Talking about the village that I’m proud to run is really hard. My origins are so deeply in this land that I should risk of being biased, so I'll try not to let myself be guided by passion. I’m going to talk about Dugenta with documented words and not by fairy-tale words. Once upon a time, during the Roman era, a small village bathed by the rivers Isclero and Volturno, sheltered by Mount Taburno, under the eyes of the snowy peaks of the Matese. A few family groups living in this pleasant countryside and dedicated themselves to farming; thanks to discovery of a large quantity of amphoras, however we can say that here also lived artisans. In this land fought bloody battles between Romans and Samnites, we remember the humiliation of the Romans, during the battle of the Caudine Forks in 321 BC. Unfortunately, after this satisfaction, Samnites had to acknowledge the supremacy of Rome, so the village took the name of which derives from duae gentes "Dugenta". Then the Roman Empire dissolved and Dugenta was crossing point of the Lombards, the Saracens and the Normans. It was built the Angevin Castle of which we can see the oldest ruins and, honestly a remaining part not well preserved. In this castle was hosted the Pope Paschal II directed from Sant'Agata de' Goti to Benevento. This Pope consecrated the archpriest church still existing. All this took place between 1110 and 1112. Even Manfredi of Swabia passed by here before dying in "cò del ponte di Benevento" as Dante Alighieri says. Then the castle passed into the hands of a noble family, the Caetanis, and then it passed into the hands of the Pope Boniface VIII, who turned him over to a vicar. Even today in the village there is a building that we call vicar. Dugenta’s castle hosted popes and nobles and witnessed grim scenes of torture and intrigues but this belongs to the sphere of fantasy even if we are unsure of underground and secret passages still exist. We remind the battle which saw the victory of Garibaldi's Thousand on Bourbon in October 1860 or the havoc of Dugenta by the Germans retreating from Sicily during the World War II. The lull after the storm, thanks to the Italian economic miracle, Dugenta’s inhabitants lived a long period of welfare, industrial development due to the presence of the tobacco factory that promoted work at the plant and also the local farmers who specialized in tobacco growing. The Cassa del Mezzogiorno or fund for the South financed the creation of an agrarian institute and a boarding school for students. Unfortunately, all this is a memory. Nowadays, Dugenta is living an uncertain economic conditions like the rest of Italy, but the Dugentesi are keeping on to be hard-working and from old farmhouses they created many agritourisms. Many Neapolitan and Casertani come to taste genuine food. Many businessmen produce and trade, wine, oil and vegetables. Unfortunately, many young people were forced to leave in search of work. Many of those who remain have organized themselves into associations, cultural and sporting activities and they are the protagonists of initiatives that “keep alive” this small village. I’m so proud to say that Dugenta is an agricultural village so the natural environment is part of our culture. Dugenta has about 2900 inhabitants, so it seems to have no particular characteristics of tourist attraction but for those who know the story, for those who live here or just passing through it is an interesting village to explore and a place to live. History, culture, tradition and I might say an untouched landscape can be an opportunity to stimulate a tourism that will understand the wealth of our small village.

Ada Renzi
Mayor of Dugenta

▲ top page