Located in the fertile plateau close to the Partenio mountains, this Irpinian town is between the Neapolitan and Benevento areas.
There are different hypothesis on the origin of its name: it may derive from "ara Cereris", a temple that probably was in the Valle and Castello area, dedicated to the Earth Goddess; another etymology derives Cervinara from ara cervis (=altar of deer). A deer actually appears on the municipality coat of arms. Agriculture always had a great importance for the local people: farmers, shepherds, craftsmen, woodsmen were the first inhabitants of the area.
The name of Cervinara first appeared in a document of the 11th century dealing with a change of property between the Monks of San Vincenzo al Volturno and the Lombard Prince Sicario.
The first castle was built by the Lombards against the Saracens invasions, then the fortress was modified first by the Normans and Swabians and later by the Anjou.
The fiefdom of Cervinara belonged to Isabella of Chauville, to the Carafa family, the D'Avalos, then to the Spanish magistrate Berardino de Barrionuevo, who was the first Marquis of Cervinara. Finally from 1607 until 1806 the territory was under the Caracciolo family. The town was very active in the Risorgimento riots of 1821.