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History of Agerola

Agerola prides itself about its ancient history. The discovery of amphoras, vases and coins from the first Caesars of Rome, as well as tombs and ways, confirm the thesis that this village was already known by the Romans of antiquity. Agerola’s name is most likely derived from ‘ager‘, a Latin term meaning field.

Indeed, the first inhabitants cleared in small fields the thick forests that covered the whole territory, thus clearing a small area where developed over the centuries the urban center.

Today, the village retains this physiognomy, with a territory whose slopes are divided by numerous small terraces.

In the Middle Ages, Agerola, with its five districts was integrated in the Republic of Amalfi which extended from Ravello to Positano. It supplied the arsenals of the Republic for the construction of boats with wood, wool and silk.

Thus, Agerola shared the story of Amalfi, marked in particular by the wars against the Saracens. The commerce was important with Naples, where there was exported in particular the silk, whose weaving was a local know-how.

In the 17th century, the hills of Agerola were infested with robbers, who found safe hiding in its thick woods. In the centuries that followed the municipality became part of the Kingdom of Naples, until the unity of Italy.

In the 18th century, Agerola experienced a very prosperous period as evidenced by the exponential growth of its population. Indeed, with the reform of the Bourbons, the reduction of taxes has improved the economic conditions but, above all, robbery has almost completely disappeared.

The inspired ideas of the French Revolution were quickly and favorably received by Agerola, so that it was the first village in the province to adhere to the democratic constitution of the ephemeral Partenopeian Republic.

After the restoration of 1815, Agerola experienced the development of secret societies, as elsewhere in the region. Under the Bourbons, the dominant figure was that of General Avitabile who in 1844 obtained the split of Agerola from the province of Salerno to integrate it in the one of Naples. The city thus separated from the territory of Amalfi, with which it had shared centuries of history, now administratively the only link of a common religious jurisdiction.

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