Policastro Bussentino, hamlet of Santa Marina, develops along the Gulf of Policastro’s Coast not too far from the mouth of the Bussento. It is one of the most popular Beach tourism destinations, with a beautiful town centre of medieval age.
The Cathedral and the ancient Bell tower
The Cathedral is very interesting from an artistic point of view. The 6th-century crypt keeps a Piety of the Senese school and an Antependium. It is one of the oldest monuments of Italy. Its Bell Tower is very important; the foundations date back to the time of its rebuilding between 1709 and 1716. Inside the Cathedral are kept a sculpture and a painting depicting the Bell tower in its primitive form.
The CRYPT has groin vault supported by 14 stone columns, each different from all others, arranged in two rows. The original decoration has been almost completely wiped off. The two small aisles were used, in 1700s, as sacristy and as place of the Confraternity of the Assumption.
The ROMANESQUE BELL TOWER was built in 1167 by order of King Guglielmo II and enlarged in the 14th century. The first two arches structures were erected on the ruins of a Roman guard tower. In the 14th century the Bell Tower was completed adding two more arches structures and the spire, that later was struck and destroyed by a lightning. The façade of the Church is embellished with an AEDICULA in bas-relief, above the portal. It is one of the most precious sculptures of the Renaissance, ordered by Bishop Carlo Fellapane, whose name appears on the coat of arms. The AEDICULA portrays the Virgin with Child and two winged Angels, one with his hand on the shoulder of the Bishop, and the other one touching the Cathedral’s Bell Tower. On the façade there are two small stone lions of the 11th century. The Cathedral’s interior keeps numerous works of art. Near the entrance is placed the SARCOPHAGUS of BARON GALLOTTI: the marble sarcophagus of Baron Giulio Gallotti from Battipaglia, made in memory of his death occurred in 1449 when he attacked the castle of Policastro. On the sarcophagus is carved the image of the Virgin between the Bishop and Jesus, whereas three statues, representing Faith, Hope and Charity, hold it. The floor of the Church is in painted majolica, it keeps the graves of bishops Lancelotto, Nicola and Maradei. The ceiling was restored in 1912 by the painter Lanziani from Lauria.
At the end of the nave is the presbytery. Behind the altar there is a painting portraying the Virgin with Child, a work by Pietro Neurone. The DOME was frescoed in the late 18th century with a scene from “The Paradise”, while on the pendentives are painted the Evangelists.
The castle of San Severino
Policastro’s Castle was built by the Byzantines in the 7th century AD. Repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt, it was made of several halls, a chapel and a large keep tower. In 1806 the castle was destroyed by the English fleet that bombarded it.
The city wall
The city wall dates back to the Greek age (471 BC). Policastro is among the cities that have the best preserved medieval city wall. That of Policastro testifies to the different historical stages of the town. The wall was damaged and rebuilt several times by Byzantines, Normans, Angevins and even by the counts Sanseverino.