Gioi is a nice town situated on the top of a hill in Valle dell’Alento, near Serra Mountains. This hill dominates two valleys that meet in Selva dei Santi plain. This area is crossed by two streams: Fiumicello and Fosso.
Vegetation is made of oaks, chestnut groves, olive trees and vineyards.
There are many different kinds of animals: wild boars, foxes, stone martens, hedgehogs, etc.
San Francesco Monastery is very interesting; it was inaugurated on 12th October 1466 and has a wonderful view on Valle d’Alento.
“Per Archi e Vuttari” is a very nice event dedicated to ancient crafts and flavours (August).
Monuments and natural beauties...
- San Nicola Church, built in XIV century, with three naves and a marble altar
Madonna della Porta Chapel, a Roman building, in the apse there are important paintings of 1200
Sant’Eustachio Church, built in XIV century, with two naves, there is a XVIII century organ by Carelli and precious paintings by Mario Romano, on the main nave and on the ceiling of the side nave
San Francesco Monastery is very interesting, it was inaugurated on 12th October 1466 and has a wonderful view on Valle d’Alento
Porta dei Leoni or Porta Nuova, at the base there are two lions and a lion cub that support two stone columns. In the past on the two columns there was an architrave
San Giovanni Battista Church
Ruins of San Salvatore chapel, destroyed in 1500 by Saracens
Middle Ages bridge
Madonna del Carmine Chapel with a XVIII century fresco
Ruins of the castle where a garden was built
Santa Maria delle Grazie Chapel
Palazzo Reielli, Conti, Ianniti, De Marco-Salati and Ferri
Baronial palace with oil press
According to historians, the name Gioi comes from the Latin word "iugum", that is yoke, because of the shape of the town on the hill. Another hypothesis says that the word comes from the adjective “Iovius”, from Jupiter to whom the rock of the town was dedicated.
Between VIII and X century, on a mountain between Gioi and Cardile there was a "basilian laura" founded by Italian - Greek monks. This place is still called "Laura".
Maybe the town developed around a Longobard fortress in VII century. Gioi became famous during Norman period when it became the third fortified town of Rocca di Novi.
The town wasn't involved in the destructions made by Vespro war. It was then ruled by Aragons.
In 1500 Gioi became an important cultural town where there were seven parishes and two monasteries.
During XVI century some hamlets disappeared as a consequence of Saracen invasions. The inhabitants of these hamlets escaped and founded a new village: Cardile.
In 1552 the barony was divided in many small feuds governed by different barons.
In the first years of XIX century the inhabitants of Gioi took part to Risorgimento: Alessandro, Davide and Licurgo Riccio from Cardile were the most famous participants of Gioi to the rebellion of 1828. They were killed and their heads were put in iron cages and exposed in the main square of Cardile.
In 1848 Cardile organized a rebellion led by Contabile Carducci, against Bourbon family.