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13 March 2008

Enter Time Machine in Salerno

The possibility to plunge in past millenniums is most interesting in Salerno, when you visit it. I think, there are not so many towns that not only have millenniums of history but allow you to look into them. Here I present you one of these itineraries that we will walk together with Archaeological Group of Salerno .

Turn up your imagination and follow me.

Our route begins in one of the largest squares of the old town, I think. I post this photo only to make you easier the confront with the place we are going to see than. So we pass it and enter in the one-car-street on the left of the church on the photo here:

Every step you make here remembers past times. Like this Roman column built in the wall of the house. There are many of them here in the town. Probably, persons in the Middle Ages loved splendor of the life in Roman Empire. :))

Maybe you will say: that houses look not very good here. It's right. All streets have new pavements, but it's really difficult to repair all houses in the short time. But municipality makes it's best in this sense.

And our group gets going in the street you see in front of you on the right.

Finally we reach the little square where the church of our interest is. The old town is situated on the mountainside, that is why many streets have steps here.
An other interesting thing you can see on this photo. The population of the town was growing with time, but persons were afraid of bandits and military troups and prefered to live inside the town wall. So, dwellings were built were residents could find some place and old towns are similar on the vespiaries.

Sincerely, I don't know to say you precisely, but I think, the ascendant steps of this church are an other prove that it was very important at the time of it's splendor. I know that other front staircases of this type were built to create "ascendant in the sky" impression to the visitors of the churches. Everything was aimed to create this feeling. Because the faith is the connection with God existing over the everyday life.
And here we can begin to speak about time machine we are entering in.

Do you like those documentaries where scientist tell you everything about a person that lived 5 000 years ago? Or something like this? This is the same.
The plant of the church tells us that it is not a simple church but basilica, and it was not catholic but orthodox. Here we are in the XV century.

You need only to go down the steps to return some centuries back in time. The crypt presents pictures of different Saints here. And some of them come from XIII century, others from IX-XI cent. Today the crypt is under ground-level but in that period it was a normal building and was used as private chapel. Floods changed the foot-level of the city that is 7 meters higer as in Roman time today.

Here on the right is the first part of wall-paintings, those from IX-XI cent.

But the story is not finished here. The wall, that Director of the Archaeological Group, Felice Pastore, is showing to us (photo down here), was built by Romans. And it was not a private house but public building in the time of Empire and precisely in II century.

After the Roman Empire was destructed by Babar's and the town was many times buried by floods and eruptions, persons cleaned the rests of the Roman town and built in and over them their houses and churches... and live in them till today! Incredibly.

With this post I wanted only to show you how is it interesting to know what is situating under your feet. And how archeologists discover the truth about the life of our ancestries. That is why there are not stories here. The place of a post is not enough for great article. It could be an other post, the stories of these persons.


  1. Usually rundown buildings are full of history. That's what make it special :D

  2. Yes, it's true. And maybe some ghost too. :)))

  3. Some of the alleys look old and dirty. Old will be nice but dirty, no. But the whole place looks nice. Wouldn't mind the walk. Thanks!

  4. :))) It's not dirty, it's very clean now -for the place. When we (with my husband) looked for a special restorant in these streets 10 years ago, the streets were REALLY dirty. With ...kaka... on the floors too. It's the state of soul of persons in the region. :))) No, seriously.

    But it's fascinating if you don't see the excrements and refuses -that are not too numerous now.

    Once I guided a German couple to the Dom through some of these streets. At the beginning they were very angry with me for great bad odour and refuses, but than they literally forgot everything in these streets and saw only the fascinating town-plan and buildings.


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