The name Capracotta

The name Capracotta is certainly original and a bit funny and, to quote Luigi Campanelli, a passionate scholar of village history and news, it causes "amusing banter at our arrival among new fellow students at Gymnasium or High School."

There are many arguments and studies, more or less serious, that purport to explain the etymology and meaning of the name:

A legend tells that some gypsies, having decided to found a town, burned a goat in order to perform a ritual in use among them. The goat managed to flee the stake and took refuge in the mountains, where exhaled exhausted. The gypsies built the town where the goat had stopped.

 The coat of arms, depicting exactly a goat that runs away from a pyre, also suggests the test of fire used by the Lombards who would have then founded the village. In fact, this was mostly a carnival custom among the Lombards: they sacrified goats, or better said in poorer terms, they killed, roasted and devoured them, leaving the horned heads to consecrate the devil during dancing and revelry.

Another study says that the name derives from the Latin "castra cocta", a military encampment protected by an "agger coctus," a perimeter fence made of bricks. It can not be ruled out that a Roman detachment was stationed in these hills, to use the strategic advantages of a location overlooking the valley of the Sangro river.

Ugo Mosca argues in a study on toponyms registered in the Provincial Library of Campobasso that toponyms have preserved, in general, the Indo-European etymology, and therefore Capracotta derives from the Indo-European "cap" - high place - and "kott” - rocky place - two obvious characteristics that distinguish Capracotta’s landscape.