Teggiano – ancient name “Diano”- (637 m s.l.m. and 8,348 inhabitants) is, among the towns of the province of Salerno, the one that has preserved its ancient stronghold’s look. During Middle Ages the powerful Sanseverino family built here a Castle and chose it as stronghold where they could find shelter in case of danger. Antonello Sanseverino, Prince of Salerno and Lord of Diano, along with many other landowners, planned the Conspiracy of Barons, a tax resistance to the King Frederick of Naples, ended in 1487 with the agreement between the parties. At that time, in addition to the castle, the entire fief of Diano was surrounded by high walls with 25 watchtowers and four doors, and it was deemed impregnable after it held out against a 3-months siege of the new King of Naples, Ferdinand of Aragon.
Church-Convent of Saint Francis
The building of the church and the adjoining convent dates back to the early years of the 14th century, as attested by the inscription on the architrave of the portal, dated 1307. The convent belonged, in 1340, to the Friars Minor Conventual. It was suppressed after Napoleonic law in 1808.
Very interesting frescoes are: Scenes from the life of St. Francis, by unknown master, of the first half of the 14th century; Franciscan Saints and St. Michael the Archangel, second half of the 15th century. Precious are the 16th century choir and the cloister with central water well.
The Sanseverino’s Castle
Built in the Norman period, the castle of Teggiano is among the most important of southern Italy. In early 15th century, when Diano (former name of Teggiano) had been confiscated by Royal property, the King Ladislaus of Naples ordered a restoration of the Castle at all villages of Vallo di Diano’s expenses. A new restoration is documented in 1417, ordered by the Sanseverino, who widened the building and made it the monumental Castle that can be still admired today.
Ancient Church probably erected before the 11th century, located on the north side of town, not far from the castle’s walls. The exterior is modest, with a built-in tower bell and, on the right side, the portal with a decorated architrave.
The interior has a basilica’s layout: a main nave and two long aisles divided by a colonnade. In 1958 a section of the right nave was demolished in order to make way for the road.
During recent restoration work some important medieval frescoes emerged on the inner walls.
Herbs Museum with Viridarium (garden), established in June of 1999, has already become very important for numerous social groups, such as self-employed, students, peasants, craftsmen, housewives, researchers, scholars in Campania.
Located in the town centre, next to the ancient convent of SS. Piety, it has several sections:
-Ethno botany (ancient Apothecary’s shop, traditional medicine, traditional use of the herbs, plants and wood used for crafts, magic herbs);
-Natural medicines, pharmaceutical preparations and herbal medicine;
-Seeds Vault and ancient germplasm;
-Natural herbarium, and floristic classifications;
-Monitoring of floristic emergencies of Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park;
-Herbs, teaching and education.
Church- Convent SS. Piety
The structure, built in the 14th century as male Benedictine convent, was transformed (after 1475 by Antonello Sanseverino Prince of Salerno and Lord of Diano) in convent of Friars Minor Observant of St. Francis and enriched with works of art.
The outside has a beautiful Renaissance portico with three arches placed on artistic capitals, probably by Francesco da Sicignano; it’s worth mentioning the beautiful stone portal (1476) with a sculpture of the Piety in the lunette, and a carved and painted wooden portal of the same period.
Inside, a large nave with arches and one side little nave, overlooked by two chapels that houses frescoes from the 14th and 15th centuries, and also painted tables and statues from the 15th century and, in the apse, a beautiful wooden choir with paintings of Saints; above it, a series of six polychrome wooden statues (1505), attributed to Giovanni da Nola, portraying the Deposition with the dead Christ, Our Lady Of Sorrow, Saint John the Baptist, Mary Magdalene, Roberto and Antonello Sanseverino.
In the Convent there is a large courtyard with stone columns and frescoes on the sails and the lunettes dating 14th and 15th centuries. In the refectory you can admire a large fresco of 1476 entitled “L’andata al Calvario” (“Going to Calvary”).
Saint Martin Church
Dating back to the Renaissance, it has undergone numerous renovations over centuries, such as that following the fire in 1820, a work by Giovanni Carrano. It has a basilica layout (three naves separated by stone columns); the presbytery leads to a polygonal vaulted apse, through a triumphal arch.
