A PLACE BETWEEN HISTORY AND TALE
All the Village of Paterno and its neighbourhood is wrapped up by mistery . The so called “Passo dell’Orco”(or the Montagna Spaccata”) is a pass hollowed out by the Romans to give some practicability to the Popilia road (o Annia) that from Capua through Sarno led to the town of Nuceria Alfaterna, and arrived to Reggio. The legend goes , the Ogre that gives the name to the “Pass” call to mind the Carthaginian condottiere Annibale who at the end of the III century a. C. went trough the “Pass” with his troops to reach first Canne and then Sicily.
The marvellous ornamental stone of the Mansion taken on the same place, remind that Paterno was renowned in the days of the Roman for the basalt and the tuff quarry. The same tuff was used to build a big portion of the Claudio aqueduct.
In Paterno there is also the aqueduct built by the emperor Augusto in the I century a. C. It brought the water from Serino to Capo Miseno (into the famous Piscina Mirabilis) where the Roman fleet was stationed . The aqueduct coming from Mercato San Severino passes through SS.Salvatore Church,Castel San Giorgio square and then skirts the mountain of S.Croce and it can be seen at the Sports Ground of Taverna village and behind Calvanese Mansion as far as Paterno Mansion where there are the vent-holes covered with slabs of stones: here the aqueduct goes for about 100 metres under the Paterno Family Chapel and it is formed by a canal with barrel vault in cement covered with earthenware.
In Paterno were discovered some rural Villas, probably of the IV-III century built halfway up the hill close by the “Passo dell’Orco”. Lately some fragments of ceramics in black paint of the same time coming from a votive storing and some blocks of trachyte-tuff, probably ruins of ancient tombs of the VI-III century a. C.
It is well proved by documents that since 1845 Francesco Coppola, who was Minister of Finance and Count of Sarno, met in Paterno with his followers to plot against the King Ferdinando I d’Aragona (The Conspiracy of the Barons)