The Italic Temple of San Giovanni in Galdo tells the ancient history of the lower Molise region
In the province of Campobasso, just a few kilometres from the Apulian border, is theTempio Italico di San Giovanni in Galdo, the splendid site of an ancient Molisian temple with a strategic location for lovers of excursions combined with artistic and cultural destinations.
Where it is and what remains of it
Just a few steps from the Fiumarello stream, in a panoramic position not far from the route of the Castel di Sangro-Lucera sheep-track, it was discovered in the 1990s, and still remains a destination for curious tourists and researchers from all over the world. Its area, enclosed within a perimeter of 740 square metres, includes the Temple on whose sides are two arcades.
The temple was erected during the rule of the Samnites, around the 3rd century BC. The area was inhabited for four centuries, when it was completely abandoned and the new medieval centre of San Giovanni rebuilt further down the valley.
What remains of the ancient site is the stage, with its red floor with ivory-white tiles. its cornices and remains of columns that must have stood at the beginning of the temple. At the back was an enclosed area, where coins from different eras were found underground, proof that a statue was to be worshipped there. Sacred objects that were used during the ceremonies were found in the most peripheral part of the temple, as well as in the loggias and in the rear part of the walls.
These include ceramics, coins and oil lamps, but in addition to the ceremonial material, parts of podium walls and flooring have been unearthed. The archaeologists are still working on the site of the Italic Temple in San Giovanni in Galdo, and the team includes the shared forces of Leiden University, La Sapienza in Rome and others.
A stop at the village of San Giovanni in Galdo is a must
You absolutely must visit the village that gives the site its name: San Giovanni in Galdo. This small town will offer you refreshment and some relaxation after your walk to the Temple. Here, in addition to admiring the Chapel of the Santissima Annunziata, the Church of San Germano and the Morrutto, home to the town's cultural and artistic events, you can enjoy typical local dishes such as crejuoli, cavatelli, taccozze and laganelle.
A trip to remember, in the name of culture, nature and Molise food. A destination to be discovered at any time of year.