Piaggine is situated among secular beech woods, under Cervati Mount, it's populated by wolves and royal eagles. Piaggine is rich of waters with its rivers: Calore and Bianco.
The ancient part of the town develops towards Calore river. The narrow streets and the stone portals of the ancient houses are beautiful (Vairo, Tommasini and Bruno).
The cave Grotta della Madonna della Neve is really charming, inside a statue of the Virgin was directly carved in the cave. The entrance of the cave is very small: according to a legend it was narrowed by Our Lady to protect the cave from some brigands that wanted to rob the statue. The pilgrimage to Vivo Mount is very fascinating. It goes across Tampa Maggiore path, and it is made in August.
Monuments and natural beauties...
- Museo della Montagna, a naturalistic museum with many botanic and faunistic finds. There are embalmed birds and officinal plants of Cilento
Madonna delle Grazie Chapel, with paintings made in 1599 by Domenico Monaciello
Madonna del Carmine Church. The façade is finely decorated and has a wonderful stone portal. The polyptych on the altar is made of eleven paintings portraying Saints, Martyrs, Angels and the Immaculate Conception by the great artist Pietrafesa
Vairo, Tommasini and Bruno Palaces
San Pietro Church, built in 1159; there are two beautiful stucco altars and some wood statues
San Nicola Church with its wonderful portal, XVI century organ and a painting portraying “The Last Supper” besides the main altar
Madonna del Monte Vivo Sanctuary surrounded by a wonderful nature
Inforcativa, the place where Calore River meets Bianco Rivers, creating deep pools
Vivo, Mottola and Cerasulo mountains, attainable through Tempa Maggiore path
Pianelle and Cervatello woods
Bridge over the fall of Calore Rivers
Grotta della Madonna della Neve, this cave is really charming, inside a statue of the Virgin was directly carved in the cave. The entrance of the cave is very small: according to a legend it was narrowed by Our Lady to protect the cave from some brigands that wanted to rob the statue
Climbing of Cervati mount among the beech woods
Maybe the name comes from the small “beaches” of Calore River or from the Latin “piaggia”, “declivio”; the original name “Chiaine” (still used in the dialect) could also indicate the detritus that come from the mountains. Piaggine was founded by some small communities of shepherds that left the “beaches” of Calore River to move around a sighting tower (X century). This hamlet was called “Chiaine Soprane” and was associated by Longobards to the County of Laurino.
The story of Piaggine was linked to that of Laurino being a feud of Sanseverino, Carafa and Spinelli. With the plague of 1656 more than a half of the population died. In XIX century there was a sad episode: there was the bloody slaughter of Piaggine. The Southern hero Giuseppe Tardio was born in Piaggine, he was the most famous of Cilento brigands. After the Unity of Italy (1861), Tardio supported the Bourbon family, considering that Southern Italy had been colonised by the North. He went in the Cilento sacking the towns and killing Giuseppe Feola in Campora. He took refuge on Cervati mount, was defeated and escaped to Rome. He was betrayed and arrested and he died from poisoning in the jail (1892). Recently the square in front of his house in Piaggine was dedicated to him. The rebel Nicola Tommasini was famous for the murders made in Laurino, where he had killed the supporters of the Neapolitan Republic (1799).
In 1815 he instigated the population against the lieutenant Gaetano Puglia, commander in Piaggine during the French domination. Together with some brigands he assaulted his house in Piaggine and killed him and his family. After having arrested Tommasini and his men, the Bourbon regime stated that the episode had been provoked by common criminals and freed Tomassini and his men. Ten brigands instead were condemned to death and their head were exposed in the square of Piaggine.