Medieval castle and walls

The rise of the castle and town of Sarno led to the fortification of the hill on which they stood. The encircling walls, large sections of which still remain, are triangular in shape, the front running along the main terrace of S. Matteo (the line of the walls corresponding to the main thoroughfare in the quarter). They would have been built over remains of the arches of the Roman aqueduct (traces of which are still identifiable). There must have been various gateways; one of the main ones is conserved near the so-called Norman tower, linking the town with the Borgo; another one can be located in the alley below the church of S. Matteo and gave access to the Tabellara and Salerno. The left side of the walls are well conserved, with a double rectangular tower (called Norman but probably dating from the 14th century) at the start amd other round towers striding along the hillside as far as the castle. This was a large affair which today stands in ruins on the brow of the Saro hill, difficult to get to and controlling the whole valley and the zone of Episcopio. It must have been built in early medieval times together with a small cluster of dwellings, which were abandoned when the town grew up further down. All that remains of the central nucleus are the outer walls and the parade ground, now difficult to recognise (at some time the area was used as a mill); not far off two Aragonese towers (15th century), one in isolation higher up, known as the ‘Orsina’ (built by the Orsini family), the other linked to the castle by a long wall, an extra line of defence created in the most vulnerable part of the complex, facing Nocera, only a few decades before the castle was definitively abandoned. This came about at the end of the 1400s when the complex, which had given shelter to one of the leading conspirators in the “Barons’ Plot”, Francesco Coppola Count of Sarno, was razed by order of the King.


8th-15th centuries


Saro hill


Sarno's Tour