The town takes its name from the extensive beech forest that surrounds it, one of the most beautiful and evocative woods of Puglia, inserted among the naturalistic sites protected by the European Community (pSIC). The area benefits from the richness of the waters and especially from the course of the Celone creek, which over the centuries has affected the settlement processes of the entire Valmaggiore.

Tradition says a first inhabited nucleus was formed on Mount Castiglione, in the orbit of the fortified center of Crepacore. Here, following an edict of Charles I of Anjou in 1269, Provençal militias would be installed to preside over the area defended by the Saracens of Lucera, faithful to the Swabians. A few decades later, in search of a safer place, a part of the community moved near the current town of Faeto, where stood the small church of Saint Mary and the Benedictine monastery of Saint Salvatore, while another group settled on the site of the current Celle San Vito.

The primitive settlement is identified not far from the hamlet of San Vito, also known as the Maresca roadhouse, which includes the ruins of a small church and an artistic fountain. An inscription from the 16th century informs us that the fountain was named “of the kite”, from which the etymon of Celone derives. According to some, moreover, the locality coincides with the Mutatio Aquilonis, a post along the Traiana road on the border between Campania and Puglia, mentioned in a late-antique itinerary. From here, therefore, following the footsteps of the Provencal militiamen and of ancient pilgrims, we move to the area of the present inhabited area.

The origins of the first community remain alive in the language of Fait, a Franco-Provençal dialect that led to the establishment of a linguistic island that also includes the neighboring municipality of Celle San Vito. Toponymy often recalls the original language. This is the case of the locality “Ciatei” (from the French chateau), which recalls the presence of a castle, now disappeared, in the upstream part of the village. More evident signs of the past can be found in the Capitaneo’s house, a building of the Aragonese period with characteristic mullioned windows, home of Ethnographic Museum of the Franco-Provincial Communities of Faeto and Celle San Vito.

On the contrary, only traces of the Benedictine monastery of the Most Holy Savior and the smaller one of Saint Mary of Fageto, both attested as early as 1069 among the dependencies of the Episcopate of Troia but of dubious location. The memory of the ancient monastery also remains in the dedication of the Parish Church of the Most Holy Savior.



In town
The Captain’s House which houses the Ethnographic Museum. The Wood Visitor Center.

The roadhouse and the church of Saint Vito. The wonderful beech forest of Difesa woods. The high valley of Celone creek with the mills.

  • The first Sunday of February, the pig’s country festival.
  • On Mardi Gras festivities for the Carnival.
  • Rites of Holy Week.
  • First Sunday of August ham’s country festival.
  • Second Sunday of August festival of Saint Prospero.
  • On August 15th, festival of the Madonna of the Ears.
  • The “Provencal Day” dedicated to residents abroad is also scheduled in August.
Roberta De Iulio