Novi Velia is a small Municipality of approx. 2300 people in the Province of Salerno, located 650mt above sea level on the valley of the stream Badolato, between Vallo della Lucania and Mount Gelbison (1705mt) and its sanctuary. It is 7km far from Ceraso and 92km far from Salerno.
Novi (called Noves, Nobes or Noe during Medieval times) was founded during bizantine age, on the ruins of an ancient fortress of the Enotri population, protected by the Greeks of the closeby village of Velia.
It was administrative center of the Norman feudal territory of the “State of Novi” and including the so-called “Five Lands” (Novi, Cuccaro, Gioi, Magliano and Monteforte), while during the 13th century it was under the control of Della Magna (or De Alemagnia) family, or german origins.
Novi later became administrative center of the “State of Novi”, which included 13 hamlets (Novi, Angellara, Cannalonga, Ceraso, Cornito, Grasso, Massa, Massascusa, Pattano Soprano, Pattano Sottano, San Biase, Santa Barbara and Spio); for a long time the barons of Novi had important roles in the courts of the Reign of Naples.
The direct participation of the Barons of Novi to the happenings of the Reign of Naples caused a sort of carelessness for Novi and its inhabitants, followed by the abandoning of the villages as well as famine; despite that, between 17th and 18th century different bishops of Capaccio and Vallo della Lucania made of Novi episcopal branch, and some of the bishops are for this reason buried in the Church of Santa Maria dei Lombardi.
In 1614 the State of Novi was sold to Giacomo Zattara, of genoan origins, whom heirs rebuilt the baronial palace and remained in town also after the law against feudal system passed.
From 1811 until 1860 Novi was part of the District of Vallo, part of the namesake District of the Reign of Two Sicilies, while from 1861, following the unification of Italy, Novi changed name in Novi Velia, as it is believed that the city originates from the Velini population (aka a “Nuova Vela”).
From 1861 until 1927, during the Reign of Italy, Novi Velia was part of the District of Vallo, while from 1928 until 1946 the Municipality was suppressed and aggregated to Vallo della Lucania.
Monuments and Places to visit
- Castle of Novi Velia
- Parochial Church of Santa Maria dei Lombardi; or medieval origin, but rebuilt in baroque era. It conserves numerous statues and paintings of different centuries, true masterpieces coming also from other chapels (destroyed or unsacred).
- The Sanctuary of the Holy Mary of the Sacred Mount of Novi Velia: it is located upon an ancient pagan temple on the top of Mount Gelbison. Probably the Enotrian built a temple dedicated to Era; the location was well known to the saracens whom later were installed in Agropoli; infact, the name Gelbison comes from the arab and means “Mount of the Idol”. It is destination of pilgrimages since 14th century; from the terrace of the rectory visitors can enjoy a wonderful panorama of Cilento coastline and surrounding vegetation.
- Church of SS. Annunziata
Strada Statale 18 Strada statale 18 Tirrena Inferiore.
Strada Provinciale 117 Strada Provinciale 117 Innesto SS 18-Novi Velia.
Strada Provinciale 224 Bivio SP 117 (Novi Velia) – fiume Torna (Gelbison).
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