Cervinara

Upper Salomoni

Via Campanina is a road with Roman origins, branching away from the Appian Way and running at the bottom of the Partenio mountain slopes. Its segment leading eastward from Rotondi and traversing Cervinara is now just a secondary road: local traffic flows now through a larger road running more downhill.
The first two inhabited areas encountered along this old road, below the wooded mountain area called Coppola, are Pirozza (La Petroza in a document from 1532) and Curielli. They may both be considered the most elevated part of the biggest suburb of Cervinara, called Salomoni. The latter gathers one third of the town inhabitans, and is historically a district of wood sawyers.
Both Pirozza e Curielli are simple popular housing clusters grown up along the road (with Pirozza preserving part of a grid-shaped arrangement); houses are typically small popular ones dating back to the middle ages, but some of them have been replaced by more notable middle-class residences.
The chapel of Pirozza Small rural chapels, erected just to host an altar, are not rare in this area; many modern churches were born by enlarging this kind of buildings.
Anyway this chapel is quite modern, as it was built after 1901 to host a cross commemorating a mission of Passionist friars.
A view of via Pirozza On the right side is Palazzo Esposito, which dates back to 1825. The housing on the left has a much ancient origin. Bizzarro House Bizzarro House is hidden at the bottom of an alley, facing a wide communal space. It is an austere but big and ramified edifice, dating back to 1846. Photo of Bizzarro's private chapel [Facebook]

Bizzarro House has a nice, but entirely abandoned, private chapel. Picture by Emanuele La Russa.

Courtyard of Bizzarro House This picture shows the accesses to two single apartments, and the staircase leading to the upper floor. Decorations of a residential building at Curielli
A few metres beyond Curielli, the road receives the driveway coming from the woods of Coppola. A hairpin curve of the road hosts a big statue of Jesus visible from the town, and a panoramic viewpoint.

Belvedere Gesù di Nazareth

The first monument enriching the belvedere has been placed in 2005: it is a stone, partly sculpted by the local artist Angelo Gabriele Fierro as a homage to pope John Paul II. In 2010 the monument has been topped with a statue of Jesus Christ, positioned as to watch and embrace Valle Caudina at his feet. The whole complex is taller than 4 metres, and is meant to be paired with the sanctuary of Madonna della Stella in Rotondi, located not far from here and roughly at the same elevation. Cervinara [Paesaggio Italiano]

A series of pictures of the belvedere, included in a gallery about Cervinara.

Cervinara. S'inaugura il Cristo sul belvedere [Ottopagine]

News article about the inauguration of the statue.

Cervinara seen from the belvedere The town on the left is Rotondi, at the bottom is the usual Mount Taburno. The inhabited areas from the centre of the picture to its rightmost all belong to Cervinara, and the alternation between the suburbs and the countryside is clear, still nowadays. From the centre rightwards there are Pirozza, Curielli with the church of Sant'Adiutore and the central part of Salomoni; the road leading rightwards is the high street leading from lower Salomoni to Pontocampo and beyond. The mountain on the right is the Pizzone.
The monument Bas-relief of John Paul II The figure of the pope is sculpted with two women's heads at the bottom (only one is visible here), symbolizing the prayer.
Just downhill from Curielli the church of Sant'Adiutore faces its own square, and tops the ancient casali together called Salomoni; these were probably born as early mediaeval farming settlements, part of some monastic possession. Still at the present day, the area consists essentially of the popular housing on via Cappella Salomoni and via Finelli, and the courtyards along Via Aia De Panno; all of these have, or used to have, some farmland on their back. For centuries Salomoni has been rather big with respect to Cervinara as a whole. Because of this (in particular of the notable amount of taxes they used to pay to the local Universitas), during the 17th or 18th century Salomoni started a petition to become autonomous, but did not manage.
A residential building on via Aia De Panno At the corner of this street there is a housing cluster, with a particularly complex structure developed around a series of courtyards (accessed through the alley on the left of this picture, that eventually leads to the related farmland). A courtyard on Aia De Panno This is the second of three courtyards accessed through an alley on via Aia De Panno. The picture reveals the old and heterogeneous origin of this popular housing. Villa De Panno (1817) Via Aia De Panno takes its name from this courtyard, invisible from the road as it is located at the end of an alley. It is a communal space in front of the farmers' houses, meant to be employed for agriculture-related activities, as it faces the farmland directly. Behind the farmland it is possible to see the statue of the Belvedere, along the mountain slope.
Bove Building Palazzo Bove is the best known of the residential houses of via Aia De Panno. Its external appearance is not really interesting from an architectural point of view, due to an evidently high number of successive interventions on it. The internal courtyard in tuff and lime stones with its porticos is more interesting. Cervinarte 2014 | Cerimonia d'apertura - 24 agosto [Facebook]

This FB album is about the opening ceremony of a cultural event in Cervinara, held in the courtyard of Bove Building. It is possible to see the nice courtyard.

