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Ospedaletto d'Alpinolo

Ospedaletto d'Alpinolo

Unlike many ancient towns and castles, which, due to the paucity of documents, today are no longer able to fix their origins, Ospedaletto can boast of knowing exactly how it was born in January 1178, and of being able to have the original document that passes on its memory. The history of the village is linked to that of the Sanctuary of Montevergine. Remarkable were the vicissitudes that over the centuries affected the history of the village, from the constant struggles with the powerful feudal lord of Summonte, to the continuous destruction by fire and earthquakes. Its history however, always walked hand in hand with that of Montevergine.The initial hamlet, and then the village, was born and developed in direct dependence on Montevergine, and therefore came under the feudal dominion of the abbey. This hamlet assumed the name "Casale delle Fontanelle." When it was later transferred to the Church of Santa Maria del Preposito, it assumed the name of the "Casale di Santa Maria del Preposito." But the name Ospedaletto is not derived as a name, either from the Casale delle Fontanelle or from that of Santa Maria del Preposito. The origin of its name came from the Hospital of St. Thomas.There is a great deal to be said about the hospital, we will only say that it was run directly by the friars, as shown in a document of November 1184, that it had such illustrious guests as Frederick II and that its essential function was to rest pilgrims before they faced the ascent of the mountain to visit the Sanctuary.After a long time the casale took the name "Casale dell'Ospedale di Montevergine." The first time we find the name Casale di Ospedaletto is only in 1463, through a notarial instrument.We have reviewed only the origins of this small mountain town, although its history is very fascinating. Today Ospedaletto, although having the same territorial boundaries, building development has brought the center further upstream. It was precisely the Monastery, with its spiritual appeal, that allowed, from the earliest times, trade and exchange with local products: hazelnuts and chestnuts. It was not until the late 1800s that "copeto," now commonly called nougat, began to spread.In fact, it is precisely these ancient traditions that make Ospedaletto a center of artisanal production of these renowned products.The most famous of these are the "castagne ro' prevete," priest's chestnuts, because it was a monk who discovered the special baking process, which is still used even today on an industrial scale, that gives special flavor to this delicacy that is only from Ospedaletto.