The small hamlet of Pastena extends on the southern slope of the hill Deserto, 350 meters above sea level.
Until 1613 it belonged to the parish of Sant’Agata, then the parish was established in the church of SS. Peter and Paul. Near this church there is a cave, believed a catacomb, but it is very likely that it was part of an aqueduct. Remarkable in this house is the old chapel of St. Sebastian, built in the fifteenth century during a plague, and rebuilt during another epidemic in 1656.
Church of San Pietro and San Paolo
The Church of San Pietro e Paolo has undergone several renovations over time: founded in 1613, it was initially named after St. Michael the Archangel; in the fifteenth century it then took the title of Saint Paul the Apostle. The main altar, the floor and the sacristy are eighteenth century; in 1747, in fact, the church and the sacristy were enlarged. A marble plaque hands down the date of the consecration made by the Archbishop of Sorrento, Msgr. Saverio Apuzzo on September 27, 1847. Another plaque, on the external facade, recalls the visit to Pastena of the First Queen of Italy, Margherita di Savoia, to whom the square in front is named.
The church has a nave with an apse; the high altar, erected in 1710, is in polychrome marble. A valuable canvas depicts the Princes of the Apostles. On the left side, at the entrance of the church, there is the altar erected in 1847, on the place where the baptismal font was previously. Of great artistic interest is the painting of S. Francesco di Paola, from the school of Guido Reni. In the newsstand there is the wooden statue of Our Lady of Sorrows. A second altar, dating back to the time of the foundation of the church, is dedicated to S.M. of Constantinople. An ancient painting depicting the Madonna and Saints. Domenico and Agnello bear the founder’s coat of arms: Gennaro Vicedomini. The third sacred altar to the SS. Name of Jesus, before it was dedicated to St. Anthony of Padua. A canvas of the Madonna del Carmine, with the SS. Sebastiano and Antonio da Padova, from this altar was transferred to the apse, which also bears the heraldic coat of arms of the Cacace family, founders of the altar before 1657.
On the right side, the first altar is from 1847 and was replaced in 1862 by another of Gualdieri’s marble. Above it is a statue of the Madonna, which replaced a canvas, now kept in the sacristy, of the Virgin of Carmine.
The second altar is of the Madonna delle Grazie, before it bore the title of S. Antonio. A painting from 1685 with the Virgin of the Graces, S. Rocco and S. Antonio and with the Scoppa di S. Agata coat of arms was removed and replaced with a statue of the Madonna delle Grazie, brought from the church of the desert, before the suppression of the Convent , in 1810. The last altar, first was dedicated to the SS. Crucifix, of which there was a wooden statue, in 1685. It was later dedicated to the Immaculate Conception, in the XVIII. A picture of the Immaculate Conception with S. Nicola da Tolentino and B. Scota, at the foot, and the noble coat of arms of the family.
Chapel of San Sebastiano
The Chapel of San Sebastiano is located in via Canale, a path that leads from Pastena to Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi. It existed since the fifteenth century, and is believed to have been erected on the occasion of a plague. After the plague of 1656 it was restored with alms collected by Bartolomeo Cuccaro, and an epigraph carved in Massa stone was placed there, which was found by the parish priest Castellano in a remake of the chapel in 1880. Not being entirely legible, the comm. Capasso and, reproduced in marble, was placed in the vestibule, to the left of the door: «Divo Sebastiano martiri | sacram Aedicuiam antiquitus | pro pestilentia sublata erectam; | An. D. MDCLVI | iterum fatali tabe saeviente | Oppidum Pastinae | votes compos ex animo tutelari praesentissimo | exiguum sacellum enlargvit “.
The ancient fresco, with the Blessed Virgin and Saints Bartolomeo, Gennaro, Sebastiano and Sossio, was, except for the heads, badly repainted.
How to get to Pastena
To reach Pastena by car, from Massa Centro take the Massa Turro rolling stock; cross Pastena before arriving in Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi. There is a place for the car in the blue stripes or in the square.
SITA buses between Massa centro and Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi stop in Pastena. It is advisable to consult the timetable.