Maiori lies at the head of the Tramonti valley and is said to have been founded by the Etruscan Lucumone Rehginna, whose name was given to both the stream that divides the town (Reghinna Major) and the main road (Corso Reghinna). In more recent times Maiori became known in the media because it became the favorite set of the famous director Roberto Rosellini, for the production of "Paisà" in 1946, "Il Miracolo" (the second part of the film "L'Amore") in 1948, "La macchina ammazzacattivi" in 1952 and "Il Viaggio in Italia" in 1953. Nowadays, during the "Rossellini film festival" Maiori turns into a film set, where budding directors screen short films that are subsequently judged by an expert jury. The cultural and gastronomical events most of all take place during the high season: "Maiori: vicoli e cultura" (Maiori: lanes and culture), "La maratona delle cinque chiese" (The five-church-marathon", celebrations that take place in various districts, as well as theatrical and musical performances by artists from Maiori.
Maiori uses all of the typical elements in its gastronomic tradition made by using local agricultural products joined together the fish from the waters of the Tirreno Sea. Naturally, the characteristic recipes of Maiori may differ since they are based on original family dishes passed down from generation to generation.
Some examples of the local cuisine are the unusual combination of Eggplants with a chocolate and nut sauce; a sweet delicacy that may have its roots in the middle east culture, one of many cultures which ruled on the Campania coast in past centuries. We also include the recipe for Liquore Concerto, prepared using a recipe kept secret for many years, and which still today is rarely shared.
Collegiate of S. Maria a Mare
Church of S. Francesco
Church of the "Avvocata"
Abbey of S. Maria De Olearia
Castle of S. Nicola de Thoro-Plano
Mezzacapo Building (Municipal seat)
Bulwark of S. Sebastian
VIETRI SUL MARE
Founded by the Etruscans and expanded during the Roman period (there are many archeological findings in the village of Marina), Vietri sul mare is the first town along the Amalfi Coast after Salerno. It is a picturesque tourist location, with an economy based on the production of ceramics and brickwork that is known for its brilliant colors and protected by the exclusive mark "ceramica vietrese" (ceramics from Vietri sul mare).
The Ceramics Museum, housed in the beautiful Villa Guariglia, preserves precious pieces of antique ceramics, such as curious vaults filled with china to lighten the weight and enormous multicoloured plates in which peasants dried tomatoes.
Apart from the works of important Italian potters, the museum also houses the works of many foreign artists of the beginning of the 20th century, such as Riccardo Doelker whose images of animals are still produced today or Irene Kowaliski who depicted scenes of everyday local life.
Atrani is an isolated fishing village, away from the noise and bustle of other locations; it is also the smallest town in the Southern Italy. The distinctive white houses whose balconies are overflowing with flowers are built on the slopes of the surrounding mountains among the lemon orchards and reach down to the sea; the name of "Atrani" probably derives from the Etruscan word "atru" (dark, obscure) because it would correspond to the view of the village as a dark spot enclosed by steep walls of rock looming over the sea.
From the urbanistic point of view, Atrani preserves the typical structure of a medieval town, with alleys and narrow street with vaults and arches, small squares and courtyards.
During the time of the Ancient Maritime Republic of Amalfi, Atrani was the place where the noble families of Amalfi lived and in the ancient church of St. Salvatore de' Birecto (century XI) the highest government authorities ( the Dogi) were crowned, with the solemn placing of the doge's "birecto", or cap, on his head. This church, with a neoclassical front, is very ancient and the handsome bronze doors were cast in Constantinople in 1087, commissioned by the noble Pantaleone Viaretta, who twenty years earlier had provided Amalfi with the doors of its Cathedral. The collegiate church of St. Maria Maddalena with its glazed tile dome, is important too. Not so far from this church there is Masaniello's Cave, and below there is the home where Masaniello, the popular neapolitan revolutionary leader, was born.
The Piazzetta, the central square, not so far from the beach of Atrani and surrounded by the typical houses of the Amalfi Coast, for its fresh and lively atmosphere brings to mind the well known square in Capri.
For centuries Cetara was influenced by the financial and spiritual fortunes of the Benedictine abbey in Cava dei Tirreni; nowadays it is dominated by its busy fishing harbor. In fact, its name is derived from "Cetaria" (tuna) or "Cetari" (sellers of large fish). The entire economy revolves around marine traditions. The Cetara fleet is one of the most active in the Mediterranean Sea, specializing in catching, processing and preserving tuna and anchovies. One of the most delicious foods to taste is "colatura di alici" (anchovy sauce), a dressing for entrees with a wonderful amber color. It is prepared by skilled chefs according to an antique and secret recipe.
