The ancient “Little Venice” on the slopes of Vesuvius
Its name encapsulates its history. Scafati, a municipality in the province of Salerno, lies on the slopes of Vesuvius and banks of the Sarno River. The river was once navigable by a boat called a scafa, similar to a gondola, making the town resemble a small Venice.
Monuments include the Sanctuary of the Madonna di Bagni, with its Baroque architecture, built near a spring whose waters, according to legend, have curative effects on skin diseases. Or the Renaissance Church of Santa Maria delle Vergini, a Latin-cross structure built around 1400.
Real Valle Abbey is a mixture of styles, from Romanesque-Gothic to Baroque and modern. Commissioned by Charles of Anjou to celebrate his victory over the Swabians, it was destroyed by an earthquake in 1456, abandoned and converted into a home for the Franciscan Alcantarine Sisters.
Real Polverificio Borbonico, built by order of Ferdinand II of Bourbon, to replace the one in Torre Annunziata, later transformed into the Experimental Tobacco Institute, is a must-see. Since 2010, it has been home to the Museum of the City of Scafati.
Finally, don’t miss Villa Comunale Parco Wenner, with its papyrus pond and unique botanical heritage.