Index THE ITINERARY OF ANGRI COMMUNE


The town of Angri, at the edge of the Lodis area and bordering on the province of Naples, is situated beneath Monte Albino, between the Sarno plain and the hills. It stands on two roads which have been important routes of communication since Roman times, one running from Nocera to Stabia and Sorrento and the other from Pompei to Nocera. There are some remains from ancient times, especially the Roman period, but the town really dates from early medieval times, when it was the feud and walled stronghold of the influential Genoese family of the Doria. It developed from an original nucleus on the hillside to incorporate the lower lying hamlet of Ardinghi, stretching out into the plain in the direction of Nocera. (Until the 1920s the area of Bagni, including the well-known sanctuary, was also part of Angri, but that now comes under Scafati).

 
The visit begins from the present day town centre, piazza Doria, with the Municipio (Town Hall), originally the seat of the feudal overlord, with its composite architecture featuring a Renaissance tower, onto which the 18th century palace was built. In front of it the former palace gardens are now a public park, with the typical formal layout of a garden ‘all’italiana’ and an annex in Neoclassical style which is used for exhibitions and cultural activities. Behind the Municipio, in piazza S. Giovanni, stands the Church of S. Giovanni, the town’s major religious monument, with a Renaissance ashlar façade and Baroque interior, featuring a 16th century poliptych by Simone da Firenze (beyond it there is the oval chapel of S. Margherita, belonging to a religious confraternity). This is the heart of the historical centre, and the main streets branch off from these two squares.

 
 Taking via Concilio, lined with residences from modern times, you come to the Stabia road, with the church of S. Maria di Costantinopoli. Beyond the A3 motorway toll booth lies the ancient Certosa of Pizzauto, a grange belonging to the Charterhouse of Capri, representing local rural architecture.
If you walk downhill from the square you come to the nucleus of the medieval walled town, its grid-shaped layout based on four intersecting streets, vie Amendola, Marconi, Incoronati and di Mezzo. Here there are substantial remains of  15th century palaces with mullioned windows and entrances in the Durazzo style, outstanding examples of Renaissance architecture on the Catalan model as it developed in Campania.
The best preserved façade is on via Marconi, with an archway in tuff (volcanic rock) with the typical shape of the flat arch, adorned with hanging arches. The shields in the triangular pendentives are now blank but probably bore painted coats of arms originally. High up on the left, above the original cornice, there is one of the finest examples of mullioned windows to be found anywhere in Campania. In the adjacent via Incoronati, no. 23, there is another archway in the same style, with a floral decoration running round it and two imitation spiral columns on either side of the entrance, perfectly incorporated into an 18th century façade: a fine example of a well-judged juxtaposition of different styles and epochs. Another archway with a flat arch of rather less distinguished workmanship can be see in via di Mezzo, no. 3.
As you walk down towards the plain you come to piazza Annunziata, a spacious square dominated by the Church of the Annunziata. The  former convent houses the Museum of Canon Fusco, who founded the Battistine order. At the start of corso Vittorio Emanuele, the 19th century road which runs from the centre to the railway station and the main SS 18 road, stands the Church of the Carmine; a little further down you can see the remains of the important 19th century mills, now owned by MCM.
On piazza Smaldone there is the Church of S. Caterina; from here you get to via Ardinghi, the main thoroughfare of the hamlet of Ardinghi, and via Fontanella, with a mixture of residences from Renaissance and modern times and more rustic dwellings with courtyards, as well as the Church of S. Benedetto, going back to medieval times.