5 art treasures on the Amalfi Coast
What to see on the Amalfi Coast if you are an art lover? The Divine Coast is not only one of the most beautiful stretches of coastline in Italy (if not the world) but also a treasure chest forged by history that holds within it a large number of treasures of great artistic and cultural value just waiting to be discovered. Here we have selected 5 must-see stops on the Amalfi Coast for art lovers.
The Diocesan Museum of Amalfi
The Diocesan Museum of Amalfi is housed inside the Basilica of the Crucifix (9th century), which is the oldest nucleus of the architectural complex of the Cathedral of St. Andrew the Apostle, the subject over the centuries of numerous interventions that have determined the current single-nave configuration and without the Baroque superstructures of the past. The museum, opened in 1996, brings together silverware, sacred vestments, crosses and reliquaries belonging to the cathedral’s treasury, as well as valuable wooden sculptures and paintings of various chronology and origin. Among the countless pieces preserved are: a 13th-century mitre with sumptuous embroidery in gold and silver, precious stones and beads; an 18th-century silver antependium with a depiction of the Flagellation and Crucifixion of St. Andrew; and the Embriachi box (14th century), carved from bleached ox bone. Along with the exhibits, integral to the museum are the columns, capitals, bas-reliefs, inscriptions and frescoes that made up the furnishings of the ancient basilica.
The Cathedral of Ravello
Ravello Cathedral, dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption, holds relics, ancient legends and a valuable museum. Built in the 11th century on the model of the Abbey of Montecassino, it has undergone various renovations over time. Inside, the following stand out: two splendid amboes (Rogadeo and Rufolo) with marble inlays; the magnificent pulpit supported by six twisted columns, adorned with shining polychrome mosaics depicting peacocks and other birds, resting on as many marble lions; and the chapel of St. Pantaleon, in which the precious relic of the town’s patron saint is kept. The crypt, once the site of the ancient confraternity of the Body of Christ, is home to the museum, which houses architectural elements of uncertain provenance, emblematic evidence of the reuse of pieces from the classical period in structures from the medieval period, structural parts and works from the cathedral. Among the most interesting pieces are: the ancient Ciborium, a gift of Matteo Rufolo and the work of Matteo de Narna in 1279; and the so-called Sigilgaita Rufolo bust from the 13th century.
The Cathedral of Scala
Scala Cathedral, named after St. Lawrence the Martyr (patron saint of the town), is an authentic jewel that brings together many different styles that have followed one another for more than a thousand years. Erected in the 11th century, it has in fact undergone numerous transformations over time. Inside are treasures of art and hidden secrets that are still being studied today. Special mention should be made of: canvases by Antonio Cacciapuoti bordered by geometric and floral stucco motifs, the work of Giovanni De Simone in 1748; and the Treasury Altar, over which stands a vast niche, enclosed by a sturdy iron gate partially gilded, surrounded by blue and gold painted marble blocks. Also part of the complex are two crypts, that of Purgatory and that of Paradise. The latter houses a valuable painted wooden Christ dating from the second half of the 13th century.
The Museum of Sacred Art “Don Clemente Confalone” in Maiori
The “Don Clemente Confalone” Museum of Sacred Art, set up in the 18th-century crypt of the Santa Maria a Mare Collegiate Church, allows visitors to experience an unusual itinerary to discover the sacred and the beautiful. It houses a large number of works of great artistic value. The exhibition itinerary, set on didactic criteria by themes, is articulated through thematic showcases and some individual displays. The museum’s pride and joy is the 15th-century alabaster antependium of Gothic workmanship from England, considered among the oldest of its kind in Italy. Other must-see works include: a splendid Madonna and Child attributed to the German school of the 16th century; a precious casket-reliquary, dating back to the 15th century, depicting the “Legend of Mattabruna”; an altar cross, the work of Gaetano Simioli; and the reliquary of St. Lucy attributable to Nicola Palmentiero.
The Church of St. Luke the Evangelist in Praiano
Located just a few minutes’ walk from our boutique hotel, the Church of San Luca Evangelista is dedicated to Praiano’s patron saint. With an elegant Baroque layout, it was built in the 16th century but the one we can admire today is the result of an 18th-century makeover. The church has a rich artistic heritage. In addition to the magnificent 18th-century Vietri majolica floor decorated with flowers and birds framing the image of St. Luke, the following should be mentioned: the precious polychrome marbles of the balustrade, the altar frontal and the high altar; the painted panel of Our Lady of the Rosary, made by Padovano De Montorio in 1582; a silver bust of the saint dating back to the 17th century; and the paintings by Giovan Bernardo Lama, a well-known local painter of the 16th century.
Featured photo © Mentnafunangann – Wikipedia