Itinerary no. 1: Calitri, Cairano, Compsa

The first itinerary leaves Tufo at 9 am and returns by 8 pm.  In 179 km, about three hours’ total driving, you can visit the towns of Calitri, Compsa (Conza), and Cairano. Check out the Google Map below for directions, and feel free to click on the “more options” button to open it up in a new tab and take a closer look.  

Calitri is a picturesque  town, rich with ceramic artists and other artisans.  A tour of Calitri is like immersing yourself in a labyrinth of magic and culture.

Calitri under snow

Compsa:  The origins of Conza della Campania are most ancient.  This town was almost completely abbandoned after the 1980 earthquake, which razed it to the ground.   Not a single structure was standing.  The excavations conducted during the late 1980s brought to light findings and structures of immense importance.  The Italian government has projected to make a huge archeological park of the town.

Conza della Campania after the earthquake of 1980

Protip: have lunch on the terrace of the Restaurant Zia Michelina (link to Tripadvisor page here), located directly across from and with a marvelous view of a World Wildlife Fund Oasis of  3900 hectares (about 9600 acres) of conservation land with hundreds of protected species.

Last stop we have is Cairano: one of the towns symbolic of Irpinia.  The shape of the town, lying on the mountain, reminds tourists of the shape of a sea whale, and the atmosphere in town is a meditative silence. There is a website you can access here. 

Cairano, sitting on the top of the mountain