Traditions of territory

The city of Sarno grows at the slopes of Saro mount. Here you will find many sources that give birth to many watercourses: the rio Foce, the rio Palazzo and the rio Santa Marina, which, flowing, form the Sarno River, that gave to the city its name. For its fertility, the latter was the heart of Campania Felix of the ancient latin poets. Called "Real Valle" from the Angioini. There are traces of prehistoric occupation, at the dawn of civilization, in the sarnesi sites of Foce and San Giovanni, adjacent to the source of the river and far apart just 2 Km. The appearance of prehistoric man at Foce goes back to a time of advanced middle Neolithic, in the second half of the 4th Millennium (3500 BC). His presence persists in place for about 1700 years, until the early Bronze age (1800 BC). It’s in this last period that is dated the abandon of prehistoric village, who had been born in Foce. Towards the beginning of the 1st millennium B.C. begins to have commercial and strategic importance the old prehistoric “tratturo”, become the real Piedmont Road (the future Popilia, then Tabellara), that along the sarnesi mountains, from nocerino territory arrives to Nola. The Etruscans coined the name Sarno, which etymologically means "the River from many sources".

The river and the people of Sarrhastes, who lives along its banks, are frequently cited by many ancient authors. Among the biggest we remember: Conone, Strabone, Virgilio, Silio Italico, Lucano, Stazio e Servio. A votive descendent, discovered in Foce area and dating back to the IV century BC bears witness to the cult of "Holy Sources". This cult of the waters coagulates in the deification of Sarno as healthy river deity. Numerous pictorial parietal representations, found during excavations in Pompei, depicting the God with the green holy rod attribute. Always in Foce we have found the remains of a Hellenistic­Roman theater. The original you date to the second half of the 2nd century B.C., this would lead to the hypothesis, the presence of a “vicus”, to identify with the name "Teglanum" reported by Tabula Peutingeriana. Among the monuments of the Roman period the most significant, on sarnese territory, are the remains of the aqueduct of Julio­Claudian age, which, with a path of over 100 Km, carried water from the springs of Serino to Miseno, seat of the Roman imperial fleet. Part of this aqueduct can be seen in the area named Arce Walls. Throughout the high middle ages, the river is called by the historian Procopius of Caesarea with the new name of Draconteo. Meanwhile, on the roadway, which resembles the ancient via Popilia, took up residence the first nucleus of Lombard race. It's the lombard Prince of Benevento, Arechis II, within the framework of strengthening the Valley of military defenses against the frequent incursions of the Byzantine Duchy of Naples, to proceed around 758­786 AC with the construction of the castle in Sarno on top of Saro, called "parvulum castrum" in the maps of the time. In the area below, then called Terravecchia, the first settlement of present Sarno took place. Always at the time of the Lombard goes back the cult of St. Michael the Archangel, which becomes the heavenly patron of the city and to which will be dedicated later the Cathedral built in the Bishop's Palace. In the year 970, Prince Gisulf I Prince of Salerno, elevates Sarno to the rank of County and gives it to Indulfo of lombard royal blood, which thus becomes the first of 43 feudal lords, who will have the lordship over the city for over nine hundred years.

Distinguished members of Royal families, such as the House of Anjou, as well as famous and powerful Italian noble families, such as Aquinas, the Orsini, the Sanseverino, the Colonna, the Barberini, will receive, over the centuries, the title of Count and Lord of Sarno. With the advent of the last feudal lords, the Medici (1690­1806), the County will be elevated to a Duchy. With the seal dated the Lord's year 1066, the Archbishop of Salerno, Alfano I, establishes the Diocese of Sarno and delimits the boundaries. The first bishop was Riso. Around the Cathedral begins to develop the village of Episcopio, which derives its name precisely from the bishop seat. With the rich Count of amalfitan origin as well as Grand Admiral of the Kingdom, Francis Coppola (1485­1487), the castle of Sarno relives the magnificence of the great Sarno in the Lombard time. But it's the swan song. Coppola, promoter of a conspiracy against his King, known to history as the conspiracy of the barons, is arrested and later beheaded. Sarno's Castle was pillaged and hijacked. New headquarters building became the majestic Palazzo Baronale, also known as Domus Imperialis (now Palazzo Napoli), set in Market (piazza Garibaldi). Mariano Abignente, (1471­1521) belonging to the Seat of Nobles, is one of the thirteen Italian champions, who in 1503, the famous “Disfida of Barletta”, fighting gallantly, restored the honor of arms, against many French knights. Towards the end of the 16th century the Count Maurizio Tuttavilla constructs a water channel from the Foce source to the sea, called "Fosso del Conte", to power the mills he owned in his farmhouse of Torre (Annunziata).

The contemporary age sees Sarno, for the richness of water, becoming an important industrial centre. In this age of fruitful activity, the city receives the nickname of "Manchester of the South”. Specialized weavers arrive from all over Europe, settling there with their families. Are the English Turner, Irish Strangman, the Swiss Buchy, the French Franchomme. The thriving industry receives a new impetus when, in 1856, the railroad comes to Sarno. Always around 1850, in the southeast toward the borders of nocerino area, there is the birth of big agricultural settlement of Lavorate, contraction of the name Terre Lavorate. It is the last hamlet to born in town. In 1904, finally inaugurated the new Circumvesuviana, which connects directly Sarno with Naples and with Vesuvian municipalities. In the last postwar, after the severe crisis of “canapifici”, rise numerous canneries, which enhance the agricultural vocation of the Sarnese territory.



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