San Giuliano del Sannio with its 1069 inhabitants is located 15 km south of the capital city Campobasso, among woods and farmland. The isolated location and the total lack of industries have allowed the town to maintain intact most of its heritage, in fact, it is a real nature reserve, as indeed the whole valley of the Tammaro.
The small town rises on a rock overlooking the wide plain of the Tammaro river, inside the Matese mountain group. The name probably derives from an ancient church in honor of San Giuliano martyr, and the word "del Sannio" was added in 1863 after the unification of Italy.
The appearance of the town is clean and cheerful. The wide main street, Via Roma, brings to Piazza della Liberta' (Freedom Square), where the town hall is located, once a marquis residence.
The town attracts the attention of anyone who looking for an oasis of tranquility and want to get in touch with a world that keeps alive old tradition not only as yearly events but also as a way of life.
Along the main street and in plain sight is the "fountain", a monument dearest to Sangiulianesi of which they are proud. The natural spring water offered refreshment for travelers and was the envy of the nearby towns.
In its territory there are traces of pre-Roman settlements, but the earliest historical information dates back to the Lombard period, when San Giuliano was part of the "Gastaldato di Bojano" and later of the Molise county. Under the Angevin (1306) domination its lord was Amerigo di Sus. Other feudal lords were Guidone di Molino, the Sanframondo, Di Capua, Carafa, Longo and the Severino families.
A beautiful tradition of the place is the festival of San Nicola on 8 and 9 May, with a parade of "fucilieri" (men with rifles) in full uniform, accompanying the procession with the statue of the saint.
This is a real military parade, which begins on the evening of May 8 and continues for the next two days.
The event in honor of St. Nicola di Bari begins on the afternoon of day 8 with a procession headed by the mayor, starting at the town hall and proceeding to the rectory to pick up two flags of Italy.
Back at the town hall, the ceremony continues with the award of the flags.
The parade then finds its way to the church for the evening vespers while the statue of St. Nicola is guarded by a group of riflemen who, after mass, position themselves on either side of the church portal in honor of the Saint, the flags and the faithful.
There are many hypotheses about the origin of this singular ceremony in which the religious element and the military are closely related.
The statue of St. Nicola was commissioned in 1724 and, according to one hypothesis, upon its arrival in town was welcomed by the people who were shooting as sign of joy.
Another hypothesis refers to a singular fact happened to some shepherds from the Puglia region who wore the insignia of S. Nicola, who, attacked by robbers, were defended by some residents of St. Giuliano and as a gesture of gratitude gave the town the insignia of the Holy.
More accurate historically, is the third hypothesis which goes back to the unification of Italy when a group of partisans happened to S. Giuliano on the day of the festivity and fired their guns in honor of the saint.
Another long awaited event is the auto rally, which takes place in the last week of August.