|— Comune —|
|Comune di Larino|
|• Mayor||Guglielmo Giardino|
|• Total||88 km2 (34 sq mi)|
|Elevation||341 m (1,119 ft)|
|Population (30 April 2009)|
|• Density||81/km2 ( 210/sq mi)|
|Time zone||CET (UTC+1)|
|• Summer (DST)||CEST (UTC+2)|
|Patron saint||San Pardo and San Primiano|
|Saint day||May 26|
Larino (Latin: Larinum, Campobassan dialect: Larìne) is a town and comune of approximately 8,200 inhabitants in Molise, province of Campobasso, southern Italy. It is located in the fertile valley of the Biferno River.
The old town, seen from the mountains, is shaped like a bird's wing. The new town, called Piano San Leonardo, is built on a mountainside.
The city of Larino has been continuously inhabited for millennia. Originally settled by the Samnite and Frentani tribes of Southern Italy, the city came under the control of the Oscan civilization. In 217 BC, the Romans defeated Hannibal here, and it was later incorporated into the Roman Empire, where it was classified as a municipium, and added to the Secunda Regio (Apulia).
When Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great fought for the power in Rome, the latter is said to have joined two of his legions who were encamped in Larino. Earlier the consul Claudius marched through Larinum on his way to attack the Carthaginian Hasdrubal. The city's name appears in the works of the ancient historians Livy and Pliny.
The modern city was built in the 14th century, after the old one, c. 1.5 km away, was destroyed in an earthquake after having repeatedly been sacked by the Saracens. The old Roman city of Larinum was situated along the main road to the South-East, which started on the coast in Histonium (Vasto), and ran from Larinum eastward to Sipontum. The main road also branched off at Larinum into a secondary road to Bovianum Vetus.
In 1656, a plague nearly wiped out the city. The 373 survivors were prepared to abandon the settlement, but through the vigorous efforts of then Bishop Giuseppe Catalano, they were convinced to stay, and the city grew and thrived once again.
During World War II the radio reported that Larino had been totally destroyed in a bombardment. While it was true that the Allies and the Germans were in the vicinity of the town, hostility was avoided and the town was preserved. The city faced a large exodus during the 1950-60s, due to the extreme poverty of the Molise region, and there is a large community of Larinesi living abroad, as well as their first- and second-generation descendants.
Main sights 
The amphitheatre, in the upper town, was constructed in the 1st century AD by a prominent citizen of Larino who had made his fortune in far away Rome. The arena could comfortably seat 12,000 spectators. The structure is elliptical in form and it was built into a natural declivity in the terrain.
Other sights include the Fontana Nuova ("New Fountain" or A fonte 'e Sam Parde, Saint Pardo's fountain), now in disrepair, and the Duomo (Cathedral), made a minor basilica in 1928 by Pius XI, which is considered by some to be one of the finest examples of Gothic architecture in Italy. It was built in the 10th and 11th centuries and inaugurated in 1319. It was restored and renovated many times, with the addition of a Gothic arch in 1451, a belltower in 1523 and interior renovations in the 18th century. It was likely built, in part, by architects and engineers brought in from the Angevine rulers of Naples. At that time there was a tradition of using "spoila", remnants of classical buildings, and it is likely that the structure used cut stone from the classical city which existed in the area of what is now called Piano San Leonardo. One of the church's main elements is the portal, with columns included in a blind protyrus, and examples of medieval decoration including lions, gryphons and a lunette with the Crucifixion; the portal is surmounted by a rose window in Gothic style sided by depictions of the Four Evangelists and the Agnus Dei. The Galuppi Tower (1312), across from the Cathedral, has been strengthened by large square metallic plates. The tower, which was part of the old town's defenses, was the bell tower of a now abandoned convent. The entire structure was built on the command of Pope Clement V at the very beginning of the 14th century.
Other churches in the city include San Francesco, Santo Stefano and Santa Maria della Pietà.
The Palazzo Ducale (Ducal Palace), probably originally built as a Norman castle, is the seat of municipal government. The palace is now repainted as it was decades ago. The exterior walls are alternating panels of whitish grey and charcoal black. The upper levels, surrounding the stone windows are a combination of pink and cream. The top level, overlooking a large terrace, is faced in sunflower yellow. Later a part of the building became Albergo Moderno (the Modern Hotel), now also abandoned. The structure has three distinct facades. One distinctly shows the physical structure of the original castle. The second has a renaissance feel and housed the rulers of the town. The third is a large brick neoclassical structure which was adjoined to the castle in the nineteenth century.
The city has many fairs and festivals, notably those of San Primiano and of San Pardo. These include parties and religious processions. Traditional recipes of the town include Pigna Larinese (pigna 'Arnese, a type of cake) and taralli con l'uova (i taralle cu ll'ove, egg taralli). It also has its own cultivar of olive, known as the Gentile di Larino, which is highly prized for its oil.
In the summer a series of festivals is held. May 25–27 of each year is dedicated to the Festival of San Pardo (A fest"e Sam Parde). In 2005, there were over 110 carts festooned with hand-made flowers. Each wagon is pulled by two white oxen. A procession moves from the historic centre and the cathedral to the cemetery and the old church which dates from the earliest days of the Christian era. It is at once a religious event, a historic event, and a family celebration. Each cart belongs to a particular family, and the cart's position in the procession is a sign of social standing.
Twin towns 
- San Pellegrino Terme, Italy
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Larino|
- Official website
- Larino Online
- Larino Web
- Festival of San Pardo photo gallery
- Larino The Miracle of the Molise
- URP Larino
- Metro LArino
- Dr. Robert Gardner Photostream: Larino