Being fascinated by the grandeur of San Lorenzo, of the Basilian monks of the Abbey of Montevergine, Tommaso Sanseverino II, bought the area of Padula, in the Vallo di Diano, in 1296. Later, in 1306, this nucleus was donated to the Carthusian monks, a religious order founded in 1084, by San Brunone in Chartreuse, France. The construction of the Certosa di Padula, dedicated to San Lorenzo, built in 1306 in the Carthusian province, “Sancti Brunonis”, was instigated and funded by Tommaso Sanseverino, Count of Marsico and Lord of Vallo di Diano. Today, after a long programme of restoration, the “Certosa” is resplendent in its restored, antique beauty. As well as being one of the largest monasteries in the world, it is among the most interesting in Europe because of its magnificent architecture. The historic town of Padula is well worth a visit, with its Christmas house-Museum of Giuseppe Petrosino, called “Joe”, who emigrated to New York in the second half of the 19th century. Here, he studied English at evening classes, then on 19-10-1883, enrolled in the New York police force, demonstrating a passion for his work: great flair, intelligence, sense of responsibility and high level of professionalism. He had one great dream and aim in his life: to defeat the Mafia, then known as the Black Hand.
Teggiano, near Padula, a mediaeval fortress town, merits a visit. Well endowed with churches, it holds treasures of inestimable value. Then, along the state road toward Sala Consilina, there is the renovated Batistero Paliochristiano Marchellianum, dating back to 306-309.
Caves of Pertosa
A short distance away, the well-known Caves of Pertosa provide a very memorable visit, including a short, boat crossing over a small lake, formed by an underground river, after which, it is possible to continue, on foot, along the few hundred metres of various caverns.