top of page

A few kilometers away from Moschiano going towards Forino and Avellino, in the Sant'Angelo area, the church of San Michele stood until the beginning of the 1980s. Behind it there is still a cave with a spring inside.

It is known that this place of worship already existed a few centuries ago as reported by the Pastoral visits of Bishop Scarampo in 1550 (see P. Moschiano - I Sacri monti del Vallo di Lauro pp 56 et seq.). Next to the church there was also a simple house with two rooms on two floors for a hermit and both often served as a refuge or simple resting place as they were on the road that leads from Moschiano to Santa Cristina, Forino and Avellino.

As mentioned elsewhere, San Michele may have been the place where Sister Angiola della Pace retreated when, as a young girl, she decided to retire to prayer and was convinced by the local hermit to return home (see biography of Sister Angiola della Pace  here 

In the 1970s, the then municipal administration of Moschiano arranged the area in front of it, also embellishing it with concrete benches. Until then, mass was celebrated in the little church at least once a year, on the day of the saint's liturgical feast. There is certain information that Giuseppe Siniscalchi, born in America but from Quindici and married to Assunta Esposito from Moschiano, sent donations every year to have that mass celebrated there. On his tomb and that of his wife in Peekskill (NY) you can still see the images of the Saint and Our Lady of Charity sculpted there by his will.

In the work cited, Prof Moschiano gives a detailed description of how the chapel looked before the 1980 earthquake massively damaged it, only to be demolished and never rebuilt. Inside, in addition to the marble altar and the majolica floor (some could still be admired in the sacristy of the church of the Incoronata in Capomoschiano, saved by the then parish priest Don Giuseppe Manfredi when the chapel of San Michele was demolished) there was also a organ, the statue of the saint (also brought to the church of the incoronata) and several tombstones (see op cit).

Behind the church on the north side of the open space there is a medium-sized cavity in the mountain where a spring of water flows from its interior in ancient times, very useful to local farmers and travelers. The entrance to the "grotto" was once much larger and well looked after by the hermit of the church and by the farmers themselves. Today its entrance is almost completely blocked by weeds and bushes and its interior has gradually filled up with debris and other material. The spring has almost completely disappeared.

We report in the photos to the side a beautiful description made of the cave in 2005 by the middle school children of Moschiano with the help of their teachers and of Prof. P. Moschiano. It also tells of the origins of the cave and how it was formed in ancient times due to an earthquake that caused part of the mountain ridge to detach. We are not surprised if it is also mentioned how in the late 19th century it was used as a refuge by the various "brigands" who wandered around Moschiano and the Vallo (see P. Moschiano - An episode of brigandage in Moschiano - Scuola Tipografica Deaf-Mute - Bologna).

bottom of page