Benvenuti/welcome! All information is linked from this page.

Latest news: Meet the Artists, 2-4 June 2016.

For general information on moving to Italy, I suggest: ExpatArrivals.

Clare Galloway has published a pocket guide to Guardia Sanframondi!

Scroll down this page to find links to the information you seek.

Disclaimer, acknowledgements and a note about the photographs
Please read this before using the site.
Who am I? R. Eric SwanepoelA little about the site’s creator.
Why is this needed? The story behind the website.
Background information on Guardia Sanframondi and the region Wikipedia screenshot croppedSome history.
Things you may find helpful to know before you arrive Reading this before you come to Guardia Sanframondi may save you frustration and disappointment.
Learning Italian This hilarious video will get you in the mood for learning Italian.Tips on learning Italian: courses, books, websites and YouTube videos.
Orientation Guardia Sanframondi MunicipioA brief practical introduction to Guardia Sanframondi.
Getting an Italian SIM card P1050630Why you should get an Italian SIM card for your cell phone (mobile phone) and how to do it.
Accessing the internet – wifi etc. L'OasisHow to get online.
Where to stay Arthouse Guardia on AirBnBRecommended accommodation.
House-hunting information General advice, useful contacts and groups, and relevant vocabulary for renting and buying property.
Transport Transport for dogs in Guardia Sanframondi.Getting around in Guardia and the region. Public transport information and links.
What’s happened to the water? What do I do with the rubbish/trash? The water is cut off at night.The mystery of plastic cups used in bars in the late evening is explained… Knowing these things will make your life in Guardia Sanframondi easier.
Eating and drinking L'OasisBars, cafes and restaurants.
The post office Guardia Sanframondi post office.Where is il ufficio postale? When is it open? How do I send letters and parcels?
Where to shop Looking west along the Via Parallela: Guardia Samframondi's Sunday marketWhere to buy food, drink, clothes, shoes, stationery, household goods, etc.
Cultural exchange Terra ViventeCultural and artistic events with an international element
Sports facilities L'Arcobaleno gymSwimming, weight-training and more
Cash machines (ATMs) The ATM at the post office.Where to find them.
Recommendations An opportunity for incomers to recommend services (architects, electricians, plumbers, computer experts…
Wine In due course I plan to showcase the fabulous Guardiense wine and its history and culture!
Out and about AltiliaWildlife, walks and must-sees in the area. So much potential!
Events Regular events and what’s coming up.
How to get a codice fiscale You need this if you plan to stay in Italy, work, access healthcare, etc.
Need a guide or some help when you are here? R. Eric SwanepoelI may be available.
Links Guardia Renaissance - drawing attention to the wonderful heritage of GS and the surrounding area.Useful and interesting sites related to Guardia Sanframondi.
Un messagio per i Guardesi Lo scopo di questo sito.
Make a comment or contributeVi prego di contattarmi. Please contact me. Vi prego di contattarmi.English: Click on this if you’d like to suggest improvements, corrections or additions, or, if you found the site useful, you would like to make a donation to support it. Italiano: Cosa vorreste dire ai visitatori? Avete un negozio che dovreste conoscere? C’è un avvenimento che si vuole pubblicizzare? Volete correggere qualcosa su questo sito?

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Guardia Sanframondi walk

It only takes an hour and a half to walk up the hill behind Guardia Sanframondi. The landscape is magnificent, and there are some interesting plants and wild creatures, if you have an eye for small things. Nature also strays into the town itself. Keep your eyes open!

Click on the pictures below to see them larger!

For more things to see in the area go to Out and About.

1. Things I have seen in Guardia Sanframondi itself.

Juvenile Western Whip Snake

Juvenile Western Whip Snake – beautiful and harmless. I found this one on the streets of the centro storico and and took it to safety in the gardens at the front of the town.

Western Whip Snake

Another view of the Western Whip Snake. Their numbers are apparently declining.

A hawkmoth.

A hawkmoth. The wings were vibrating.

2. The walk up the hill. (a) 19 September 2013. (Other days’ walks to be added soon.)

View of GS from the hill to the east of the town.

View of GS from the hill to the east of the town.

View on the hill. Guardia Sanframondi.

I could have walked directly up the hill from next to the La Fontana del Popolo sign posted to Pizzaland), but instead took a slightly circuitous route from further west along the Corso Umberto. Here’s a view from the road.

A view towards Monte Taburno.

A view towards Monte Taburno.

Pizzaland sign

Look out for this Pizzaland sign – a landmark on the way up the hill.

