5 things to see in Maiori
Located about 15 kilometers from our boutique hotel, Maiori is a small but charming town which, although it was partly rebuilt after the 1954 flood, preserves an interesting architectural and artistic heritage. According to an ancient legend, narrated by the writer Plìnio the Elder, it descends and takes its name from the goddess Maia. With its enchanting landscapes and magical atmospheres it has attracted and inspired a large number of artists, including the famous director Roberto Rossellini, who chose it as the set for several of his masterpieces.
What to see in Maiori? Here are the 5 things you absolutely cannot miss!
The Collegiate Church of Santa Maria a Mare
Situated on a hill overlooking the center of the town, the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria a Mare was built in medieval times although it has undergone transformations and expansions over the centuries. It houses a statue of the Madonna, according to tradition, found by the fishermen of Maiori in 1204, from which it takes its name. The gilded coffered ceiling created in 1529 by the Neapolitan painter Alessandro de Fulco is of fine workmanship. In the crypt, below the church, the “Don Clemente Confalone” Museum of Sacred Art is set up. Inside there is an extraordinary collection of works, among which stands out a Gothic alabaster frontal from the 15th century, of English origin.
The Abbey of Santa Maria de Olearia
A short distance from the town centre, in one of the gorges formed by Mount Falerzio, stands the abbey complex of Santa Maria de Olearia, one of the most important Benedictine monastic settlements on the entire coast. It represents a precious testimony of art and architecture of the early Middle Ages. Its history dates back to the 10th century, when the hermit Pietro received permission from the archbishop of Amalfi to build the first church. Perfectly integrated into the surrounding landscape, the complex is currently made up of three small chapels superimposed and variously frescoed. In the lower chapel there are the best preserved frescoes, among which the one depicting the Madonna praying between Saints Paul and George stands out.
The Castle of San Nicola de Thoro-Plano
Another unmissable attraction in Maiori is the Castle of San Nicola de Thoro-Plano, the last witness of the formidable defense system of the ancient Maritime Republic of Amalfi. The imposing fortification dates back to the 9th century and stands on the top of the hill overlooking the Accola and Carpineto districts, from which it is possible to enjoy a fantastic panoramic view. The building retains its original shape and is surrounded by a massive wall equipped with terraces and buttresses as well as nine semicircular turrets. For trekking lovers, the ancient bastion can also be reached with a beautiful nature walk starting from the San Pietro district. The route is tiring but also very fascinating.
In the heart of the town, and precisely along Corso Reginna, is the historic Palazzo Mezzacapo, a splendid noble palace that belonged to the family of the Marquis Mezzacapo. Today the building is home to the municipal library, the historical archive, the cultural laboratory and some municipal offices. Inside you can admire numerous frescoes, one of which may have been created by the famous German painter and engraver Ludwig Richter. Don’t miss the lush gardens, whose layout seems to have the shape of the Maltese cross, in honor of the order of the same name to which several members of the family belonged. It periodically hosts shows and cultural events.
The Lawyer’s Sanctuary
Finally, we could not fail to include the Sanctuary of Maria Santissima Avvocata in this list. The church is located in a beautiful panoramic position about 900 meters above the sea on Mount Falerzio, on whose slopes the town of Maiori winds. It is part of a complex whose oldest element is the cave. Precisely in this cave, in 1485, the Madonna appeared to the Maiorese pastor Gabriele Cinnamo, who asked him to build a place of prayer right there. The shepherd built a chapel in the cave, which was later enlarged by the Camaldolese Fathers. The sanctuary can be reached via a mule track that starts from the Badia di Cava or the long staircase that starts from Maiori.