Gesualdo was once an important Longobard feud developed around the fortress in the late 9th century. The fortress, which has four round steeply sloped bastions, was owned in AD 660 by Gesualdo, a Longobard knight, and his descendants were the local lords for four hundred years. The family’s most important figure was Carlo Gesualdo, a nephew of Saint Carlo Borromeo; he was born in 1566 and raised at his father’s Neapolitan court among aristocracy and musicians. In 1590, he killed his wife Maria and her lover whom he had surprised together. He isolated himself in Gesualdo, a family possession, where he cultivated a passion for music and became one of the most important Italian composers of the late Renaissance. Despite his terrible act, Carlo Gesualdo dedicated himself to the borgo, founding churches and convents, perhaps as an act of atonement and reparation. He also transformed the fortress into a court that welcomed musicians, writers and poets. The borgo is laid out in concentric circles around the castle, its narrow streets, alleys and passages lead to terraces with views across the valley. The narrow houses to the west with small doors, windows and sloping roofs are a reminder of the feudal era.
The three traditional local specialties are: dried tomatoes, celery and Ufita garlic. Irpinia Colline dell’Ufita extra virgin olive oil is a DOP product made from the Ravece variety of olives
The Passion and the Death of Christ, Easter: a theatrical journey from the Cappellone to the castle re-enacting the Gospel story.
Saperi & Sapori, August: the event proposes a different theme every year that is translated into gastronomic and creative products.