Molise - Places to Visit - Isernia
This town is situated at 423 m. above sea level on a hill separating the Carpino and Sorde rivers.
An ancient Samnite centre with the name of Aesernia, it was colonized by Rome from 263 BC., becoming an important road communications intersection. Isernia was subjected to domination by the Goths, Byzantines and Lombards and was destroyed at the beginning of the ninth century by the Saracens.
It was rebuilt in the eleventh century, from then on sharing the vicissitudes ot the Kingdom of Sicily (later of Naples and the Two Sicilies) until unification with Italy in 1860. Situated in an earthquake-prone area, it was badly damaged by earthquakes in 1349, 1456, 1688 and 1805.
Interesting monuments include the Fontana delle Fraterna (fountain, 13th-14th century), the cathedral (in neo-classical style, 14th century) built over a previous church, destroyed by the 1805 earthquake, and the church of San Francesco.
The economy of the town is still based on the agricultural sector and on the commerce of agricultural products, while great importance is attached to the public sector which has expanded since Isernia Province was established in 1970.
Some small production companies also operate in the foodstuffs sector. Lace-making is traditional here.
Events: Fair of San Pietro (28-29 June).
Famous People: Andrea d'Isernia (jurist, 13th century), Gian Vincenzo Ciarlanti (historian, 17th century) and Pietro Angeleri (Pope Celestine V, d. in 1296).
Cultural Institutions: Biblioteca Civica (library), Istituto di Storia Contemporanea `F. A. Cerimele', Societ di Studi Celestiniani, Archivio di Stato (State Archives) and Museo Santa Maria delle Monache (museum).
In the Province: Capracotta (mountain resort), Agnone (environmental interest and casting bells), Frosolone (holiday resort), Venafro (agricultural centre).