written by Claudia Fontana
Schiazzano is a small hamlet of Massa Lubrense and is one of the major production sites of Provolone del Monaco. The village, which has always been related to maritime trade, was in the past among the richest villages of Massa Lubrense. Today the inhabitants of Schiazzano continue to base their main activity on trade, agricultural activities and the production of typical products of the area.
The main center of the village is the church of SS. Salvatore, patron saint of Schiazzano. Built at the end of the sixteenth century on the remains of a fifteenth-century church, it was completed around 1624, as indicated by the date on the pediment of the entrance. The church represents the meeting center of the inhabitants of Schiazzano. Many of the restaurants and bars of the area overlook the square in front of the church.
Schiazzano, like the other hamlets of Massa Lubrense, is famous for its excellent gastronomy. Here you can taste the typical products of our land and try the traditional dishes.
On the occasion of the patronal feast of SS. Salvatore, on August 6th, the Fiordilatte Festival is held in the village of Schiazzano. Fiordilatte is another of the typical cheeses produced in the Massa Lubrense area. During the festival you can taste a great variety of local cheeses, which can be enjoyed plain or in traditional recipes, where they are used as the main ingredients.
In particular, the village is known for the production of Provolone del Monaco (= monk’s provolone), a specialty of the many dairies in the area.
Who is the “monk”?
This cheese has been produced since 1700 when, following the urban expansion of the city of Naples, the shepherds who lived on the Vomero moved to the Lattari Mountains and began to exploit the large pastures of the area.
Provolone del Monaco was produced in our lands and transported to Naples by sea. During their journey the transporters, to protect themselves from the cold and humidity, used to cover themselves with a large cloak similar to the one worn by the monks. Since then, the people who worked at the port of Naples began to call the transporter “Monaco” (= monk) and his cheese “Provolone del Monaco”.
The cheese is obtained with a more cooked curd than the caciocavallo. Maturation is slow and does not require the addition of preservatives or enzymes. The seasoning, which can also take place in the cave according to the production disciplinary, starts from a minimum of six months. There are many companies that, from Vico Equense to Massa Lubrense, have formed a protection consortium bringing this product to national and international attention.