Pisciotta. A Walk through the middle ages

The village of Pisciotta is considered the best preserved of the Cilento. It’s perched on top of a hill standing out its noble houses and the mother church defended by all the other stone buildings. The alleys, sometimes really narrow, are like a labyrinth, and it’s not always easy to know where they lead to.

Visiting Pisciotta, the best starting point should be the big piazza Raffaele Pinto, which is still the cultural and social center of the village. Climbing up the flight of stairs, you arrive at the first panoramic viewpoint, the "Piazzetta del Cannone" (the square of the cannon). You can watch across the roofs and hills lining the small river "Fiore". Going on you arrive at the marquis Palace of the 18th century belonging then to the Pappacoda Family feudatory of this village till the end of this system. The portal and the impressive flight of stairs in sandstone as well as the arcades and the front of this building are of great architectonic interest. The Palace holds the town library and appears directly above the wide stretch of ancient olive trees descending to the sea like an avalanche and to the small tourist harbour of Marina di Pisciotta.

Walking slowly along via Roma you nearly don’t see the small chapel of S. Michael. Inside it there is a precious statue of the archangel killing the malignant. Moreover there is an ancient pipe organ. Proceeding on the same street, we see flags in front of a magnificent palace, called Palazzo Mandina, and it is the venue of the town hall. There are arcades and a splendid flight of stairs leads up to the offices. Now we arrive at another noble mansion, Palazzo Francia, in front of a small piazza, very dear to the people of Pisciotta. It’s named after a doctor, Michelangelo Pagano, a true benefactor. In this piazza you will find as well the mother church built in the 16th century. It’s called S. Peter’s and S. Paul’s church.

It has a single nave with a slender barrel ceiling and closes with a small apse. There a three wooden statues: in the middle is the statue of the Virgin of Grace and on each side is the statue of a Saint. The statues date back to the 18th century. Above the various altars bordering the nave hang some paintings. One of them is very precious and shows the Holy Franciscus. This is a painting of the 16th century and was saved just in time when this convent of the Franciscan Friars Minor was destroyed. Today some ruins can still be seen and were embellished by the frescoes of the Salerno painter Pennino (1949). In the crypt you will find a precious Neapolitan crib of the 18th century. Descending via Pendino, left hand there are the remains of an ancient Romanesque church of the 13th century and right hand the tiny chapel of the Mercede, dear to the fishermen after coming back from fishing they thanked the Virgin. Near the chapel is the Episcopal Palace of the Lancellotti Family and a little further, there is Palazzo Ciaccio well visible from the seaside with its wide arcades. Going up via Nello Infante we have the view of other ancient buildings, just like Palazzo Vetere, the chapel of Santa Maria della Stella and further the Old Oil Mill.

Pisciotta has been moving slowly but constantly towards a full appreciation of all its rich historic and artistic resources. Now

The Cilento villages