Via Pietà corresponds to the upper decumanus of the ancient urban plan, which, following the common pattern of Roman town planning, adopted an orthogonal layout like the organization of military camps.
The road, although appearing as a simple alley, stops at the bell tower of the present-day cathedral after the construction of the large Corso Italia, and preserves precious examples of medieval architecture. One of its branches is a cul-de-sac, called Vico Bagnagatte, where you can see one of the most beautiful ancient buildings: the “fifteenth-century” loggia, the only legacy of this period.
It’s a pleasant walk, as it’s one of the few streets still in the shade, linking Piazza Tasso to the main entrance of Sorrento Cathedral. The road is the most important of the old urban roads, due to the remarkable architectural works present: Palazzo Veniero and Palazzo Correale.
Nearby, the 14th-century Palazzo Correale has a completely different character, with a greater emphasis on architectural and sculptural detail, influenced by Catalan fashion.
The facade features mullioned windows of various shapes and designs, which are also common in other parts of the town (the mullioned window of St. Maria delle Grazie). Today, we can only admire three of them intact: two are ogival, with the Correale family coat of arms in the center; the third, called “walnut point”, is different from the others and is a “flamboyant Gothic” model.
The portal (an architectural element that is widespread throughout the town) can be described as “crowned”, due to its arch set within a rectangular envelope. The palace belonged to the Correale family in 1567, but was purchased in 1610 by Abbot De Persio to set up a home for orphan girls, and is now known as Santa Maria della Pietà. The small church adjacent to the monastery is Baroque in style and has a single nave.
The Palazzo Veniero is a building that still preserves architectural features dating back to the 12th century.
“Surviving” the urban transformations that, at various times (but especially immediately after Italian unification) affected the entire territory. The building’s façade features several examples of Romanesque-Campanian art.
Following partial restoration work, the Palazzo Veniero is characterized, among other things, by the presence of elements that suggest an organic development of the “yellow tuff-gray tuff” decorative motif (considered an important testament to taste, classified as late Byzantine and Arabic). The entrance portal rests on pillars supporting a semicircular arch. It was built with stone blocks considered interesting because they probably come from materials from other earlier buildings that were destroyed.
More than any other aspect, however, to make the Palazzo Veniero particularly evocative, the technique of marquetry is used (as if to anticipate the tastes of the craftsmen who would later be engaged locally in wood marquetry). On the façade overlooking Via Santa Maria della Pietà, you can still admire three arched openings on each floor, marked by wide bands of grey and yellow tuff. To attract more attention and arouse admiration, however, there are circles with the center in the shape of a miniature star or rosette.
Originally, it had to have in their creux des patères ” en poterie en forme de bol (également appelée patère hispano-arabe). Unfortunately, the restoration interventions performed over the years have not all been performed with competence. For this reason, many elements that once characterized the building have been irremediably compromised.
On entering, the vestibule consists of a semi-covered courtyard, quadrangular in shape, with barrel vaults supported by half-pillars of piperno. On the right side, by means of a few escalators, also piperno, you reach a balcony covered by where you enter the rooms. In continuant par deux escaliers, vous atteignez les étages supérieurs qui ont des galeries ouvertes, contrairement à l’étage principal. As a whole, the building’s interior is not in the derelict state found on its facade, and in view of its housing needs, it has undergone various aesthetic adjustments.