The former access to the garden of Bove house Bove Building used to have a majestic back garden access on Via Murillo. This stone portal, realized in 1804 and featuring the family's coat of arms, is now unfortunately half buried, as the street level has raised. Access to popular housing on via Cappella Salomoni The new fountain of Piazza Sant'Adiutore The fountain has been installed in 2011, as part of a requalification plan that interested all squares of Cervinara. Inaugurata una fontana in piazza Sant'Adiutore Vescovo [Retesei]

Article about the inauguration of the fountain

Church of Sant'Adiutore Vescovo

Chiesa di Sant'Adiutore Vescovo

Adiutore is a saint venerated locally: he was part of a group of 12 bishops in the African lands of the Roman empire in the 5th century, who were persecuted by the Vandal invaders and were left drifting in the Mediterranean Sea. Their boat eventually reached the shores of Campania, and Adiutore became bishop of Benevento. This partly explains why a church was dedicated to him.
The church of Cervinara is mentioned for the first time in 1108, as a possession of the monastery of San Gabriele in Airola. In 1333 it was already a parish seat.
Probably the original church was only a chapel, corresponding to the current chancel, but more detailed information is available only with a description made in 1655: the interior at that time was arranged not too differently from now, but the church is pictured as having a small bell cage on the front, and a chapel on the left of the main edifice, dedicated to Santa Maria del Principio (now replaced by the oratory).
The church may have suffered from damages with an earthquake in 1688, as in 1694 the bishop Vincenzo Maria Orsini (future pope Benedict XIII) consecrated the church again. And it must be at that time that it was enriched with the notable paintings that can be seen still nowadays.
In 1867-69 the current bell tower was built. The latest finishings date back to the 1990s, when the parish priest Nicola Taddeo had the church decorated by local artists.
Throughout the centuries, Sant'Adiutore has probably always enjoyed incomes of different nature from the peasants inhabiting the area — and the lands belonging to the church in particular. The status of parish church was suspended in 1813, when Sant'Adiutore was annexed to the parish of San Potito; and was afterwards restored. Francesco Cillo, S. Adiutore, Parrocchia di S. Adiutore

A booklet about Sant'Adiutore and the related church of Cervinara, based on a research on documents kept there.

Piazza Sant'Adiutore Coherently with the nature of Salomoni (and Cervinara), the church of Sant'Adiutore is inserted into a row of houses facing a mostly open space giving access to agricultural lands. Here a square has been created.
The church yard is accessed through a short staircase; its fašade is extremely simple. The bell tower in red bricks and white stones, instead, is more remarkable; it has been built between 1867 and 1869 thanks to donations by Michele De Maria, a Jesuit philosopher born in Cervinara. On the left of the church is the oratory and, just below it, the retaining wall features a sequence of panels depicting the Stations of the Cross, a modern work by Carmine Lengua (see related picture below)
Main altar
Interior The interior of the church has roughly the same structure it used to have already in 1656: the side walls feature each a niche close to the chancel, preceded by two minor altars or chapels. These 4 side chapels feature artistically relevant baroque pictures (see below). The case on the left of the chancel hosts a statue of Our Lady of the Principle, still object of veneration nowadays. Vault of the chancel The baptism of Christ frescoed here is a work of the 1990s by the local resident Gianni Scafili, at that time a student of art.
St. John the Baptist, St. Lucy and St. Apollonia One of the canvases decorating the side altars. Author is unknown. St. Anthony of Padua and St. Anthony of Egypt, by Giuseppe Castellano Giuseppe Castellano (Naples 1650s?-Rome 1728?) was a painter from the Neapolitan baroque school, head of the local guild in 1686, 1695 and 1700. His work was mainly inspired by the shaken style of Luca Giordano, even though he tried to mitigate this inclination with the calmer and more elegant tendencies that were spreading at his time. His works are concentrated in the area of Benevento. Giuseppe Castellano [Dizionario Biografico degli Italiani]

More details about the work of Castellano are available in this article written by the art historian Mario Rotili.

St. Adiutore and other saints The oldest image of St. Adiutore kept in the church is the one featured on the left of this anonymous painting. On top of the composition are the Archangel Michael and Virgin Mary of the Intercession (Beata Vergine del Suffragio). The picture also features St. James and St. Mark the Evangelist, but I am unable to recognize them.
St. Philip Neri and the Trinity, by G. Castellano Statue of St. Adiutore This marble statue has been realized in 1997 by local artist Carmine Lengua and was originally placed in the middle of the square facing the church; since 2011 it is placed instead at a corner of the church yard. Bust of St. Adiutore It is a work in ceramic by Gianni Scafili, who also decorated the vault of the chancel. The statue is located within a niche just on the left of the entrance door. A stop of Carmine Lengua's Via Crucis The Stations of the Cross located just on the left of the stairway to the church yard are a sequence of 14 Carrara marble panels with bas-relieves, sculpted by local artist Carmine Lengua. Their style is Romanesque-inspired, yet this work has been praised for its original focus on the glory of Christ rather than the pain and sorrow accompanying the crucifixion.
Copyright 2014 Antonio De Capua