The Roman city of Saepinum

basilica di saepinum
Saepinum, basilica (photo: G. Falasca).

Just move away from Campobasso for about twenty kilometers to immerse in the past, giving yourself the luxury of walking without haste in a real open-air museum, in a perfectly preserved Roman town: Saepinum. Few people know this place of authentic beauty, at the foot of the Matese massif.

The original Samnite settlement got its urban definition in the Augustan age, when the most important buildings were built on the classical Roman model; then suffered a slow and inexorable decline from the V-VI century A.D. and then was finally abandoned in the following centuries, in favor of settlements on the surrounding peaks, in safer and more defensible places. Only many centuries later, the population returned to settle in the old town hall, reusing spaces, remains of buildings, materials, giving life to a wonderful rural and classic village at the same time.

In any season of the year, walk without hurry between the main buildings of the city that overlook the cardo and the decumanus; let yourself be seduced by the beauty of the theater, whose structures have been partly incorporated by eighteenth-century buildings; lose yourself in the forum or between the Ionic columns in the basilica; linger over the details of the walls that surround the town and their imposing doors and climb on the most beautiful of them, Porta Boiano, to better appreciate the view from the top of the thermal baths, the decumanus and what remains of the necropolis outside the walls.