The Italian village of Roccagloriosa is to the south-east of Naples in Campania. The village that you visit today is on a hill where it developed around the ruins of an ancient castle built by Narseh during the Gothic-Byzantine war in the 6th century, although the earliest settlement here dates back to even more ancient times.
The medieval old town of Roccagloriosa is characterized by its narrow and winding alleys and steep staircases, and your visit can start in Piazza del Popolo, a square that faces the Gulf of Policastro and Mount Bulgheria.
As you explore the narrow alleys you will see the portals of Casa Saia, Casa Guida and the Palazzo De Caro. Climb the steep stone stairs from here to reach the Palazzos of De Curtis and Marotta, and finally to reach the ruins of the Castle, which was built on the highest peak in the region and near the chapel dedicated to the Virgin "Gloriosa" from which the village takes its name. From the top of the castle you can enjoy the panorama across the Gulf of Policastro.
Among the ecclesiastical buildings of interest in Roccagloriosa note in particular the 17th century Church of Saint Nicholas which is in the renaissance style and has a gabled roof and linear façade. The church bell tower has a square base and is divided into three parts. Among other churches in the village you can see:
- The Church of San Giovanni Battista, built in the 11th century although repeatedly subject to alterations over the centuries, the last of which was in the second half of the 18th century and in the Renaissance style.
- The Church of the Rosary, where the statue of Santa Maria called "La Greca" is located. This is one of the most interesting churches of Roccagloriosa from a historical and artistic point of view, because of the presence of a "Nativity" painting dating from the 16th century.
Other notable places of interest in the town include the Antiquarium of Roccagloriosa which holds archaeological finds dating back to the 4th and 3rd century BC that were found in the necropolis; and the Monastery of Saint Mercurius, founded in the 10th century.
Archaeological treasures of Roccagloriosa
Roccagloriosa is an archaeological site of great interest. The discovery of artefacts in the area dating back to the Bronze Age and Iron Ages proves that the area has been inhabited since the earliest times.
The first permanent settlement dates back to the 5th century BC, then in later years a surrounding wall was built from which the necropolis (burial place) was excluded. See also history of Roccagloriosa.
Parco Nazionale del Cilento e Vallo di Diano
The archaeological site of Roccagloriosa is located inside a Natural Park - the Parco Nazionale del Cilento e Vallo di Diano (the National Park of Cilento and the Diano Valley) - that is recommended for its beauty and also for some typical products of the Cilento such as the well-known “mozzarella di bufala.” The Park is a UNESCO listed World Heritage Site.
Where is Roccagloriosa?
Roccagloriosa is a town in the province of Salerno, located north of Mount Bulgheria, near the Bussento and Mingardo river valleys and in the Campania region of southern Italy (south-east of Naples).
You can find more local travel ideas in the Campania guide.