Pizzaland, Guardia Sanframondi

A close-up of the Pizzaland sign. This restaurant, whose owners apparently have links with Leicester in England, has nothing to do with the international chain. of the same name

Pizzaland, Guardia Sanframondi

Look out for the strange little dog with the protuberant lower jaw that will bark at you as you pass Pizzaland on the way up the hill!

Wayside flowers.

Wayside flowers.

Close-up of wayside flowers.

Close-up of wayside flowers.

A house under construction.. Guardia Sanframondi.

A house under construction.

Viale degli Eroi, Guardia Sanframondi

The Viale degli Eroi sign – another landmark as you ascend the hill.

Wayside view on the hill above Guardia Sanframondi

Wayside view as one climbs…

War memorial, Guardia Sanframondi

There’s a war memorial on the right of the main road up the hill.

War memorial view.

War memorial view. ‘To the invincible who gave all their blood for the country. Only those who have the country in their hearts are worthy to approach.’

Another view of the war memorial.

Another view of the war memorial.

Another view of the field gun at the war memorial.

Another view of the field gun at the war memorial. ‘O, living who leave here, if you do not more serene and strong in spirit you have come in vain.’

Sacred place. Place of prayer.

Sacred place. Place of prayer.

Dulce et decorum est, pro patria mori. 'It is a sweet and fitting thing to die for one's country.'

Memorial cross.

Close-up of caption on memorial cross.

Close-up of caption on memorial cross. Dulce et decorum est, pro patria mori. ‘It is a sweet and fitting thing to die for one’s country.’

Sign indicating a nature conservation area.

Sign indicating a nature conservation area.

Sign on entrance to nature conservation/picnic area.

A closer look at the insignia on the sign at the entrance to nature conservation/picnic area.

Close-up of sign: Mountain Community of Titerno (Titerno is a Local Action Group in the Province of Benevento)

Close-up: Mountain Community of Titerno (Titerno is a Local Action Group in the Province of Benevento)

Titerno is a Local Action Group.

View down the hill - cloudy weather.

View down the hill – cloudy weather.

Another lovely view.

Another lovely view.

Turn right here.

Turn right here.

A collapsed shelter.

Looking for cheap property? I’m sure you could buy this place for almost nothing1 😉

Ramshackle shelter in the woods.

A closer look…

View of the hill as you climb higher

Looking up…

Nature reserve sign.

Another nature reserve sign.

There are many flowers along the way.

There are many flowers along the way.

A blue/violet flower.

A blue/violet flower.

A white flower with tiny insects on it.

A white flower with tiny insects on it.

Interesting burrs.

Interesting burrs.

Light purple flower.

Light purple flower.

Is this a corymb or an umbel?

Is this a corymb or an umbel?

A slug crossing the road.

A slug crossing the road.

This attractive spider was in a roadside ditch.

This attractive spider was in a roadside ditch.

A view to the right and ahead as one ascends.

A view to the right as one ascends.

A stunning bloom.

A stunning bloom.

So much to see if you look closely.

So much to see if you look closely.

Can you see the ant?

Can you see the ant?

Yet another amazing compound flower.

Yet another amazing compound flower.

A beetle.

A beetle.

Another view of the beetle.

Another view of the beetle.

Not far to go.

Not far to go.

Made it to the top. Can you see The Lioness rock in the background?

Made it to the top. Can you see La Leonessa (The Lioness) rock in the background?

La Leonessa (The Lioness)

La Leonessa (The Lioness)

The view in another direction.

The view in another direction.

There are many butterflies up there.

There are many butterflies up there.

Another butterfly.

Another butterfly.

(b) 12 September 2012. On this day I explored the hill immediately above Guardia Sanframondi and didn’t go to the top.

This link to my video of my 2012 visit to Guardia Sanframondi will take you to the section showing photographs of my walk. Below you will find some of these photographs.

Yet another interesting flower.

Yet another interesting flower.

A close-up of the flower.

A close-up of the flower.

View of Guardia Sanframondi from the hillside above.

View of Guardia Sanframondi from the hillside above.

...A closer view.

…A closer view.

Abundant flowers.

Abundant flowers.

Beautiful vista

Beautiful vista – sigh!

Looking east.

Looking east.

South-west view.

South-west view.

North-west view.

North-west view (up the hill).

I think these are teazle plants.

Are these teazle plants?

A closer view of what I think is a teazle plant.

A closer view of teazle-like burrs.

Looking south to Monte Taburno.

Looking south to Monte Taburno.

White flowers

White flowers

Cultivation above the town.

Cultivation above the town.

