The town is on a hill, 4 km far from the sea, the name comes from oleastrum that means wild oil.
The town was founded during high Middle Ages by the inhabitants of Agropoli who were escaping from Saracens.
Some hamlets are very well kept, for example Eredita, situated in a beautiful place on Paestum plain and the Gulf of Salerno. There are many noble palaces and chapels.
Palazzo De Falco is very interesting. It was built in XV century, with a beautiful stone portal. Inside there is an important library, with XV century manuscripts. It is made by 35 rooms.
During the summer, in August, there are mutton and rissole festivals.
Monuments and natural beauties...
- San Leonardo Monastery, build in 1637 by Dominican fathers. Today only the ruins of the walls and of the monastery remain
Palazzo De Stefano built in 1525
Palazzo Siniscalchi built in XVII century
Palazzo De Falco. It is very interesting. It was built in XV century, with a beautiful stone portal. Inside there is an important library, with XV century manuscripts. It is made by 35 rooms
Santa Croce Church built in XVI century
San Giovanni Battista Church built in XVIII century
San Nazario Church
Postiglione hamlet, with oaks and alders
Centenarian olive tree in Maddalena hamlet, with a small church
The first mention of a “locum qui dicitur Olliastrum”, a place called Ogliastro, was in 1051 but Ogliastro was surely more ancient. According to tradition, Ogliastro was founded in 882 by the inhabitants of Agropoli who were escaping from Saracens. The name “Olliastrum” comes from the Greek word “Aystron”, that is town and from the root “ol” from “òllymi”, that is to destroy: the town was founded after the destruction of Agropoli. The name maybe comes also from the Latin Middle Ages word oleastrum, that is wild oil.
Oleastrum was mentioned in a document of 1059 in which the last Longobard prince of Salerno, with his mother, the Princess Gemma and his wife Maria, gave the bishop of Paestum Amato the lands “in finibus Lucaniae”.
Ogliastro belonged to Agropoli, an ecclesiastical feud of Paestum bishops until 1556 when it was sold to Spigadore family. Then it passed to many different families (Bonito, de Clario, Altomare, De Conciliis), until it reached in 1741 de Stefano family as a marquisate.
Ogliastro was linked to Eredita hamlet in the same University, that is a Municipality (the name Eredita comes from the Greek “erèido” that is “to be firmly founded”. Probably the founders from Agropoli wished to their new town a longer life than that lived by their previous town). Finocchito is another hamlet (the name comes from the Greek phrase “fyo ek lìtos” that is generated from a stone). It belonged to the Sansaverino feud of Cilento, and then it passed to De Clario family until 1806, when feudalism was abolished.