Here is some information about San Giorgio a Cremano and its patron saint, Saint George, about his relation with this town in the Campania region and about what you can expect to enjoy here and during these patron saint celebrations or at other times.
Saint George is one of the most popular saints, who lived in the 3rd century. Although most of the information about him is more similar to legend than history (or maybe because of this?), Saint George devotion spread nearly everywhere in the Christian world.
What is almost certain is only that he lived and died in what is the present Palestine. Probably he was a soldier in the emperor Diocletian's army, brought up as a Christina but, whwn Diocletian ordered the percution of Christiana, Giorgio gave all his thing to the poor, confessed his faith and, after refusing to worship pagan gods, he was condemned. After many tortures which couldn't kill him, he was beheaded and died in year 303, promising protection to those who'd worship his relics. He's most often portrayed as a knight defending a princess and killing a dragoon. He's often invoked as a protector against all sort of dangers.
In 993 people living in the area built a small chapel, after recommending themselves to Saint George who protected and saved them from an eruption of the Vesuvius. Therefore that place was called San Georgii ad Crematum (which would mean, built on burnt soil).
Then later eruptions destroyed the chapel and there is not much information about the ancient town because a violent eruption, again in 1631, destroyed the town centre with all its documents.
Nowadays Saint George celebrations last for eight days, with religious ceremonies and a procession, cultural events, exhibition of local handicrafts, a guided tour of the Vesuvian Villas, and fireworks, which are usually very spectacular, especially in this part of Italy.
San Giorgio a Cremano is a comune at the feet of mount Vesuvius, the volcano. Now the town is practically joined to the city of Naples, which can be reached by the Ferrovia Circumvesuviana, a railway that goes around the Vesuvius linking all towns and villages situated, as the word says, around the volcano.
By railway, from here you can also reach the famous Pompeii and Ercolano with their archaeological sites, as well as some towns by the sea like Sorrento and Torre del Greco. Another way of seeing different aspects of a large area, much easier than driving in the traffic and having to find your way, you just sit and let them take you wherever you want to go.
Let's go back to San Giorgio a Cremano and its patron saint... Its altitude is 56 metres and has nearly 51,000 residents. In the 18th century the town became more florid and fashionable as a holiday resort for the noble families of Naples. You can see a proof of this in the many villas from that time, still existing here, the so-called Vesuvian Villas, some with beautiful parks, some in course of restoration. The most important ones are Villa Bruno, Villa Pignatelli and Villa Vannucchi where many events take place regularly.
Another very important event in San Giorgio a Cremano is the Massimo Troisi Prize, a comedy film festival dedicated to the actor and film director Massimo Troisi, born here, who became famous also internationally with the film Il postino (The postman). His comic style is inspired by the Neapolitan tradition and I warmly recommend you to watch one of his films to get a flavour of it, you'll have a good fun.
For more information: Ufficio turismo Comune di San Giorgio a Cremano Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II cap 80046 San Giorgio a Cremano - NA tel. +39 081 5654111 (switchboard) e-mail: d.sviluppoeconomico @ e-cremano.it
programme of events for the patron saint celebration and other events Visit the official website of the Comune di San Giorgio a Cremano