Alfano, Province of Salerno, Campania
Located in the Cilento area, along the southern foothills of Mount Gelbison (an Arabic word meaning "mountain of the idol", also called monte Sacro), is part of the national park Cilento and Vallo di Diano, which is both a Unesco site and a Biosphere Reserve. The name derives from the noble family Alfius, probably connected to the ancient Greek toponym Alfeiòs, a river in Greece.
- Altitude: 250 m a.s.l
- Population: about 1000 inhabitants in 2017
- Zip/postal code: 84040
- Dialing Area Code: +39 0974
- Demonym: alfanesi
- Patron Saint: St. Nicola, celebrated on 6 December.
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History - Antiquity
There are few reliable reports on the ancient history of Alfano. Legends say that on the slopes of Mount Centaurino there was a large city along the left bank of the Faraone river, which was destroyed by a catastrophic earthquake; the survivors would be divided between Rofrano and Alfano. Another legend says that refugees from the coastal towns of Malpa and Pixus, destroyed by pirates, relocated here.
History - The Middle Ages and Modern Times
The first historical documents about Alfano can be found in the Angevin registries which states that the inhabitants of the place had hidden three "fuochi" (taxed families) and had to pay a fine. In 1496 King Ferrante II granted to Giovanni Caraffa the territory of Alfano together with that of Policastro, San Giovanni a Piro, Bosco and Torre, after the previous lord, as he had owned Antonello de Petriy, was executed. In 1588 Alfano was purchased by Paolo Brancaccio.
In 1619 Viceroy Duke of Ossuna approved the sale made by Scipio Brancaccio to Dr. G.Andrea Vernallo from Campagna for 9500 ducats; the latter's son then sold the fief to Diego Vitale from Cava in 1624. In 1669 Alfano was under G. Andrea Bernalla.
What to see
- The Novelli palace, dating back to the 18th century, features a large carved stone entrance leading into a courtyard; teh palace was also used for a time as townhall.
- The Speranza Palace, belonging to the Speranza barons from Laurito, who donated it to the Church. It is an imposing complex located on a slightly elevated position above the town.