The Santissima Annunziata Church in Salerno is located across the road from the city’s best known public park, the Villa Comunale. Although the first version of the church was constructed in the 15th century, the building seems much more modern, as a result of various reconstructions needed after natural calamities had struck the city.
Santissima Annunziata Church Salerno
History and description
The Chiesa dell’Annunziata must already have existed in the 15th century, since it is known that queen Margherita di Durazzo in 1404 and in 1412 donated money for its construction.
The church was built near the Portacatena, the now no longer existing western entrance gate into Salerno.
In 1626, the church was destroyed in a flood and needed to be reconstructed.
The bell tower was added between 1707 and 1737.
A complete renovation took place in the mid-19th century.
During another flood in 1954, the church was submerged in mud and flotsam. The three year restoration was used to embellish the vault and side chapels with stucco and marble decorations.
What to see
The church consists of a single nave, with the dome directly above the presbytery.
Because of its colorful majolica tiles, visible from most parts of the city, the dome is probably the first part of the church you will see. The tiles are a fairly recent addition. (Those traveling along the Amalfi Coast will notice that many of the small towns in the region have at least one church with a similar dome.)
Ferdinando Sanfelice designed the four level bell tower. The project for the tower can be seen in the Cabinet of Drawings and Prints of the Capodimonte Museum in Naples.
Most of the ornaments inside the church are the work of 18th century Neapolitan artists.
The Baroque high altar is the work of Filippo and Giovanni Ragozzino, with Matteo Bottigliero.
The early 18th century woodwork inlay in the sacristy is the work of Saviotto, of whom nothing else is known.
The neo-Gothic organ above the portal was added in 1888. Made by Giovanni Battista de Lorenzi, it was originally made for the Cathedral of Schio in the province of Vicenza in northern Italy.
Address: Via Portacatena – 84121 Salerno (But the entrance is at Via Roma, 302). Phone: +39 089 224852. Opening times: On weekdays, mass takes place at 08:00 and 18:30, on Sundays and holidays at 10:30, 12:00 and 18:30. Ticket price: Free. (Note that opening times and admission may be subject to change.)