Lizard on the wall next to the contour road

Lizard on the wall next to the contour road

Another view of Guardia Sanframondi

Another view of Guardia Sanframondi

Guardia Sanframondi with an olive grove in the foreground

Guardia Sanframondi with an olive grove in the foreground

A shard of pottery

A shard of pottery

More shards of pottery

More shards of pottery

Fallen olive

Fallen olive

Hillside view. Note the vineyard.

Hillside view. Note the vineyard in the distance.

Another view of Guardia Sanframondi from above.

Another view of Guardia Sanframondi from above.

An interesting oak tree!

An interesting oak tree!

View of Guardia Sanframondi and Monte Taburno framed by oak trees.

View of Guardia Sanframondi and Monte Taburno framed by oak trees.

Looking west.

Looking west.

Another flower.

Another flower.

An umbel.

An umbel.

Close-up of an umbel.

Close-up of an umbel.

Can anyone help identify these flowers?

Can anyone help identify these flowers?

An interesting outcrop of rock - difficult to get to as the vegetation is so thick!

An interesting outcrop of rock – difficult to get to as the vegetation is so thick!

Age before beauty?

Age before beauty?

Another view of Guardia Sanframondi from above. Note the house under construction.

Another view of Guardia Sanframondi from above. Note the house under construction.

A study in red and green.

A study in red and green.

Another view of Guardia Sanframondi from the hill above it.

Another view of Guardia Sanframondi from the hill above it.

Another view of Guardia Sanframondi from the hill above it.

The iconic bell tower of Guardia Sanframondi.

I think this is an olive press.

I think this is an olive press.

A hillside grapevine.

A hillside grapevine.

Mysterious tracks.

Mysterious tracks.

Grasses frame the bell tower.

Grasses frame the bell tower.

Youngsters playing football, seen from above the town.

Youngsters playing football, seen from above the town.

Looking south-west.

Looking south-west.

Looking west.

Looking west.

Another view of the bell tower

Another view of the bell tower

A closer look at the bell tower

A closer look at the bell tower

Monte Taburno with Guardia Sanframondi in the foreground

Monte Taburno with Guardia Sanframondi in the foreground

Guardia Sanframondi's bell tower and castle with MOnte Taburno in the background

Guardia Sanframondi’s bell tower and castle with MOnte Taburno in the background

Is this bindweed?

Is this bindweed?

Bindweed flowers?

Bindweed flowers?

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Un messagio per i Guardiesi

House Hunters International, un programma TV con milioni di spettatori in tutto il mondo, ha mostrato l’arrivo di un’artista scozzese nella vostra bellissima città. Guardia Sanframondi, con il suo incredibile centro storico e molte case vuote ed a prezzi accessibili, è stata mostrata ancora più al mondo. La conseguenza di questa nuova fama è che molti stranieri, oltre agli italiani che già si stavano interessando al luogo, vogliono ora acquistare case qui. Questo paese offre una qualità della vita meravigliosa e ha un grande potenziale.

Lo scopo di questo sito è quello di aiutare nuove persone ad insediarsi qui. Con questo sito internet, voglio aiutare la piena integrazione dei visitatori. Il sito ha lo scopo di spiegare ai futuri abitanti molti aspetti della vita qui: la cultura, la lingua, dove poter mangiare e bere, dove inviare le lettere, dove poter comprare le cose, cosa vedere a Guardia e nei suoi dintorni, ecc.

In particolare, voglio stimolare lo scambio culturale e artistico, a beneficio delle persone locali, tanto quanto degli stranieri. Insieme possiamo rendere questa città unica, un modello internazionale per il rinnovamento e, potrebbe diventare un centro di cultura e creatività.

Questo sito è quindi un’opportunità per voi, Guardiesi, per informare i visitatori sulla vita qui, e per far conoscere loro le vostre attività commerciali e servizi. Ad esempio, se siete elettricisti o idraulici, costruttori o decoratori, come vi troveranno? Io inserirò i suggerimenti delle persone chi hanno già avuto esperienze positive e sarà inoltre possibile pubblicizzare le vostre attività sul sito.

Se interessati vi prego di contattarmi.

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Sport

Please read the Disclaimer before consulting this page.

Below you will find information about the large ‘Arcobaleno/Centro Polisportivo Sannio’ complex, and here is its Facebook page. Please see the sports section on the ‘Useful and interesting websites’ page for other info, and please let me know of any further sports information you may have.

L’Arcobaleno, which offers swimming, a large and well equipped gym and seems to have a restaurant and a hotel (I think the hotel is closed) is only about a kilometre east of Guardia Sanframondi on the Pontelandolpho Road.  Technically I believe it is in San Lorenzo Maggiore, although it is surrounded by countryside. You need to turn sharp-left off the road…

L'Arcobaleno entrance

The entrance to L’Arcobaleno. Turn sharp left off the main road to get in if you’re coming from Guardia Sanframondi.

