In the ancient Kingdom of Naples the province roughly corresponded to the Principato Ultra, though some places were included in Capitanata or Principato Citra. It is an inner province, unconnected to the sea. The ancient name of the area was "Hirpinia" (modern Italian: Irpinia), derived from the Oscan "hirpus", wolf, an animal that is still present in the territory though in greatly reduced numbers. The province has great environmental interest including the Regional Parks Monti Picentini and Partenio, together with two WWF sites, Valle della Caccia in Senerchia and the area around the Ofanto dam in Conza della Campania.
Typical products are hazelnuts (one third of the whole Italian production), the chestnut of Montella, the renowned wines Aglianico, Taurasi, Greco and Fiano, cherries, cheeses (as the caciocavallo of Montella), the black truffle of Bagnoli Irpino.
Avellino was known for its royal guards during the medieval and Roman times.
The main tourist destinations are the Sanctuaries of Montevergine (over 300,000 visitors per year) and of San Gerardo a Maiella, the archeological areas of Avella and Eclano, the Lancellotti castle, the early Christian Basilica in Prata.