Situated at the heart of Cilento, 8 km far from the sea, it is one of the first towns of Parco Nazionale del Cilento and is made of cultivated lands, woods and Mediterranean bush.
Prignano includes Melito (with wonderful ancient buildings, for example the Middle Ages tower) and San Giuliano. On the territory there are 160 rural houses.
There are many natural springs that give the name to many places (with the word Acqua, water, in them): Acquabona, Acquanuova, Acqua della castagna, Acqua dell’“Abbate”, Acqualeone.
These waters are used in fountains (Fontana e Chiusa, Fontana Li Galli maybe from the name of Gallo family).
From San Nicola square visitors can admire the wonderful panoramas and the beautiful palaces with their portals.
Saint Nicholas Feast on Easter Monday is very interesting. According to a legend Saint Nicholas saved three young women from prostitution giving them money. L’Opera “ri Turchi” (Turks’ opera) in Prignano celebrates this event with two theatre performances about the life of the Saint.
Monuments and natural beauties...
- San Nicola di Bari Church, built in XIII century. The church is divided in three naves, there are five altars covered with white marbles of Carrara. The central nave is decorated with paintings portraying the Saint while he saves a child
Sant’Antonio da Padova Church, in the church there are five wood statues of XV century
Santa Caterina Church. Inside there is the ancient stone altar and an ancient painting portraying Saint Catherine with Jesus
SS. Cosma and Damiano Church, each year many pilgrims go there on 26th and 27th September
Palazzo Cardone, built around 1700, when Cardone family obtained the title of Marquis of Prignano; the palace is wonderful with its three wings, the chimney pots, the old lightening conductor, the two towers. There was also a room used as a prison. The stone portal is actually beautiful; there is a wide courtyard with a cistern. Windows have stone arches. In the rooms there is the ancient furniture. During the Second World War the palace was used as a hospital by Germans
S. Antonio Chapel, with an altar dedicated to S. Barbara
Santa Caterina Chapel
Purgatorio Chapel; there is a portrait of Saint Joseph
Piano della Rocca, where there is a wonderful landscape created by the dam on Alento River. There is also a park and a naturalistic oasis
Prignano was founded in late-Roman age. A hamlet called “Perinianu” was mentioned in 796 in a donation by prince of Salerno to the monks of the Abbey of Cava de’ Tirreni.
The origin of the name is uncertain. Some scholars think it comes from the Latin word “plinianus”, that is “property of Plinius”; other scholars think it comes from the Greek “perì ghnatos”, that is “near a narrow passage”. Other scholars, instead, think that the name comes form the pears, very cultivated in this territory. Sanseverino family obtained the feud in 1112 and gave it as a sub-feud to a family who took the name of the town "di Prignano".
Sanseverino family lost Prignano together with all the other feuds after the Conspiracy of Capaccio (1246), but Carlo I d’Angiò gave them back all the feuds.
Many families then ruled this territory, the last family to rule it was Cardone family, who remained until the end of feudalism (1806).