Ripalimosani is located right in the heart of Molise on a hill, a few kilometres from Campobasso, right above the valley of the generous Biferno river and the Ingrotte creek. The area is characterized by a series of caves that are appreciated by geology afficionados and probably its name derives from the shape of the hill, a large sandstone ridge that appears as a high bank in the Biferno valley.
The area is crossed by the Lucera-Castel di Sangro sheep track that connected the nearby mountain pastures with those of the plains near the sea and which today is included among the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
The village you see today began to form in the Middle Ages after the fall of the Roman Empire when the population sought refuge from the barbarians, taking refuge in fortresses, which then turned into castles, controlled by local lords.
Several families succeeded each other in the leadership of the town and one of the first official items of news dates back to Rodolfo the Norman who ceded it to Guglielmo d’Alemagna, from whose names it is understood that France and Germany were their place of origin, and in 1311 we find the first historical document that mentions Ripalimosani.
Various leaders and feudal lords followed, who did not care about the well-being of the population.
Despite this lack of regard, the various ‘lords’ embellished the town with artistic structures that today represent its priceless heritage. In particular, around 1500, Marino Mastrogiudice enlarged the village and transformed the castle into a stately building that today still dominates the centre of the town.
Among the items of heritage of the village we must mention a reproduction of the Holy Shroud of Turin, the sheet with which the body of Jesus was wrapped after his death. This was painted in 1500 in full size and today remains inside the Church of Santa Maria Assunta. It is the third authorized reproduction of the Shroud and was created by the artist on his knees in homage to the sacredness of the sheet.
Among the specialties of the area are an excellent olive oil and wines including Biferno Rosso, Molise Falanghina and Pentro di Isernia. One of the excellent foods of the area is the ‘tacozze’ egg pasta which is served with meat sauces, and with the addition of the traditional cheese made with milk from sheep in the mountain pastures.
Ripalimosani has a special place among all music lovers thanks to the famous Luthier school, specializing in mandolins, and the Pietro Mascagni Music Club. Once the village was also an important centre for the production of gut musical strings that were exported all over Europe from this area between Abruzzo and Molise.