The ancient viceregal tower, defensive tower in the past and now private house, is outstretched to the sea. The church of St. Pietro, in baroque style, with its glazed tile dome and its thirteenth-century bell tower, together with the church of St. Francesco and that one of St. Maria del Popolo are worthy of a visit. Finally, the procession in honour of St. Pietro (the patron saint of the town, celebrated on 29th June) is really attractive: the Saint's statue is transported at music rhythm as far as the beach.
CONCA DEI MARINI
Like all towns on the coast, the history of Conca dei Marini is closely related to events that occurred in the Marine Republic of Amalfi. In former times it was a mere fishing village; nowadays it is a well-known tourism center thanks to its characteristic houses in Mediterranean style, with cupolas and white lime walls, located right along the sea front.
The Saracen Tower (or White Tower) is located on a rocky promontory called "Capo di Conca"; it is an ancient sixteenth-century defensive tower, one of the most beautiful on the Amalfi coast without doubt. Not so far it is possible to visit the "Grotta dello Smeraldo" (Emerald Grotto), a karstic cavity so colled because of the emerald green tonalities that the sea water assumes.
The church of St. Pancrazio, from which it is enjoyed a breathtaking view, is really suggestive. In the charming convent of Santa Rosa, located behind a steep slope, the nuns are known for producing the delicious "sfogliatella Santa Rosa", a type of pastry filled with cream and fruit pieces.
The history of this village is closely related to events that occurred in the Marine Republic of Amalfi and named after "the sound of the raging sea pounding against the valley below". Due to its natural shape, the fjord, one of the most picturesque in Italy, was an unassailable fortress during the time of the Saracen raids, and a natural port where commerce thrived and the antique industries developed, such as paper production and the mills driven by the Schiato stream.
Furore is also known as "the town that isn't": in fact, rather than being a town with buildings close together, it is a loose group of houses sprinkled across the rocky cliffs.There is also a unique open-air art gallery, composed of over 100 "artist's walls," murals and sculptures that make Furore a "painted village" that tells its story in this manner as well.
The churches are the only other important buildings: the four churches of San Giacomo, Sant'Elia, San Michele and Santa Maria, with the majolica-tiled domes of their bell towers and the recently discovered frescoes (an interesting cycle by the school of Giotto in San Giacomo).
But the most attractive thing about this village-non-village is its beautiful setting: the olive trees, the grapevines on terraces going up the mountainside, the bowers of lemons with nets stretched between poles, the red roofs and colorful majolicas on the small bell towers, the brilliantly colored flowers of the wild blackberry brambles, and the sea: blue, down below, in the corner of your eye, ever present.
Once a place where noble Romans passed the summer months, which can be seen in archeological findings from the first century, nowadays Minori is a synonym for flavor and exceptional food. Since the 16th century its natives dedicated their time to the production of pasta from wheat imported from Salerno; More recently, local agricultural producers have focused on the production of various kinds of liqueur (made of lemons, mandarins, strawberries and fennel) as well as sweets (for example delizia del limone - lemon delight) that are now known nationwide. During the fine food festival called "Gusta Minori" (Tastes of Minori), that takes place in early September, visitors can sample local specialties and attend theatrical performances based on chosen themes.
The archeological villa is a wonderful example of Romans' building talent; discovered in 1932, it still preserves vestiges of the ancient peristilium, viridarium, the suspensurae of an heated room and some mosaics.
St. Trofimena's Cathedral protects the Saint's relic; in eighteenth-century style, it is rich in monuments of great value. St. Lucia's Church, St. Gennaro's Church and St. Michele's Church deserve to be seen too. The Annunziata bell tower is located far from the centre of the town; hidden among vineyards and lemon trees, it is the last memory of the ancient Annunziata village, after the demolition of the church in 1950.
According to legend, Positano was founded by the God Neptune when he fell in love with the nymph Pasitea. It is one of the most well-known holiday places in the world.
The town is built in a charming fashion on terraces on the steep rocks of the Monte Comune, and around a small, well-protected bay.
Positano has earned its worldwide reputation not only because of the beauty of its surroundings, but also because of the shops that produce made-to-measure clothing in the distinctive "Positano style".
