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Agropoli, Province of Salerno, Campania, Italy





Agropoli is located in the northern part of the Cilento coast, on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

The attractive historical centre has a feudal castle, the medieval ruins of San Francesco's monastery, the churches of the Santa Maria di Constantinopoli, San Marco, and San Francesco. In the territory of Agropoli is the fine beach of Trentova Bay, a blue-flag area and important seaside destination.

Info

Population: about 20,000 inhabitants -- Zip/postal code: 84043 -- Phone Area Code: 0974 -- Patron Saint: Saints Peter and Paul celebrated on 29 June -- Frazioni & Località: Frascinelle, Fuonti, Marotta, Mattine, Moio, Muoio, Madonna del Carmine, San Marco, Tarullo, Trentova -- Useful links: official website of the Comune of Agropoli: www.comune.agropoli.sa.it -- Map: see a Map of Agropoli

History

The promontory on which Agropoli stands was since Neolithic times. To the east is a natural sheltered bay, called "Foce", which the Greeks used as a trading base. In Roman times, in the area now known as San Marco, a town called Ercula existed between the 1st century BC, and the 5th century AD. Meanwhile, the harbour of Greek Poseidonia (renamed Paestum by the Romans) was becoming silted up.

After the fall of the Roman empire when invasions from Africa made life difficult for the local people, theys retreated to the promontory, for better defence. There the Byzantines fortified the settlement which was named Akropolis. In the late 6th century the Longobard invasion forced the Bishop of Paestum to take refuge in Agropoli, which became therefore the main centre of the surviving Byzantine territories in the area. In 882 the town fell to the Saracens, who turned it into a powerful stronghold; from there they set out to plunder the surrounding areas, until in 915 AD they were defeated and Agropoli returned under the jurisdiction of the bishops who ruled until the early 15th century.

In 1412, Pope Gregory XII granted the feudal territories of Agropoli and Castellabate to King Ladislaw of Durazzo. In 1436, King Alphonse of Aragon granted the fiefdoms of Agropoli and Castellabate to Giovanni Sanseverino Baron of Cilento. In 1445 the Numerazione dei Fuochi recorded total 202 families. From 1552 Agropoli passed was under different families: the D'Ayerbo of Aragon (1553), Grimaldi (after 1564), Arcella Caracciolo (1597), Mendoza (1607), the Filomarino princes of Roccadaspide (1626), Mastrillo (1650), Zattara, and finally the Sanfelice, Dukes of Laureana (1660), who ruled until the abolition of feudalism in 1806.

During the 19th century, Agropoli began to expand outside the medieval walls, but the old town has remained intact, together with most of the surrounding defensive walls and the 7th-century entrance gate.

Province of Salerno

What to see

  • The Angevin-Aragonese castle, which was built on the 6th century Byzantine foundations, still stands on top of the promontory.
  • The coastal tower of San Francesco (16th century), west of the modern tourist harbour on a small promontory.

Where to stay