Stage 8 : Teggiano / Sanza
The 8th stage will bring you back to the Cilento National Park, trough the Certosa di San Lorenzo, also known as Certosa di Padula, the largest carthusian monastery in Italy. From Teggiano to the Certosa it is quick. However, for some kilometres the way will be less silent than usual, with some busier roads.
Before reaching the Certosa, you shall certainly visit the Battistero of S.Giovanni in Fonte (Marcelliano). This is very unique. There is a water fount in the middle of the church and its water is used for baptisms. This is one of the most antique Christian settlement founded in IV during Constantine era by Pope Marcello I.
Just outside the ancient village of Padula you will find the Certosa, founded in 1306 by Tommaso Sanseverino. Its construction was very slow, it lasted until 1850. Carlo V was hosted here after the battle of Tunisi in the year 1535. It seems in that occasion the monks prepared one large omelette using 1000 eggs to feed the emperor’s courtship. French turned the monastery into a barracks in 1806. The monks were banned from the monastery again and forever in 1866. In the year 1944 the Certosa was used as a concentration camp. In 1980 it was damaged by an earthquake, and since then it is being carefully maintained. Since 1997 it is rightfully part of UNESCO.
The access is in front of a stair, with a large ashlar portal that leads into a rectangular courtyard with the monumental eighteenth-century façade as background. That was the original entrance to the monastery. Before entering, to the side of the corridor, a door leads to a very elegant spiral staircase connecting the library, paved with tiles and paintings of the eighteenth century. The large cloister dates back to 1690 and is the largest in Europe with its 15,000 square meters, with an arcade of 84 arches of ashlar pillars. From the large yard you will see the village of Padula, that here appears almost suspended on the roofs of the Certosa. If you have the strength to get back to the top, we recommend a visit to Padula’s historic town center with the Church of St. Michael the Archangel which rises above the houses and the monastery and the Church of St. Augustine, built to the fourteenth century. In the old town, it is also remarkable the House-Museum of Joe Petrosino, dedicated to the famous Italian-American police officer, with documents and objects belonging or linked to his figure.
In May, Buonabitacolo hosts the Festa della Cuccia. Cuccia is a soup of legumes and cereals. Ask for a bowl of Cuccia, it will give you enough energy to finally reach Sanza, your final destination for today.