The town

Located on the slopes of the Lattari mountains, Pagani has two faces: the spiritual one, of strong popular feeling, condensed in the cult for St.Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori, founder of the Congregation of the SS.Redentore and for Maria SS. del Carmelo (called “of the Hens”, since when, according to the legendary story, some hens discovered, scratching about in a courtyard, the precious Marian icon); the commercial one, characterized by the impulse given by the new fruit and vegetable Market, by the modern food transformation industries, by the art of the chairmenders, that still survive today in the small centre.

The city has ancient origins: during the Roman era rustic villas rose along the principal roads Nuceria-Stabiae and Nuceria-Pompeios, for instance discovered in via Nazionale and via Ammaturo. The headless statue of a magistrate, defined by the local tradition goddess Lamia, is testimony of the graves located along the ancient road ways.

Today the sculpture serves as wayside post, but originally was afferent to a funeral building of the end of the I century B.C. During the centuries the city has undergone alternate events like some destructions caused by the terrible eruption of the Vesuvius of the 79 A.D. and by the numerous overflowings of the Sarno river. In the last century, the fabric of the Pagani city has remarkably extended thanks to the industrial installations.



To see


Basilica and Convent of S. Alfonso
The church has a Latin cross unique aisle and was founded by the Saint about the half of the XVIII century (1756), work of the architect Pietro Cimafonte. Noteworthy are the precious polychrome marbles of the capitals, of the pilasters and of the altar, coming from the Caserta Royal Palace, started up in 1833. The floor is from the end of the XIX century, while the dome has been frescoed in 1932 by the professor Veri. In the chapel on the left side of the transept, built between 1831 and 1834, is preserved the body of the Saint, who composed the famous song Tu scendi dalle stelle.

Church of S. Maria della Purità
The church, today Sanctuary of the Infant Jesus of Prague, was built in 1681. The façade is enriched, aloft, with an oval with Madonna and Child. Inside, the choir and the grilles are in pure gold. Only the cloister has remained of the attached convent.

Sanctuary of Maria SS. del Carmelo called “of the Hens”
In the one aisle church is preserved a precious lacunar with 21 paintings of various authors. In the centre there is the picture of the Assunzione di Maria al Cielo contornata da angeli. The icon of the Madonna del Carmelo, attributed to Andrea Sabatini from Salerno (1500) is preserved. Noteworthy is the Madonna del Carmine e Santi by Giovan Vincenzo Forlì.


Church of SS. Corpo di Cristo
Built in the middle of the sixteenth century, in the side chapel are preserved the relics of the saints Felice and Costanza, martyrized, according to the tradition, during the Emperor Nerone’s time. A copy of a Deposition of Fabrizio Santafede is preserved.

Church of the Addolorata
Located close to the ancient convent of the Scolopi, preser ves on the altar a painting of the eighteenth century. In the proximities other important churches are noteworthy: Carmine, Madonna delle Grazie, San Francesco da Paola.

Tortora degli Scipioni Palace

Of late Baroque taste, already center of the Latin American Studies Institute.

San Carlo Palace
Once convent of the Scolopis, turned today into a City Palace.

Alfonsian Museum, Pinacoteca and Library
The museum is articulated on two floors. One, turned into picture gallery, with a painted ceiling in the chapel of the Addolorata, the other one gathers the memories of the Saint, situated in the environments frequented by him. Noteworthy is the suggestive and multicoloured presepe in ceramics of Capodimonte, given by the mother of St.Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori, composed of 32 pieces; besides, the harpsichord is preserved (1711), given to him by his brother Ercole, on which he composed the famous song Tu scendi dalle stelle. Interesting are also the Madonna del Rosario and the annunciation by Teodoro D’Errico and the Madonna della Libera by Decio Tramontano. The library was founded in 1748 by St.Alfonso; it contains about 50,000 volumes and about 120 works of the same founder.




Events and folklore

Holy Friday:
Procession of the crucified Jesus, in the afternoon, the statue of the Body of Christ is hoisted on a catafalque of flowers, followed by the statue of the Madonna Addolorata, dressed in black with the swords on the breast. The funeral procession moves from the Church of the Addolorata and crosses the city streets until the evening, when it reenters in the Church of SS. Corpo di Cristo. Despite the run of the carriers, the statue of the Virgin doesn’t manage to follow her Child: the doors are closed again with violence. Christ is over the threshold of the afterlife and his Mother remains to testify pain and hope to the world.

Sunday in Albis:
Feast of the Madonna of the Hens, around nine o’clock in the morning, the nineteenth-century statue of the Madonna goes out in procession. The pigeons are freed by the people and the hens are placed on the pedestal of the statue. The afternoon is dedicated to songs and dances of the Arcane popular tradition.

Week in Albis:
Tosello of our tastes, the interesting demonstration, that takes place the week after Easter, is characterized by tastings and conferences on theme to promote the knowledge of the local typical products.

1st August:
Feast of St.Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori, Saint Patron of Pagani, theologian and missionary, close to the people. One remembers his propensity towards the forms of the popular culture as it is also deduced by the numerous written hymns: among which we remember the famous one Quanno nascette Ninno.





Among the delicacies, the handmade tagliolini, made with eggs and flour, surely occupy a place of honor; excellent is also the tortano or a soft rustic bread, decorated in the shape of a braid and flavoured with the addition of pork fat and “cigoli”.  An absolute specialty is the barbecued artichoke whose aroma spiced with garlic, parsley, salt and extra virgin olive oil, seeps into every angle of the village, during the days of feast. Famous, even if in decrease of production, the oranges, juicy and of great dimensions.




By bus
Line 4 Cstp Salerno-Pompei or line Sita Pagani-Napoli and Salerno-Napoli via Pompei.

By car
With the A3 Napoli-Salerno (exit Nocera Inferiore-Pagani) or with the A30 or the statale 18 Tirrenia Inferiore.

By train
FF.SS., station of Nocera Inferiore.



Telephone numbers

• Municipality - 081/3240111
• Police (local) - 081/915821 - 081954726 (fax)
• Police (state) - 081/920311 (Noc. Inf.)
• Carabinieri - 081/915444
• Guardia di Finanza - 081/5176334 (Noc. Sup.)
• Fire services - 081/5157128
• Civil Protection (Papa Charlie) - 081/5155757
• Water services - 081/3240280 - 800218270
• Electricity-Gas – 800900800 - 800553000
• Fondazione “Pagani città di santi, artisti e mercanti” - 081/5150347

From "Guida alla Valle del Sarno" Istituto geografico De Agostini 2006

Realizzato dalla Soprintendenza Beni Archeologici Salerno-Avellino e Benevento, nell'ambito del progetto pilota per la gestione dei beni complessi della Valle del Sarno di cui all'Intesa Istituzionale di Programma, finanziata dalla Regione Campania nell'ambito dell'Accordo di Programma Quadro - II atto integrativo all'APQ 'Sviluppo Locale'.

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