Cervinara

The plain

Most of the inhabited centre of Cervinara is located along the lowest belt of the Partenio mountain slope, with its northern limit marked by the streets leading from the centre of Rotondi to the one of San Martino. North of those, there is a wide flatland: Cervinara has, indeed, the largest and most fertile agricultural grounds of the Valle Caudina.
Since this area is traditionally employed as woodland and farmland (in particular the areas called San Cosma and Lagno), old casali are rare. Modern villas are much more common, instead: they have radically changed the landscape throughout the last century, together with the railway and some modern highways.
Rettifilo Via Rettifilo (literally 'Straight') is the street connecting Cervinara's train station with Pontocampo. Construction of the railway has been promoted by the mayor Domenico Clemente, who also had the Rettifilo built: they were both inaugurated in 1910. Well-to-do villas have been built all along Rettifilo, as well as a modern congress centre. Via Melito Bagnoli, lined up with chestnut trees Tomatoes grown at Lagno This picture has been taken in August, during the harvest of the tomatoes. Behind this field a small wood is visible: it used to be employed by the wood manufacturing factories of Cervinara. Among the mointains in the background, the most prominent is Mount Pizzone.

Chapel of Santi Cosma and Damiano

Cappella dei Santi Cosma e Damiano

This chapel is located in the middle of the farmlands of northern Cervinara. It is unknown when it was built, but in 1691 the archbishop Orsini, led by the popular devotion for the saints Cosmas and Damian, nominated an hermit to operate the church and build his residence aside. The interior is simply decorated, and hosts statues of the two saints in papier-mâché that replace smaller, older ones now kept at Sant'Adiutore.
It is only in very recent times that the church has become Sanctuary of Madonna del Bagno (the new denomination is gradually replacing the old one) as it has been hosting a 18th-century statue of the Virgin Mary, which is also widely worshipped.

Most of the information given comes from a sign in front of the chapel itself.

Foto di Cervinara [vallecaudina.net]

The first pictures of this gallery depict the chapel of San Cosma and San Damiano.

Front view The portal of the chapel has the date 1832; the lunette over it is a ceramic drawing placed here in 2003 to 'update' the function of the edifice: it depicts the two saints on the two sides of Our Lady of the Baths. The bell (maybe the bell tower itself?) dates only from 1965.
Ahead of the church there is a well (on the left) and a tap fountain (on the right). They are fed by a spring that has it blessed every year.
Interior of the church The statues of St. Cosmas and St. Damian are placed on opposite sides of the main altar.
Statue of Our Lady of the Baths Madonna del Bagno (Our Lady of Baths) it, almost certainly, a name referring to the Virgin Mary operating the miracle of healing infectuous diseas with a bath. This statue has been sculpted in 1773 by initiative of a man from Cervinata called Francesco D'Agostino, as an ex voto for having been healed from leprosy as he went to Scafati to worship a similar statue.
Our Lady of Baths is still largely venerated in Cervinara, and celebrated on the day of the Assumption.
Roundabout at San Cosma The building on the right in this picture is the former dwelling of the hermit at Santi Cosma e Damiano. This roundabout is the most direct entrance to Cervinara from the road connecting it to the Appian Way.
The old casali lying in the plain of Cervinara are all quite close to a church named San Marciano. The biggest inhabited area is the one between this church and Trescine: the two are connected through Via Matteo Renato Imbriani, a straight street that has been lined up with a majority of 19th-century middle class residences (a bit less impressive than the ones of Salomoni, though). Slightly eastward from here is another ancient, popular housing cluster, built up in a fragmented and irregular way: Via Paolo Emilio Imbriani, popularly known as Piscimari.
Another old, small housing cluster is located just north of the church of San Marciano. Anyway it is in the last decades that the population living all around this church had a steady increase. This led the local parish priest to have a new church built.

Churches of San Marciano Vescovo and Divina Misericordia

Chiese di San Marciano

The church of Saint Marciano (bishop of Benevento in 533) is mentioned for the first time in 1686 in the inventories of the archdiocese (but some sources say that the church originated in the 13th century instead): it was a parish church and owned several estates in Cervinara. According to a description made at that time, its interior contained a picture of the saint and of the Virgin Mary, behind the altar. A chapel dedicated to St. Charles was (is?) located aside. The church, partly damaged by the 1980 earthquake, has been subsequently restored, but it is now closed.
In 2001, indeed, due to a decision of the parish priest Vito Cioffi, works have begun for the construction of a new, bigger parish church nearby. It has been inaugurated in 2008, and dedicated to the Divine Mercy. Bells from San Marciano were moved here, as well as a votive bell that had been forged for the reconstruction of the church of Carmelo at Trescine. Campane chiesa parrocchiale Divina Misericordia [YouTube]

A video about the bells.

Cervinara. Prevista per questa sera la dedicazione della nuova chiesa [Retesei]

News article about the dedication of the new church.

Cervinara [PaesaggioItaliano.eu]

Some pictures and facts about the church of Divina Misericordia.

The church of San Marciano Front of the church of San Marciano A pretty distinctive element of the church is the bell tower. It was built in 1816, as stated in the inscription below.
Church of Divina Misericordia The church of Divina Misericordia is easily one of the widest of Valle Caudina. The thin bell tower, 42 metres high, is now one of the most distinctive elements in the landscape of Cervinara. The exterior of the church is tiled with stones quarried in San Lupo, a village not far from Benevento. Portal of Divina Misericordia The portal is dedicated to pope John Paul II (lower left). I don't know who is the person at lower right instead.
Interior of Divina Misericordia The decoration of the interior is essential. Notable in its interior is the marble altar, depicting the Lamb of God — a modern interpretation of an element that is present in the furniture of most local churches — and the seat of the priest; the stained glasses on the side walls also deserve a mention. Among the statue are the ones of pope John Paul II (left of the cross) and St. Pio of Pietrelcina (extreme right in the picture). A stained glass of Divina Misericordia
Central window of the front of Buonanno House The building dates back to (at least) the 18th century. The plaque, placed in 1777, commemorates Michele Buonanno, surgeon at the court of crossbow troops of king Ferdinand IV, who used to operate his patients here at home. View of via M.R. Imbriani towards Trescine The street is topped by a view on the Toppa Ariella (630 m) and Tuppo Tuotolo (1215 m).
An open space along via P.E. Imbriani A decorated portal and some popular housing A modern mural painting about the chestnut harvest (by Giuseppe Pelosi, 2010) A large amount of painting decorates the old walls of Cervinara, due to an initiative of the town council around 2010. They usually depict scenes that belong to the popular traditions, occupations (here is the harvesting of chestnuts in the mountain woods) and festivities, both the current ones and the ones that went lost with time.
Copyright 2014 Antonio De Capua