Index THE ITINERARY OF NOCERA INFERIORE COMMUNE


 
What we know today as Nocera Inferiore was part of a conurbation called Nocera de’ Pagani that developed in medieval and early modern times; this in turn was the successor to the Italic and Roman town of Nuceria Alfaterna. The town, most of which was built during the 20th century, originally comprised a number of hamlets, the most important being Borgo, round the foot of Park Hill, S. Matteo, along the ancient road leading from Nocera to Pompei (now Corso Vittorio Emanuele, the high street of the 19th century town, where remains of a Roman road and temple have come to light) and Vescovado, with the bishop’s palace, at the foot of Monte Albino. The visit begins at the railway station, adjacent to the district of S. Matteo, in piazza Trieste e Trento.  

 
Stretching away behind it is the impressive complex of the 19th century mills (now MCM), situated along via Napoli (with the firm’s headquarters in the form of a Swiss chalet). The 19th century via Nicotera brings you to Corso Vittorio Emanuele, in the heart of the densely populated quarter of Capocasale. Turning right, you come to the 19th century hospital and 18th century Convent of S. Chiara on the Pagani road. Once on the main SS 18 road you arrive, near the hospital of villa Chiarugi, at the Church of S. Angelo, partially carved out of the hillside in medieval times. From the church, via S. Angelo brings you back to the Corso; a little further on in a side street, via Giovanni XXIII, you come to the 17th century Church of S. Matteo.

 
Going on down the Corso you arrive at the Municipio (Town Hall) beyond the modern corso Garibaldi, which leads to the A3 motorway toll booth and piazza Guerritore, dominated by Villa Guerritore Broya, a Neomedieval building put up in the 20th century.From the Town Hall it is a short walk to the Liceo Vico, on a square with modern buildings; behind it there is an interesting villa in the eclectic style of the early 20th century.Crossing the modern vie Matteotti and Fucilari (look out for the recent Galleria Maiorino, a fine work by the architect Pagliara), you are once more on the SS 18, taking you to the Sanctuary of Montealbino, venerated by the inhabitants of Nocera, on the side of the mountain, and the Vescovado quarter, where there is the Cathedral (with the adjacent Confraternity of the Rosary), with its 18th century bell-tower, fine palaces of the nobility and the 18th century building of the Seminario.
You now cross the SS 18 to go through modern districts (which include the ancient settlement of Casolla, with the Church of S. Maria a Monte) bringing you to piazza De Santis and the hamlet of Piedimonte, where, on the road leading to Castel S. Giorgio, you come to the 18th century Church of S. Bartolomeo, once a monastery of the Olivetan order, containing some outstanding works of art, and further on the 19th century building of the Manicomio (Asylum), now the headquarters of the Procura della Repubblica. A side road leads to the impressive medieval castle, turned into a residence with adjacent park during the 19th century and used nowadays for cultural events. Returning to piazza De Santis, you take the straight road leading to the quarter of Borgo, where in piazza Zanardelli, the main square, there is the church of Corpo di Cristo and further on the Monastery of S. Antonio, an important medieval-Renaissance complex with a church and cloisters, which is the headquarters of the Provincial Museum of the Agro Nocerino (with finds ranging from prehistorical to Roman times from the plain) and the Art Gallery of S. Antonio, with some fine Renaissance paintings. From the square in front of the monastery you take via S. Andrea towards the panoramic monastery of the Cappuccini and the Church of S. Andrea, set beneath the castle.
From piazza Zanardelli you go along via Solimena, the main thoroughfare in the Borgo, dominated by the 18th century Caserma Tofano, once the palace of the Carafa, the local feudal lord. Opposite the public park there used to be the gardens of the palace, stretching up the hillside to the castle. Further on, amidst palaces and courtyards dating form the 17th – 19th centuries, there is the complex of S. Giovanni in Parco, with its church (of which only the apse remains) and, above it, the extensive convent building.
On reaching Largo S. Biagio, you take via S. Anna towards Sarno and come to another monastic complex, also located on the slopes below Park Hill overlooking the plain, the Convent of S. Anna, with some fine works of art from medieval and modern times. Further on slargo di S. Mauro (where there was once a spring of the River Sarno and you can see a large 17th century tuff gateway) leads to the hamlet of Cicalesi, with the church of S. Giovanni Battista, and, along the ancient road to Sarno that hugs the hillside leading to Lavorate, Fiano, where there is the farmstead and church of S. Anna and, on the hillside, the ancient quarries of Nocera tuff, with signs of quarrying still visible in the rockface.