Of all the five Royal Sites, Ordona definitely boasts the longest history. Ancient Herdonia, an important junction along the Via Traiana, which connected Benevento to Brindisi, was a powerful settlement from the 4th to the 3rd centuries BC, and even coined its own money. It was destroyed by Pyrrhus in 279 BC, deprived of its residents by Hannibal in 210 BC, destroyed again by Constant in 662, repopulated by Frederick II, but razed definitively by Ferdinand of Aragon in 1484. With the institution of the “Dogana della mena delle pecore in Puglia” (the authority collecting duty on sheep passing through Apulia), the settlement shifted towards the Carapelle valley where it became a grange. It was acquired by the Jesuits in 1608, but after the Order was expelled from the Kingdom of Naples in 1767, it became one of the Royal Sites in 1774. In 1975, Ordone became a municipality.
The hillocks east of Carapelle, the site of an ancient Roman statio, have been under excavation for many years, as part of a Belgian project headed by the archaeologist Joseph Mertens. The site has brought to light important testimonies of a glorious past: town walls and the main gate, with its square towers, two temples, the forum, a basilica, a baths complex, and a small amphitheatre. There are also traces of a macellum– the meat and fish market – with a round inner courtyard surrounded by 13 brick and opus reticulatum rooms, with frescoed walls and mosaic flooring, as well as the remains of private residences also in masonry and opus reticulatum, with frescoes and mosaics. Lastly, apart from these walls, there is a vast necropolis, with graves that have revealed striking pottery with distinctive Daunian geometric decoration.
Festa patronale in agosto, con processione e luminarie,
in onore di san Leone vescovo.
I prodotti tipici
Ordona covers 3,990 hectares, with a prevalence of cereal crops. There are also vegetables, vines and olive groves. Typicalfare includes fave e làghene (pureed broad beans with home-made fettuccine pasta and black pepper); fave e rapeste (broad beans and radish served with sautéed garlic); tielle(roast lamb and potatoes); brasciola(meat rolls in tomato sauce). Confectionery includes taralle che l’ove (sweet tarallo biscuit) often with icing; calzoncelli (small folded pastries filled with grape pickle).
Dove mangiare -
Vece Rocco, Via Ascoli, 11 – Tel. 0885.796626
La Perla, Via Michelangelo, 4 - Tel. 0885.796324
Belvedere, Via Campo Sportivo - Tel. 0885.796415