Entrance to the church is through a three round arches portico with groin vault.
The main portal, flanked by two smaller doors, has decorative forms dating back to the late 18th century; it consists of two pillars placed on a pedestal decorated with two noble shields and surmounted by a lintel with frieze. Historical reports indicate St. Martin as parish church until 1940.
The Diocesan Museum Saint Peter
Reorganized in 2007, it is housed in the former St .Peter's Church, built in the 13th century in the place where, probably in Roman times, there was a temple dedicated to Asclepius.
Church-convent of Saint Augustine
Built as Church of the adjoining convent of Augustinian Friars, it has engraved on the entrance portal the inscription “1370”.
The adjoining monastery, also built in the second half of the 14th century, has a well-preserved cloister, with vaults decorated by frescoes portraying the life of Saint Augustine, probably of the 17th century. Inside the church there is a large statue of St. Augustine and two stone altars: the high altar and the altar of Our Lady of Good Counsel. Very important is a painting depicting the torture of Saint Margaret.
Museum of habits and traditions of Vallo di Diano
The small Museum of Teggiano is a treasure trove of artifacts, kept alive in their original function: the ancient loom, spinning wheels, ploughs, harvest tools and all objects useful for peasants’ everyday life.
There is also an antique wrought iron bed, a sideboard for grain and flour, very old rat traps, ceramic and terracotta pots, sheep shearing scissors and photographs.
Last but not least, music, traditional costumes and documents about farm’s work cycles such as the processing of milk, the production of bread, wine, oil, wool, and the cultivation of flax, hemp.
Michael the Archangel Church
It is one of the oldest churches of Teggiano with a small side portico.
Both the bell tower and the apse are very ancient. The presbytery is raised, with a crypt that is the oldest part of the whole construction. Interesting, from an artistic point of view, are the four reliefs portraying the symbols of "Evangelists", dating from around 1270 and attributed to MELCHIORRE DI MONTALBANO.
Of great artistic value the crypt’s frescoes: on the left wall is portray a Madonna enthroned between Saint John the Baptist and Saint Venera, a real historical document dating from the first decade of the 15th century. On other walls there are frescoes and fragments portraying St. Venera and other Saints dating back to the 13th century.
Church of Santissima Annunziata
Angevin Church erected in the 14th century, placed near the ancient town gate. A wide staircase leads to a portico with round arches, supported by high columns. The portal is dated 1504.
The interior has a single nave with a little right nave delimited by columns and surmounted by capitals decorated in Romanesque style.
Of considerable artistic interest is the altar piece of the 16th century on which is reproduced, on the center panel, the “Martirio di S. Margherita” (Martyrdom of Saint Margaret) and the Annunciation, between St. Joseph and Saint John the Baptist.
Remarkable is also a painting of the Annunciation of 1500.
On the entrance portal there is a terracotta statue of the Annunciation.
Church of Saint Andrew
On the ancient route of the Decumanus there is the Church of Saint Andrew. According to traditions, it rises on an ancient pagan temple. The exterior shows remains of the Roman era, a capital of Lucania culture and, under the arch, two metopes and an altar with calf's head and wreaths of flowers.
Of great artistic interest are two panels:
-Enthroned Virgin and Child between Saint Nicholas and Saint Antony, dated 1499, attributed to Angiolillo Arcuccio;
-Our Lady of Graces, Saint Andrew and Saint Antony, of the first half of the 16th century by Andrea Sabatini, aka Andrea da Salerno.
Cathedral of St. Mary Major
Built at the end of 1200, the Church has undergone numerous transformations. In the Middle Ages the main entrance was on the square, with a three-arched portico, adjacent to the Bell Tower and opposite the baptistery of Saint John.
In the mid 1800’s occurred three important events: the earthquake in 1858, the beatification of San Cono and the becoming of Diano a seat of the Diocese. The work of restoration after the earthquake has been an opportunity to enlarge the Church.
Of fine workmanship are the two main portals: rich and elaborated the main portal attributed to Melchiorre in the 13th century and the side portal of 1508.