5 things to see in Cetara

About 25 kilometers from our boutique hotel is Cetara, a small and charming fishing village nestled in a valley dominated by Mount Falerzio. A maritime center since the Middle Ages, it is still home to an important fleet for deep-sea tuna fishing. Its name in fact derives from the Latin “cetaria”, which means tuna fishery. The village is famous for its tasty gastronomic specialties and in particular for the anchovy sauce, a sauce with a very intense flavor that is obtained from the fermentation of salted anchovies.

What to see in Cetara? Here is a list of 5 things not to be missed!

The Vicereale Tower

The most representative monument of Cetara is undoubtedly the Viceregal Tower, built in the Angevin period with lookout and first defense functions and then transformed and further fortified during the Aragonese domination. Although the complete transformation took place at the end of the 19th century with the raising of two floors which partially distorted the Aragonese structure. Since 2011 it has hosted a Civic Museum, where the works of the Cetarian artist Manfredi Nicoletti and other painters from the coast, known as “costaioli”, stand out. In the lower rooms, the first Cellar Museum entirely dedicated to fishing and anchovy sauce was inaugurated in 2018.

The Church of San Pietro Apostolo

Photo © Parrocchia San Pietro Apostolo

In the oldest area of the village stands the Church of San Pietro Apostolo, the main place of worship in Cetara as well as the church of the Patron Saint. It was built at the end of the 9th century but over time it was remodeled several times, until it took on its definitive Baroque appearance in the 18th century. The only original elements can be found in the bell tower. The dome with traditional colored majolica decoration dominates the entire building. Inside there are some paintings dating from the Baroque period to the early 1900s and a plaque commemorating Grandenetto d’Aulisio, the fisherman from Cetara who saved the son of King Ferdinand I of Aragon from the “Conspiracy of the Barons” in 1485.

The Monumental Complex of San Francesco d’Assisi

Photo © VisitItaly

The Franciscan monumental complex is composed of the church, the cloister, the headquarters of the Confraternity and the cells above. Some of these environments currently have a public or civil purpose. The church, with a single nave, appears to be a very simple construction. The façade, in sober Baroque style, is set in the central part of the convent structure. Among the numerous works of art that can be admired, the following stand out: in the apse behind the main altar a “Deposition” by the Cetarian painter Marco Benincasa dated 1746; and on the nave a depiction of Sister Orsola Benincasa, the venerable woman of Cetarian origin who founded the Order of the Theatine Sisters of the Immaculate Conception.

The Church of Santa Maria of Constantinople

Photo © Giracostiera

A few steps from the centre, in the district called “Casale”, upstream from the Cetara valley, is the Church of Santa Maria di Costantinopoli. The building, which replaced a small church dating back to the 16th century, was consecrated in 1867, as can be read both on the rose window on the floor and on the frescoes of the dome. After the flood of 1910 which almost completely destroyed it, it was partially rebuilt in 1921. Here is kept a splendid altarpiece depicting the Madonna with Child and Saints, perhaps coming from the sixteenth-century chapel. According to scholars, the author of the work can be found in the workshop of the D’Amatos, painters from Maiori who dominated the local art scene for decades.

Lovers’ beach

Photo © Cetara turistica

Absolutely not to be missed is the Spiaggia degli Innamorati, one of the most beautiful on the coast and also one of the smallest. The beach, located in a ravine along the coast of Cetara, is just six meters long. It can accommodate a limited number of people, no more than 7-8 at low tide. Surrounded by rock walls, it is made up of pebbles and bathed by emerald waters. It is a real corner of paradise that can only be reached by sea. It is ideal for those who love tranquility and want to enjoy maximum relaxation.