Montesano is the highest town in Vallo di Diano, at the slopes of a hill that is part of Maddalena Mountains. It is 850 m above the sea-level and dominates the whole valley.
Thermal baths are really important for Montesano; they are surrounded by nature and contain wonderful springs. One of these springs has low on mineral content water, it is sold in Italy and abroad and it is produced by “Sorgenti Santo Stefano”.
Museo Civico is very interesting; there are the products, the tools, the objects of past life thus describing the activities and the culture of the community.
“Lagane e fasuli e sazicchia arrustuta” (Lagane with beans and roasted sausage) festival is very nice (August). Saint Francis Feast with “Cena del poverello” (The poor fellow dinner) in October is very nice, too.
Monuments and natural beauties...
- Museo Civico, there are the products, the tools, the objects of past life thus describing the activities and the culture of the community
Santa Maria di Cadossa Abbey. On the main altar there is a picture portraying the Assumption
Former Capuchin Church and Monastery. On the left part of the building there is the cloister and some rooms: the kitchen, the refectory, the oven. The cloister is surrounded by round arches. Corridors have barrel vaults. The staircase is made in local stone. On the ceiling there is the Franciscan emblem. The church has only a nave and a wonderful arch separates the nave from the apse. The main altar, in polychrome marble, was made in 1863
Madonna di Loreto Church. The facade is classical. The church has a main nave and a side one. On the right there is Vergine di Loreto chapel with a wonderful painting portraying our lady
Sant’Andrea Church. Only the bell tower remains as a proof of the original design. The plan is of a Latin cross with a wide central nave, barrel vault and several chapels. In the presbytery there is a beautiful altar, made in Padula stone, in 1728
Sant’Antonio Abate Church. The church is rectangular; there is only a nave and a barrel ceiling. On the main altar there is a wonderful painting portraying the Saint between two martyrs: Santa Lucia and Sant’Agnese. On the roof there is a small bell tower
Assunta Church. The building has a Greek cross shape. The entrance portal and the window on the facade are really beautiful. The dome has a Byzantine style. The church has only a nave with ceiling in barrel vaults. The decorations are beautiful but really sober. In the presbytery there is the main altar made of polychrome marbles, at its back there is the “Concistorium” made in walnut
Santa Sofia chapel. Only a few things remain: the entrance portal, the main altar, Madonna della Purità, San Rocco and Pietà altars
Santa Maria delle Grazie Chapel. This small temple, with a rectangular shape, has only one nave with a beautiful portal made in Padula stone. At the bottom of the apse there is a statue portraying Our Lady of the Graces, in a circolar strine that is on the wood altar
Santa Rosa Chapel. There is only one nave, with a barrel vault and floor made of bricks. On the altar there is a circular niche with a statue of the Saint
San Vito Chapel. The only original element is the stone portal
Annunziata Chapel. It has a rectangular shape, cross vault and a small presbytery. There in only an altar surmounted by a small niche with a statue portraying the Annunciation
Sant’Anna Church. The church dominates the square and the surrounding houses thanks to its massive structure. Inside there are three naves separated by arches supported by pillars. On the main altar there is a small temple made of polychrome marbles with a statue portraying Saint Anne and Our Lady (portrayed as a child)
San Michele Arcangelo Cave
Sacro Cuore di Gesù Church with two naves
Palazzo Cestari, Passarelli, Arcieri Volentini, Abbatemarco and Gerbasio
Santo Stefano thermal baths
The hamlet was maybe founded in XI century after the destruction of Cesariana and other towns of the valley by Saracens in 915 a.C.
It was first mentioned in a parchment of November 1086.
Montesano was considered a very good feud because of the good climate, the fertile land, the presence of water. In 1337 Guglielmo Sanseverino, son of Count Tommaso, the founder of Padula Charterhouse, bought the feud and then in 1346 he gave it to his wife Margherita di Scotto that held it for 54 years. Many feudatories ruled this territory in the following centuries.
Inhabitants lived very sad periods during these centuries: famine, plagues, earthquakes periodically destroyed their life. In 1348 there was a terrible plague, another one was in 1656.
When there was the Neapolitan Revolution in 1799, in Montesano there were rebellions and violence between supporters of Republic and of Monarchy. On 17th February of that year Nicola Cestari was killed (it was a real episode of murder- cannibalism).
Montesano became then a Municipality and lived a good period.
On 21st October 1860 when towns decided about the unification of Italy, there was a rebellion by the supporters of Bourbon family, but they didn’t succeed.
After the Unity of Italy, brigandage developed also in Montesano.