It gets its name from the inhabitants' worship of Saint George, who, at the end of the 10th century saved the townspeople from an eruption of the volcano. The term Cremano has inspired some to seek its origins in the fact that the land on which the town was built had been "cremated" by Vesuvius.
The territory is part of what is known as the "Golden Mile", the coastal road between San Giovanni a Teduccio and Torre del Greco, so-called because it is lined with numerous villas, 122 in all, highly representative of Neapolitan art and generally adorned with huge gardens and painted decorations by great artists.
Here, Baroque style is displayed at its most fanciful and frivolous, in its Rococo expression.
The territory of San Giorgio a Cremano is also characterised by large farmhouse villas, among which are Villa Tufarelli, Villa Bonocore with Saint Michael's chapel and Villa Marulli with Pittore Chapel. At the same time, numerous "Villas of Delight", similar to the typical residences of the nobility, also scatter the territory.
In particular, as you turn into Via Regia at the present-day Croce del Lagno, you come to the place known as "Arso" (Burned) after the 1631 eruption. This is where you find the first Villa Vesuviana in San Giorgio a Cremano, called Villa Pignatelli di Montecalvo, the work of the architect Ferdinando Sanfelice.
The corner northwest of the widening in the street, along the ancient Via Berio, today dedicated to Enrico Pessina, takes you up to Piazza del Municipio, whose history is closely linked to the religious and political vicissitudes of the city.
More 18th century villas line the ancient artery, complete with oratories and gardens with long driveways. Among these the largest, Villa Berio, now Villa Leone stands out.
The town is also the birthplace of one of the best-loved artists of the end of the 20th century Massimo Troisi. He was an actor, director and theatre, cinema and TV scriptwriter. He explored consolidated Neapolitan traditions, following in the linguistic footsteps of Eduardo De Filippo and Totò, yet overhauled them with his unique acting style.
An annual award held at Villa Bruno is dedicated to him. Devised as a homage to this great personality in the world of Italian comedy, today the award is a kind of monitor of the state of the comic art, promoted with the intention of discovering and launching new talent.