On the slope of Monte Pruno, in the province of Salerno, there is a small old town named Roscigno Vecchia (Old Roscigno), an example of a 19th-century rural town developed around a central square and a church unmodified by modern architectural or infrastructure changes.
By Domenico Russumanno
This small abandoned village is of an all – encompassing charm, with it being possible to fully perceive the wholeness and presence of a silent beating heart. "The walking village" - Any scholar who was to undertake a serious study of the old town's history, would realize immediately that this is the right definition for the small abandoned village of" Old Roscigno.
Periodically landslides, have forced over the centuries, the migration of the inhabitants from the lower part of the town closer to the upper area named "Piano" which would be where the fountain is now located. The painstaking tenacity, pride, the sacrifices of the citizens and continuous reconstruction of the town with the materials resulting from previously collapsed homes, gave birth to the myth of "walking town "
The large square with eighteenth – century church of San Nicola...
...the beautiful stone fountain from which fresh spring water flows...
...in the tub below, where local farm animals , for centuries, would stop to quench their thirst?, and homes and shops with faded writing, reminiscent of activities of a time gone by.
A singular, picturesque, resident, Giuseppe Spagnuolo, who for some years has chosen to live his solitary and free existence in one of these old houses, works as a farmer and custodian of the museum, guide, entertainer or simple spectator of the landscape, always helpful and courteous to anyone visiting the village.
Some of its old inhabitants never actually broke with the town, still today many of them consider it to be their real village, the place where they were born.
They still own the old houses, some use them to store equipment, they cross the square to reach their allotments, while consuming little rituals that leave a trace of life in the old stones.
The parish church of St. Nicholas was built in 1720 in Piazza Nicotera due to the older one being unfit for use, which was at the foot of the village and along with other buildings and churches have disappeared from the area, but not from historical memory, that was the first settlement of Russino, later known as “Roscigno”.
Roscigno Nuova, further upstream, was founded early last century, but the exodus repeatedly enforced by the institutions, was slow and took three generations, with the abandonment of the most obstinate being only at the end of the Seventies of the last century...
...with the exception of Teodora Lorenzo, known as “Dorina”, who remained here until her death in 2000.
Getting there is not an easy task for the timid tourist.
Coming from the north, take the A3 – SA/RC, exit at Campagna, follow the indications to Ottati, Bellosguardo and Roscigno.
From the south, exit at Sala Consilina, follow the indications to Corleto Monforte, Sacco, Roscigno. From Paestum: Roccadaspide, Bellosguardo, Roscigno. The village is 600 metres after the new one.
Giuseppe Spagnuolo, only resident...
...and colorful old tales to tell
In the restored rooms of the former rectory and the old Town Hall, the Museum of Rural Life has been set up, which gathers the testimonies of the life and work of the people of Roscigno: about 500 exhibits arranged according to the specific activities of the area, housed in six rooms, each dedicated to one or more aspects of local popular culture.