The historic centre
Cupramontana has one iconic symbol that everyone can recognize: the town hall. It is located at the highest point of Piazza Cavour and if you want to experience the experience as a local, you must go "on 'piazza" (up to the square) to admire the grandeur of this important monument. In September 1777 the new town hall was built together with the new Porta Nova, which was used as the main entrance to Cupramontana instead of the Porta Vecchia.
This building, formerly called Palazzo del Maestrato, as the seat of the Priors, was built to a design by the architect Mattia Capponi (1720-1803), a name that is also linked to other works in the city. In neoclassical style with a civil sail tower, the building dominates the city center with its facade.
Piazza IV Novembre
The core of Cupramontana, namely Piazza IV Novembre, is the only part that has undergone a significant change many years after the architectural changes started in 1770. The inhabitants of Cupramontana used to walk through narrow alleys until 1938; in fact, the Piazza IV Novembre had many small houses and even a small church squashed in a very small area. The unhygienic accommodation was a real problem already from the end of the nineteenth century, but it was only in the 1930s that the houses started to be torn down. The process continued until the early 1970s. In order to help the visitors imagine the original aspect of this piazza, the ground has different colours to mark the boundaries of the ancient houses and the small church. In addition to that, a big board explains with thorough descriptions and photos how the lifestyle in the centre of Cupramontana was at that time.
San Leonardo church
The location of the San Leonardo’s Church has a long history: the church was indeed built in 1760 on a project by the architect Cristoforo Moriconi (1722-1802) replacing the old church built in 1551, which was the first one to be built inside the historic walls. The façade of San Leonardo’s Church is divided into two different levels which became more visible after the demolition of the buildings located in the centre of the hamlet. The four statues on the façade represent the Virgin Mary, Saint Andrea from Avellino, Saint Eleuterio and Saint Leonard.
San Lorenzo church
Originally the Church of San Lorenzo was located in the place occupied by the monastery of Santa Caterina as a branch of the Church of Santa Maria d’Alvareto, and it was the cuprense architect Mattia Capponi who built the new church from 1770 to 1787.
The church, with a single nave, has its main entrance next to the San Lorenzo gate which, with its construction, marked the definitive end of the defensive use of the castle walls. The architecture of the Church is in perfect neoclassical style, and worthy of note are the altarpiece depicting the Martyrdom of San Lorenzo, painted by Francesco Appiani (1704-1792) and the two paintings by Pietro Locatelli (1640-1710): the Martyrdom of the Blessed Angelo da Massaccio and the other with Saint Lucia, Saint Pier Damiani and a soldier martyr, dated 1660.
In an intricate succession of historical events that have also changed the appearance of the historic center of Cuprense, there is an element that has remained wonderfully intact dating back to Roman times: the aqueduct. His not having been tampered with in any way during the darkest periods of the town is certainly due to the fact that he remained "hidden" for many years.
The aqueduct in fact corresponds exactly to the initial stretch of the ancient Roman aqueduct of which the historian spoke, discovered in 1779, and which went down to the ancient Roman city, where also the baths could be found.
The aqueduct is a magnificent example of the genius of the Roman era: the tunnel is entirely dug by hand in the sandstone: 2 meters high, with a development of about 60 meters and a slope between 1 and 2%. Its "V" shape guaranteed, in times of drought, to have enough water in the lower part of the tunnel (about 35-40 cm, therefore much narrower than the upper part), conveying the water faster to Valley. In periods of heavy rain, however, when the water level rose, the extension of the tunnel (up to a maximum of about 90cm) allowed a slower and more controlled outflow.