Comune

Teora

Teora, (Avellino)
Teora is a small town and comune of 1,573 inhabitants in the province of Avellino, in the Campania region of southern Italy.GeographyTeora is bordered by the towns of Caposele, Conza della Campania, Lioni and Morra De Sanctis.HistoryThe origin of the village was recorded by the Greek historian Dionisio of Alicarnasso (1st century B.C.) and by the Italian historian Marco Terenzio Varrone. It began as an agricultural and military centre, and was named after the Teora family, who founded it upon their arrival in Italy (in the so-called Magna Grecia) from Greece.It was also reported that the tribuno della plebe Milo died there during the civil war between Julius Caesar and Pompey in the Roman era. In a Privilegio of 1200, granted by Pope Innocent III to Pantaleone, archbishop of Conza, Teora referred to using the name Tugurium Biarium for the first time.Filippo was lord of Teora in 1332, and its domain was acquired by the Earl Giacomo Arcuccio in 1376. Subsequently, it passed on to the Gesualdo Family and from 1676 to 1806, Teora belonged to the Mirelli Princes.Three earthquakes have occurred in Teora, in 1694, 1732, and 1980 respectively; the last earthquake destroyed much of the village's historical and cultural identity. Twenty-five years after that last earthquake, Teora was awarded the Gold Medal of civil merit.CultureWeddingsWeddings in Teora follow a centuries-old tradition in which the groom serenades his bride on the evening before the wedding. Accompanied by local singers, the groom will usually stand under the balcony of her bedroom, awaiting the bride's response. After a few minutes, the bride is expected to switch on the light and go out onto the balcony, as a sign of her approval. The evening usually continues with music and songs in the bride's house.Festival of SerenadesEvery year in the first half of August, the Festival of Serenades takes place, during which five Teorese girls stand on five geranium-decorated balconies, each waiting for her loved one. While professional menestrelli play their love songs, each man climbs a rope ladder to reach his lady and bring her a red rose.MonumentsFountain of MonteThe fountain, also called the fountain of the dead men, has its origins in the 12th century, when the Church of Conza was designated by Pope Callisto II as a necropolis. The fountain has been completely rebuilt over the centuries, and today it is a simple-structured building.Church of Saint NicholasThe precise date the church was originally built is unknown, as all documents were lost in a fire in 1690. The church has been rebuilt several times, and the present structure, with its 16th century appearance, was completed in the 20th century. The church was destroyed four times by earthquakes in 1604, 1694, 1732 and 1980. Today, only the skeleton of the greater altar and the ancient columns' stone bases remain of the structure. The new church, rebuilt after the 1980 earthquake, includes pieces obtained from the destroyed church and the Congregation di Morti, also destroyed by the earthquake of 1980.Corona flour millThe Corona flour mill is situated at the edge of the historical centre of the village. Its exact age is unknown, and it has not been in use for fifty years. The earthquake of November 1980 destroyed the central part of the mill.Fountain (public washhouse) of PianoSituated to the west of the area, the rectangular fountain is subdivided in three zones with pillars. The water flows out of five stone masks and into three bathtubs leaning on the wall. Public washhouses are situated at the rear of the monument.Stone of the civil weddingsCongrega public square is named after the Congrega little church. The public documents which form part of the civil marriage ceremony are completed in public on a stone table in the square. It is not known when this tradition began. The table is made from a 20 cm-thick slab supported by two stone pillars.Football stadium "Ettore Chirico"Named after Ettore Chirico, football player and mayor of Teora at the time of the 1980 earthquake, it is situated in the centre of the town and constitutes a site of frequent aggregation of the locals. It hosts the weekly matches of the local football teams.Festivals and eventsThe town's patron is Saint Nicholas, who is remembered on August 13 and on December 6.Squaqqualacchiun'This is a typical masque related to the day of Saint Anthony, January 17, on which the first day of the carnival is held. This event is featured in the Museum of Popular Traditions at Caserta.Pizza of Saint MartinA potato pie is generally baked and eaten on November 11, (day of Saint Martin). According to the tradition, a small coin is hidden in the pie: whoever finds the coin in their portion has the right to decide the menu for the follow-up party that takes place on November 21 (called Cummit).Notes and referencesFILOMENA DONATIELLO, Teora nei documenti e nei monumenti, IRB Redi Editore, Avellino, 1998

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