It has been home to many well-known artists (Seminov, Zagarouiko, Essad Bey, Clavel, Kovaliska, Massine...) and is the setting for the "Premio Internazionale per l'Arte della Danza" (International award for dance arts) honoring the choreographer Leonide Massine and various fashion shows ("Modamare a Positano" - Swimsuit Fashions in Positano).
The church of Santa Maria Assunta features a dome made of majolica tiles as well as a 13th Byzantine century icon of a black Madonna. According to local legend, the icon had been stolen from Byzantium and was being transported by pirates across the Mediterranean. A terrible storm had blown up in the waters opposite Positano and the frightened sailors heard a voice on board saying "Posa, posa!" ("Put down! Put down!"). The precious icon was unloaded and carried to the fishing village and the storm abated.
Positano has been featured in several films, including Only You (1994), and Under the Tuscan Sun (2003).
From July of 1967 and through most of the 1970s, Positano was home of singer-songwriter Shawn Phillips and was where most of his best known work was composed.
In the ancient world Praiano was known as "Pelagium" (open sea) and like other places along the coast, its splendid landscape lured it for Roman Emperors and wealthy men to its shores during the first century AC.
The town faces an archipelago made up of three islands collectively known as "Li Galli" or "Sirenuse". Starting around 1300 to 1400, the hard-working people of this region specialized in the production of linen, hair nets, anchovies packed in salt, weaving palms during the Easter period and coral objects (artisans working with coral were easy to recognize because of the earrings they wore, an antique Saracen tradition).
Hospitality services available in Praiano harmonize perfectly with the landscape and the white houses that once belonged to fishermen.
Do not forget to visit the church of St. Luca the Evangelist, dedicated to the Patron of Praiano, in elegant baroque style, the Church of St Gennaro Bishop and Martyr, the Church and Monastery of St Maria a Castro, located on the mountain called St. Angelo a Tre Pizzi which stands 360 m and the defensive towers.
Scala, the oldest town along the coast, was founded in the 4th century AD by shipwrecked Romans trying to make their way to Constantinople. The history of the town is closely associated with that of the Marine Republic of Amalfi; it is the birthplace of Brother Gerardo Sasso, who founded the "Ospedalieri di Malta" which later became the Order of the Knights of Malta. Scala is known for its many churches and noble houses; you can still see the remains of the antique walls that were built to defend the town. Due to its historical and cultural features and the preservation of its architectural heritage, Scala was recently included amongst the "Villaggi d'Europa" (European Villages): This initiative consists in the creation of a chain of tourist services in small rural and distinctive towns in the countries of the European Union.
The Duomo of Scala, modified in Baroque times has maintained the medieval crypt, the Angevine sepulchre of Marinella Rufolo, and an episcopal mitre and a Crucifix from the 13th century. Other important monuments are the church of San Pietro, in Angevine-Gothic style, the church of San Giovanni Battista, with a Moresque bell tower and the romanesque church of Annunziata.
Set amongst the Lattari mountains), Tramonti was probably founded by the Picentines or the Etruscans and reached its pinnacle during the time of the Marine Republic of Amalfi. Tramonti is known for its many churches, some of which were built by local noble families; nowadays its main focus is the tourism industry, featuring the delights of local food and wine, as well as exploring natural surroundings and towns.
Tramonti contributed to promote the "real" pizza: in fact a lot of Tramonti's pizzaioli opened pizzerie not only in Italy but all over the world; another gastronomic product of Tramonti is the "concerto" (concert), a digestive liqueur invented by the nuns of St. Giuseppe and Teresa Convent.
Flavio Gioia, who perfected the compass, drew his inspiration from the cold wind of Tramonti in order to indicate the "Tramontana" (the north wind).
Ravello was founded by a colony of patrician noblemen during the 6th century AD, and was also known to Boccaccio, who described the beauty of its arts and landscape in his Decameron, written in the 1350s. Ravello is full of marvels, such as its houses built in Arabic/Sicilian style, the prestigious 12th-century cathedral, the spectacular 13th-century Villa Rufolo, the magnificent lookout at Villa Cimbrone and the hotels that are set in breathtaking surroundings - some of them former patrician villas. In summer the Ravello Festival takes place on the terrace at Villa Rufolo: a garden that inspired Richard Wagner when he was writing Parsifal. Over the centuries Ravello has attracted thousands of visitors, among them politicians, writers, musicians and stars of the stage and screen.