|Comune di Nocera Inferiore|
Coat of arms
Location of Nocera Inferiore in Italy
Nocera Inferiore (Campania)
|Frazioni||Cicalesi, Merichi, Vescovado, Casolla, San Mauro|
|• Mayor||Manlio Torquato|
|• Total||20.94 km2 (8.08 sq mi)|
|Elevation||43 m (141 ft)|
(1 January 2019)
|• Density||2,200/km2 (5,600/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Patron saint||St. Priscus|
|Saint day||May 9|
Nocera Inferiore (Neapolitan: Nucere, IPA: [nuˈ(t)ʃɛːrə], locally [nuˈ(t)ʃæːrə]) is a city and comune in Campania, Italy, in the province of Salerno, at the foot of Monte Albino, 20 kilometres (12 mi) east-southeast of Naples by rail. It has a population of 45,608 inhabitants and a surface of 20.94 square kilometers (8.08 sq mi) thus showing a population density of 2,200 inhabitants per square kilometer. It rises 43 metres above the sea level.
In the period before the Roman supremacy in southern Italy, Nuceria Alfaterna, situated between the current Nocera Inferiore and Nocera Superiore, appears to have been the chief town in the valley of the river Sarnus, with Herculaneum, Pompeii, Stabiae and Surrentum all being dependent upon it. Nuceria minted its own money, and developed its own alphabet called nucerino which derived from the Etruscan language. It maintained its allegiance to Rome until 309 BC when it joined the Samnites rebels. In 308 BC, it repulsed a Roman attempt to land at the mouth of the Sarnus, but in 307 BC, it was besieged and surrendered. It obtained favourable terms, and remained faithful to Rome even after Cannae.
Hannibal reduced it in 216 BC to starvation, and destroyed the town. The inhabitants returned when peace was restored. Even during the Social War, Nuceria remained true to Rome, though the dependent towns joined the revolt and there were many riots; after it they were formed into independent communities, and Nuceria received the territory of Stabiae, which had been destroyed by Sulla in 89 BC, as a compensation. In 73 BC it was plundered by Spartacus.
In the 13th century, and long after, the town had the name of Nocera de' Pagani (Nocera of the pagans) because a colony of Muslim Saracens was introduced by Frederick II. The town was described as "a genuine Muhammadan town with all its characteristic mosques and minarets." It is said that, through their darker complexion and features, the townsfolk maintain the heritage of these Muslims settlers. Notably, while the town's name was changed from Nocera de' Pagani to Nocera Inferiore, a nearby town, Nuceria Christianorum, was renamed Nocera Superiore.
A small colony of Saracens was actually introduced in the town around the 9th century.
In 1385 Pope Urban VI was besieged in the castle by Charles III of Naples.
According to a legend, an Etruscan princess escaped from her hometown for love and came to die in these areas. In her memory, her father erected a city, giving it her name, Nuceria. Another legend tells that a great flood swept away an entire wood leaving a single walnut tree (from the Latin nux, nucis - Nuceria). The truth about the origin of the name came from the study of inscriptions on the coins of the city where it can be read Nuvkrinum Alafaternum. Analyzing these two words, the linguists have split the terms in this way:
nuv + krin -um alafartern -um: literally: Nuova (= nuv) Rocca (= krin) of the Alfaterni.
The current name, Nocera Inferiore, derives from the Italianization of the toponym Nuceria and from the geographical position of the city that, in 1806, was born from the division of Nocera dei Pagani, sanctioning the birth of five municipalities, including the two Noceras, differentiated according to their height above sea level.
One of the most beautiful places to visit in Nocera Inferiore is the medieval castle. Strategically located on the top of Santa Andrea's hill, this fortified structure was founded in the 9th century. In 1138 it was destroyed by the troops of Ruggero II. Helena, the widow of Manfred of Sicily, was imprisoned in the Castle and died here after the battle of Benevento (1268). Here also Urban VI imprisoned the cardinals who favoured the antipope Clement VII. The castle also had as guests the writers Dante Alighieri and Boccaccio.
About three kilometers to the east, near the village of Nocera Superiore, there is the circular church of Santa Maria Maggiore, dating from the 7th century. Its chief feature is its dome, ceiled with stone internally, but covered externally with a false roof. It is supported by 40 ancient columns, and in its construction resembles Santo Stefano Rotondo in Rome. The walls are covered with frescoes from the 14th century.
The city coat of arms shows a walnut tree with golden fruits. On the red frame of the shield is written "Urbs Nuceria" in Roman letters. On the top there is a castellated crown, whereas at the bottom there is a laurel branch with golden berries and an oak branch with golden acorns tied together with the Italian tricolour ribbon. The city coat of arms has been renewed recently by Antonio Pecoraro.
Since 2017 "Verrà dalla memoria" has been the anthemn of Nocera Inferiore. Lyrics were written by Teresa Staiano and music was composed by Father Carmine Ferraioli.
Nocera is connected with Naples, Avellino and Salerno by a branch railway.
In the latter village [Nocera Inferiore] the Saracens obtained a place of refuge, from which it takes the name. It is also said that the circumstance is kept in memory by the complexion and features of this second Nocera, which are peculiarly of the African caste and tincture.
Media related to Nocera Inferiore at Wikimedia Commons