The town of S. Mango Cilento is set at the foot of Monte Stelle, in the heart of the National Park of Cilento and of Vallo di Diano, at a height of 560 metres above sea level. Its position facing north, the fresh waters of the rivers and springs and the rich vegetation make the place an ideal resort during the summer season. It has a population of approximately 600 inhabitants, the majority of which are elderly. As a result of the abundant cedar woods in this region, you will find among the industrial-handicrafts many occupations connected with wood. The town’s origins begin in the 10th century, as revealed in an old certificate dated 994, which testifies the presence of a monastery named after S. Magno. The monastery was founded by oriental monks and then passed on to the Benedictines, who are claimed to have colonised the region introducing an agricultural contract which was very beneficial to the farmers. For several centuries life in the monastery flourished and it represented to a great extent the historical Cilento. Then in the 14th century, for reasons unknown, the monastery disappeared and the village ultimately took on the name of S. Mango. The religious life was centred around the parish church of S. Maria degli Eremiti, built in the 15th century at a short distance from the ruins of the ancient monastery. To this day one can admire the impressive belfry of this church, which was abandoned at the beginning of the 20th century for the present one which is situated in the centre of the town Several generations took it in turns to uphold the feudal system, amongst which there were such well known names as Mendoza, D’Aquino, Del Pezzo and Sanfelice. In the end, towards the middle of the 18th century the Del Giudice took over.
Their descendents still live in the magnificent 18th century palace (the stability of a large part of the building is in a precarious, almost dangerous condition) placed on the town’s main road. At the beginning of the 19th century S. Mango experienced a further progressive period, this time in a political-administrative sense, because with the enforcement of the napoleonic reform it was appointed capital of a large commune consisting of seven villages. However, the phase of this independent commune was a short one. On the 1st January the capital was transferred to the nearby Sessa, of which S. Mango became a destrict. After the national Unification the subject of emigration became a main issue in the history of S. Mango. To begin with the destination was the United States of America, where even now the presence of the S. Mangese is flourishing. After the war, however, emigrants headed for Venezuela, and then later for the countries of central Europe. Regardless of their destination these emigrants have maintained the traditions and costumes of their home town and above all they still worship the patron saint S. Rosalia, which has carried on since the middle of the 17th century. The guest who comes to S. Mango today can admire several remains of the past, for example the belfry of the old church of the Del Giudice palace mentioned above, as well as the chapel of S. Donato e della Trinità, the new parish church. The Feola palace and also the palace of Verta in the district of Castagneta, but above all he can enjoy the traditional hospitality of the inhabitants and the natural flavour of the food products.