MONTE PINO is one of the eight largest hills surrounding the city of Benevento. The name of this district originates from the French surname of Monsignor Pierre du Pin, formerly Bishop of Viterbo, who moved to Benevento on November 18, 1350. A lover of nature, he used to visit the city’s surroundings, and having seen those places rich in vegetation and beautiful views, he found in them physical and spiritual refreshment. Such was his fascination with the area that he bought a twelve tomoli, (an ancient unit of measure of agricultural surface used in some Italian provinces), block of land covered with woods of oak and hornbeam. Because of the esteem in which he was held, the adjacent areas assumed the name of this great nature lover, as evidenced by the Latin statement of the time:
”Petrus de Pino possidebat totum montem pino, in quo sunt possessiones amaenissimae vineaque jugiferae.”
Francesco M. Caraffa, Duke of Nocera di Pagani, Great of Spain, Knight of the Golden Toson, Viceroy and Captain General of the Kingdom of Aragona, lived for a long time at Benevento and was considered part of the local nobility. He praised the salubrity of the area. In times of convalescence, D. Francesco, to refresh himself in body and mind, was a guest in the casino, (farmhouse), of the noble Perrotti family, situated in the charm of Monte Pino. In the book “Medica Petra” by Pietro Piperno, printed posthumously in Naples in 1774, is a hymn of praise to Monte Pino composed by D. Francesco:
“Ch’infermo vien dall’ amorosa cura, in questo albergo solitario ameno goda l’aura soave e l’onda pura che a lui si concede il dì chiaro e sereno. Questa è solo d’amor stanza sicura: Ancor costante sol riceve in seno. Non v’indugi chi prova ogni altro affetto Che qui per lui non è luogo o ricetto.”
Eduardo Baccari was another who enjoyed the delights of Monte Pino in the late 19th/ early 20th centuries. Having been born in Benevento, and having a villa in Monte Pino, he remained tenderly attached to the area for his lifetime. His medical captain’s career facilitated his entry into a diplomatic role with the Italian government. While engaged in difficult and delicate political negotiations, he was still able to connect with his mind to the peace of Monte Pino’s villa.
In 1899, the Italian government established a Ministry for Colonial Law, following which, Eduardo Baccari was entrusted with an exploration mission of the Congo. The report prepared by Baccari, besides containing soil and subsoil news, described the climatic variations and intricate communication paths of the local people. The valuable scientific work carried out was published in the “Maritime Magazine” of 01.10.1908. In this report, Baccari included the diary of his days, and when tiredness prevailed, he sought relief by lying on a hammock, his constant travel companion.
“…Era la stessa vecchia branda sulla quale ho passato tante notti sul Mar Rosso e sull’Oceano indiano, quando il caldo o il monsone non permettevano il dormire in cuccetta, e tante altre nell’interno della Cina attaccandola alle colonne dorate di antiche pagode, sotto lo sguardo di giganteschi Buddha, corrucciati per la profanazione, essa aveva già diviso con me la pace di un breve congedo nella nostra tenuta di Monte Pino, dove m’era caro adagiarmi nel suo grembo, all’ombra delle grandi querce che hanno visto la mia fanciullezza”.
Monte Pino is considered one of the most prosperous parts of Benevento, for its size, exposure and agricultural endeavours, especially in the wine sector, which offers excellent, highly-competitive products that have been awarded the much sought after quality seal.