Orange Flag of the Italian Touring Club
On the border between Campania and Puglia stands Zungoli, a village surrounded by mountains: the Molara, Monticelli and Toppo dell'Anno. The village is traversed by a section of the Regio Tratturo Pescasseroli-Candelatrail, which is gaining popularity as a tourist, sports and eco destination thanks to the opportunities for horse riding and trekking.
The historic centre winds around the hillside in the original medieval plan. You can visit the 11th-century Norman castle by climbing the imposing ramp with the municipal crest in porphry stone, or the Convent of St Francis and the Church of Mary the Crowned.
There's also an “underground” Zungoli. Below the streets in the historic centre lie tuff stone caves on various levels. Dating from the Byzantine era, the chambers are intercommunicating and have served various functions over time include a shelter and wine cellar. The caves are now used as a store room for the local cheeses, of which the highlight is Caciocavallo Podolico. This hard-bodied, full-flavoured cheese is cave-aged for two years or more, during which time it forms a crust of mould, under which the body of the cheese matures. Places to sample the cheese include the Lidia cheese factory or the Molara Agricultural Cooperative.
The village also produces PDO Ravece organic and ordinary olive oil (theSan Comaio version has been voted the best organic oil in Campania several times). The oil has a mildly piquant flavour with great organoleptic qualities.
The agricultural and shepherding tradition lives on, thanks to the Festival of Transhumance on the first Sunday in September, when visitors can sample and buy the typical local produce.