L'Arcobaleno sign

Here’s L’Arcobaleno sign from the other side, as you see it when you leave.

Swimming pool/piscina

The entrance to the swimming pool – ‘piscina’.

L'Arcobaleno swimming classes

Swimming classes, aquagym, hydrotherapy,postural acquatic gymnastics

L'Arcobaleno gym

The gym is very large…

Gym equipment #1

Some of the equipment

L'Arcobaleno stationary bicycles.

More equipment in the gym.

L'Arcobaleno gym

Plenty of muscle-building equipment!

L'Arcobaleno gym

You name it, it seems to be here!

L'Arcobaleno gym

Another view of the spacious facilities.

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Orientation – practical introduction to Guardia Sanframondi

Please read the Disclaimer before consulting this page.

This page is intended to give you a quick idea of the town’s layout and flavour.  I am grateful to Clare Galloway for contributing to the information.

Centro storico, Guardia Sanframondi

A view of the centro storico of Guardia Sanframondi from the Via Costarella (Sept 2012). Click on the picture to view it larger.

Where is Guardia Sanframondi?

Guardia Sanframondi is situated in the region of Campania in the province of Benevento on the southern slope of a hill and lies about 70 kilometres (by road) north-east of central Naples.  To the north-west of Guardia Sanframondi, just over three kilometres away, lies Cerreto Sannita, famous for its pottery and ceramics.  Immediately to the east lies San Lorenzo Maggiore. Across the valley to the south, full of vineyards producing the justly renowned Guardiense wines, one can see the mountain known as Monte Taburno.

The road layout

A map of Guardia Sanframondi.

A map of Guardia Sanframondi. Don’t rely on online maps for the details of the small streets. You’ll get to know them when you are here! Click on this to see it larger, and click on the link in the text below the map to see it on Google Maps.

Guardia Sanframondi Municipio

The Municipio could be considered the centre of Guardia Sanframondi

You can view a map of Guardia Sanframondi on Google Maps. (Have fun zooming in and out, and with the satellite view.) The major roads in Guardia Sanframondi run approximately west-east. The axis is the Corso Umberto, which becomes the Via Municipio as one travels east beyond the Municipio. The Municipio (municipal building/council offices) is a large pink structure on the north side of the Via Municipio/Corso Umberto, and is as good a marker of the town centre as any.

To the south of the main axis (the Via Municipio/Corso Umberto) lies the old town, or centro storico, a maze of ancient alleyways and quirky stone buildings, that have survived many storms and earthquakes.  Amongst these you will find some amazing bargains if you are looking for property, many admittedly in need of much work.  There are also several impressive churches.  Running approximately parallel to the Via Municipio are the Via Parallela, to the north, and the Via Campopiano, to the south.

Shop near the Porta Francesca

This surprisingly comprehensive little shop is just off the Corso Umberto next to the Porta Francesca at the top of the Via Roma. Go through the doors on the right to find a good range of groceries, including fresh vegetables, bread and good Guardiense wine in litre bottles.

Shops

Speaking of shops, Clare says:

All shops close half day on Thursdays, so be prepared! Lunch hour is between 1 and 4.30pm, when you will find tumbleweeds blowing about the streets, as folks go home for lunch and a nap.

The area’s specialities include olive oil, wine and breads, as well as a great variety of fruits and vegetables in season. There’s a fabulous variety of traditional stores in Guardia, as well as three good-sized supermarkets and many small general stores, and a big Sunday market selling loads of fresh produce.  Just [to the east] of the Piazza Castello [at the top of the Via Roma] is [, for example, a] store selling ‘most things’, where you can get a lot of foods and household needs. Many things are kept behind the counter or out of sight, so do ask. Especially recommended there are the fresh croissants and pizza. You can also buy bread there.

The better of the larger supermarkets is Deco, which lies on Via Parallela (parallel with the main street of the old town, and behind the big Municipio (town hall) building: you can reach it by heading up from the Piazza Mercato (where the main free parking is, and the Blues Brothers’ Bar).

There are [many] bakeries (forno =  ‘oven’) in the town, with a variety of breads of a very high standard.

For more information on shopping, visit the ‘Where to shop’ page.

Delizia on the Road

Delizia on the Road can be found on the south side of the Via Municipio, just west of the garage.

