5 things to see in Agerola
In a valley of the Lattari Mountains, a few kilometers (on foot) from our boutique hotel, lies the municipality of Agerola. Located 600 meters above sea level, it looks like a balcony overlooking the Amalfi Coast. Trekking has been one of its major attractions for centuries (Agerola is crossed by a 60-kilometer cordon of lush paths, including the famous Path of the Gods). But in addition to guarding an important landscape heritage, it also contains precious works of architectural and cultural interest.
What to see in Agerola? Here are 5 things not to miss!
The Church of San Matteo Apostolo
In the central square of the Bomerano hamlet there is the monumental Church of San Matteo Apostolo, the most important historical-architectural emergency in Agerola. There is news of the existence in the municipal area of a church dedicated to San Matteo since the 12th century but the current building was erected in the second half of the 16th century. It has an elegant façade while inside it houses precious artistic testimonies, among which we highlight: the eighteenth-century wooden ceiling in which the canvas with the Martyrdom of Saint Matthew, the work of Paolo de Majo, is inserted; and the seventeenth-century panel with the Madonna in Glory between Saints Matthew and Andrew, coming from the workshop of Giovan Angelo and Giovan Antonio D’Amato.
The Church of Santa Maria la Manna
The Church of Santa Maria la Manna is one of the oldest in Agerola (among those that have survived). Located in the hamlet of the same name, in an isolated position and in a rural foothill context, it was built around the 13th century although what we see today is the result of various renovations carried out over time. With its bell tower it dominates the hill above the state road that crosses the town and connects it to the Amalfi Coast. Among the works of art present inside, the sculpture of the Madonna della Manna stands out in the niche behind the main altar, sculpted by Nicola da Monteforte in the 13th century from a single block of marble.
The Church of San Pietro Apostolo
A few steps from the Church of Santa Maria la Manna, and precisely in the Pianillo hamlet, there is another religious building that is worth visiting. This is the Church of San Pietro Apostolo, where the patron saint of Agerola, Sant’Antonio Abate, is venerated. There is no precise information regarding the construction date. We certainly know that it already existed in the 13th century. Remodeled several times over time, it has a rich artistic heritage. Among the most valuable works we mention: the sculpture representing the Madonna and Child, one of Nicola da Monteforte’s greatest masterpieces; and the canvas depicting the Mass for the Souls in Purgatory, which refers to other mystical iconographies of the same theme.
The Ethnoanthropological Museum
Also in the hamlet of Pianillo is the Ethnoanthropological Museum, set up inside an ancient building that housed the Town Hall from 1862 to 1982, recently restored and renamed Casa della Corte. There are archaeological finds collected together with commonly used objects from a not very distant past, which however is moving away more quickly from our way of life every day. The Casa della Corte also houses the “Pasquale Gentile” Council Room, the historical section of the Municipal Library and exhibition rooms intended for visual art exhibitions.
The Lauritano Castle
Finally, the Lauritano Castle in the San Lazzaro hamlet, better known as the Terrace of Paradise, is also worth a visit. It was built at the time of the Maritime Republics with a lookout function and defense against Saracen incursions. Today it represents the last example of traditional noble-type construction with a double function as a home and a farmhouse. Located on the edge of a high rock face (650 meters above sea level), it offers a unique spectacle in the world. From its terrace the view embraces the entire Gulf of Salerno, up to Punta Licosa in Cilento. Below the castle you can also see the remains of the Cospiti Convent, dating back to the 11th century.