TEGGIANO: a medieval jewel
Teggiano is a sort of open-air museum, full of charm and incomparable art treasures of inestimable value. It has been declared as one of "10 villages of the world" by UNESCO and is considered a medieval jewel in full splendour narrating to all its visitors something about itself, about its history, culture and nature.
Are you seeking a holiday away from the usual mass tourism? Teggiano is surely the right choice, being one of the best preserved villages of the province of Salerno in the heart of the Vallo di Diano region. The village, situated on a hill, proudly displays monuments in proof of its ancient origins, dating back to the late sixth century BC. Numerous fragments remain from the Roman classic period, even the town plant, actually built on the cardo and decuman in the intersection of the Cardo and Decuman (since 1450 it has been the site of the City Council and there, around a stone table, the meetings of the medieval Universitas took place).
The charm of the past revives, in its many aspects, in this place where time has preserved its intact original charm. A medieval town like Teggiano, rich in tradition, art and architecture of great historical interest, truly deserves careful visit. In the course of centuries, the centre has kept the tracks of the Middle Ages unchanged, starting from the original structure of the castle, dating back to Norman times, which has been often restored by the Sanseverino princes.
Teggiano is also known as 'the Urbino of Southern Italy'. The similarity with the Umbrian city is far from being accidental, and its historical centre preserves important examples of civil and religious architecture: the Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore, the old Seminary of the sixteenth century, the Seat, a beautiful portico of classic style. The Cathedral, built in late 1200, boasts two portals of remarkable manufacture and a pulpit, which is a rare example of sculpture by Melchiorre da Montalbano in Italy.
The Church of St. Michael, one of the the oldest of Teggiano, has a wonderful outside small portico. Very old are the bell tower and apse. The presbytery is elevated, though enhancing the crypt, which is the original core of the whole structure. Remarkable are the frescoes.
The Monastery of SS. Pity, dating from the fourteenth century boasts a beautiful portico of the Renaissance period with three arches based on artistic capitals by Francesco da Sicignano, a beautiful stone portal of the year 1476 with a sculpture representing th Pity, and a wooden main door of the same period.
The promenades of Teggiano are immersed in an elegant atmosphere, softened by the typical quiet of the centres of the Vallo di Diano region. For the richness and valuableness of its monuments, Teggiano can proudly wear the title of city-museum. Walking through the streets of the old town you can admire the remains of the Roman period on the facades of the houses, the stone portals bearing carved coats of arms and the cloisters adorned with beautiful frescoes.
The Church of St. Peter (today deconsecrated) houses the Diocesan Museum containing the collections of the medieval cultural period. A small flight of steps leads to a porch in Romanesque style, in whose central arch it is possible to admire the marble reliefs depicting images of prophets. The interior is characterized by a single nave with three chapels on the right side where two tombs are preserved.
The Museum of Arts and Traditions of Vallo di Diano preserves a large quantity of tools still perfectly working: A loom to weave the cloth and hempen, spinning wheels, plows, lanterns, and many others faithfully witnessing past days. Noteworthy is an iron bed, and are the mousetraps, terracotta and ceramic vases, the old scissors for sheepshearing, many old photographs and pictures. The collection is completed by costumes, and documents about the production processes, still followed today, such as the processing of bread, milk, cheese, and the production of wine and oil.
The Museum of Herbs and Viridarium, located in the centre, is in perfect harmony with the natural environment. Particularly interesting are the sections about the natural medicines, the pharmaceutical preparations, the ancient germplasm from the inland region of Salerno and the flora emergencies of the Park of Cilento.
The queen of the local events in Teggiano undoubtedly is "Alla Tavola della Principessa Costanza" ("At the banquet of Princess Constance") an artistic and gastronomic festival with which the organizers wish to recall the splendor of an ancient past. Between the 11th and 13th August of each year you can enjoy true culinary delights along the proposed route in the historic taverns of the village, whose streets resound with music, jugglers, minstrels and musicians, accompanied by flag bearers and drummers. The event commemorates the marriage, occurred in 1474, between Antonello Sanseverino, Prince of Salerno and Lord of Diano, and Constance, daughter of Federico da Montefeltro, the great Duke of Urbino. It represents a truly unique opportunity to admire the valuable artistic and cultural beauties of Teggiano. In fact, on this occasion, all the monuments are open simultaneously.
To relive the same atmosphere and feelings, the emotions and symbols of the past, is also the goal of the National Exhibition of antiques and collectibles "Teggiano Antiquarian", which is held in the magnificent setting of the castle Macchiaroli every autumn.