Agnone: The bells of Italy

The bells of Italy

Agnone bells Agnone is renowned for the construction of bells which decorate and give voice to the most beautiful bell towers in Italy and all over the world. A small town rich in history and traditions where inlayers and expert bell makers pass the secret of this local craft down from generation to generation: the working of the copper, wrought iron, and also gold and silver.
The Marinelli papal foundry is the only survivor of those that were once in the area and since the year 1000 this ancient art has been handed down from father to son.
Today it is still possible to see a bell being cast: from the brick core, covered with three layers of clay, worked and decorated with rare artistic perfection, comes the false bell; then molten bronze is poured into the cast. The thousand-year old history of bell-making is told in the Museo Storico della Campana Giovanni Paolo II.
This museum brings together a vast number of bell collections, sketches and reproductions, and also tells the history of bell-making in Agnone. Also of note is the reproduction of the famous Oscan Agnone Tablet from the 3rd century B.C., proof that the casting of metals has been carried out in Agnone for over two thousand years.
The original tablet is in the British Museum in London. The area Situated in the heart of the Sannio, where the sheep track connecting the Apennines and the Tavoliere plain in Puglia recalls the ancient custom of the transhumance, the pre-Roman village is rich in archaeologial finds of Oscan-Samnite manufacture. Recent studies reveal that Agnone is the ancient Aquilonia, destroyed by Rome in 239 B.C. Of particular interest are the church of S. Emidio, with a group of thirteen 17th-century wooden statues representing the Last Supper, and the 12th-century church of S. Marco Evangelista with a precious Byzantine-style silver ostensory.
The village lanes are also charming and are enriched with decorations of shield-bearing rampant lion, portals, cornices and medallions.

Useful information
Town Hall via G. Verdi 9 tel. 08657231 fax 086577512
Local Tourist Board
corso V. Emanuele 78 tel. 086577249

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