Explore the underworld in the pseudocrpt of the Diocesan Museum and Ipogeo Archaeological Path. Since its discovery in 2005, visitors have been exploring the underground path, full of fragments of wall paintings from multiple periods. The oldest pictorial dates back to the end of the 9th and 10th-century, and was dedicated to Saint Barbato. With both virtual and physical ways to explore the museum, it’s easier than ever to experience this amazing part of Benevento’s history.

Diocesan Museum and Ipogeo Archaeological Path

Website: Diocesan Museum and Ipogeo Archaeological Path (in Italian)

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10. Area Archeologica Del Sacramento

Arco del Sacramento, Benevento
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Decan used under CC BY-SA 3.0

For more archeological fun, visit the Area Archeologica Del Sacramento. As a part of the Roman Forum, this thermal spa wasn’t brought to light until 2009. Today, you can see the Sacramento Arch at the entrance of the Forum, and see where it could have had sculptures, marbles and decorations. While the structure dates to the post-trajan era, and in much disrepair, some of the original marble coating is still visible as a nod to its original beauty.

Area Archeologica Del Sacramento

Address: Via Carlo Torre, 13, 82100 Benevento BN, Italy

Website: Area Archeologica Del Sacramento

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Explore Benevento!

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user RobyP used under CC BY 3.0

Beauty and archeology await in Benevento. From gardens, to theaters, to Roman artifacts, Benevento fully represents the history and culture of Italy.

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Any must-sees we missed? Tell us about them in the comments section or write a post here to help out fellow travelers!
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Haley has been writing stories since she was five, but did not decide to be a full-time writer until her college years. She studied English and Biology at Eastern New Mexico University and has...Read more

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