Bars

Clare says:

My favourite bars (as in coffee bars, which also serve beers and aperitifs) are: Delizia On The Road (closed on Mondays), the one right next door to the Municipio (uphill), and Café Orso, downhill from Piazza Castello, on the right (past the tight part of the street, where only one car can pass at a time): they are do fabulous coffee and fresh croissants of a morning. I especially recommend the local ‘under the counter’ wines here, which cost [from 25c] per glass. Delizia also serves fabulous ice-cream in the summer, and a huge range of pastries and cakes.

For more information on the bars, visit the ‘Eating and drinking’ page.

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Codice fiscale – you’ll need this if you plan to stay or work in Italy

You need to get a codice fiscale, the equivalent of the UK’s National Insurance number, if you plan to stay in Italy, work here, access health services, etc. If you are a EU citizen, this is very easy. Scroll down this page for step-by-step instructions. Click on the photos to see them larger.

La Bar Fonte

To walk to Cerreto Sannita, go past the La Bar Fonte along the Via Sorgenza just west of La Tana dell’Orso (on the Corso Umberto).and keep going…

1. Travel to Cerreto Sannita… by car, bike, bus or on foot (it’s a leisurely hour-and-a-half’s walk through beautiful countryside along the road that leads on from La Bar Fonte).

Via Giuseppe D'Andrea.

Walk down this street, the Via Giuseppe D’Andrea.

2. When you get to Cerreto Sannita turn left down the Via Giuseppe d’Andrea (which becomes the Corso Umberto I), and keep walking…

Piazza San Martino

Walk past this Piazza on the right.

3. Pass the impressive Piazza San Martino.

Bar dell'Arco

Walk past the Bar dell’Arco.

4. On your left you’ll see the Bar dell’Arco.

Municipio, Cerreto Sannita

This is the Municipio. You’re almost there!

5. Keep going until you see this large orange-pink building, the Municipio, on your right. It’s opposite the Happy Hour Caffetteria.

Municipio door

Enter the building here.

6. Enter here, walk straight on, past the courtyard displaying ceramics on your left.

Go up the stairs to the first floor. Find the room labelled ‘Front Office’. Tell them that you have come to get a codice fiscale. Present your passport and tell them your address (no proof of address required) and sign a couple of forms.

That’s it! It takes a couple of minutes if you’re an EU citizen.

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ATMs/cash machines

As far as I know there are only three ATMs/cash machines in Guardia Sanframondi. See below for photographs and directions.

The westernmost ATM in Guardia Sanframondi.

The westernmost ATM in Guardia Sanframondi.

To find this one, walk west along the Corso Umberto from the town centre. It’s on the left just beyond La Tana dell’Orso on the right.

The ATM at the post office.

The most central ATM is at the post office.

The most central ATM is at the post office, behind the Municipio.

The easternmost ATM in Guardia Sanframondi.

The easternmost ATM in Guardia Sanframondi.

The easternmost ATM is on the right as you walk east, away from the town centre, along the Via Municipio.

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Out and about – things to see and do in the vicinity of Guardia Sanframondi

Please read the Disclaimer before consulting this page.

Guardia Renaissance's photos.

Guardia Renaissance’s photo albums are a rich resource. Click on this photo to see them.

There are many wonderful places within a short distance of Guardia Sanframondi. Below you will find just a few of them. With the kind permission of Sergio Desiato of Guardia Renaissance, I have drawn on that open Facebook group’s resources to give you a flavour of how rich this area is. There are many more places in their photo albums – please have a look!

Guardia Sanframondi to Ceretto Sannita walk This is a lovely walk which shouldn’t take you more than 90 minutres, and then you can get the bus back. See the Codice fiscale‘ page for directions on finding the road, see my photos here, and see the ‘Transport’ page for bus information. (Note that the bus back was 20 minutes late when I caught it.)
Guardia Sanframondi hill walk Here it is.
Altilia: an archaeological treasure 37 km from Guardia Sanframondi.
Altilia

Altilia – an amazing archaeological site 37 km from GS.

Caserta: 36 km from GS
Cerreto Sannito: famous for its pottery and only 3 km from GS.
Cerreto Sannito

One of the many sites in the ceramics centre, Cerreto Sannito.

Cusano Mutri: 15 km from GS, ‘Cusano’ means basket – this town is surrounded by mountains
Naples/Napoli: 67 km from GS.
Pietraroja: 18 km from GS, famous for the baby dinosaur found there
Outside the PaleoLab at Pietraroja. A baby dinosaur find here was of great interest.

Outside the PaleoLab at Pietraroja. A baby dinosaur find here was of great interest.

Sepino: an attractive town and the gateway to Altilia (see above)
Sepino

Sepino – the gateway to Altilia

Vanvitelli aqueduct: 28 km from GS (you pass this if you travel from Naples or Rome to Telese by train)
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