5 things to see in Vietri sul Mare
Located about 30 kilometers from our boutique hotel, Vietri sul Mare is a delightful town suspended between sky and sea that dominates the small Bonea valley from above. It was an ancient Etruscan city with the name of Marcina, then passing to the Samnites, the Lucanians and finally the Romans, under whom it achieved considerable prosperity. It is famous throughout the world for its traditional ceramic manufacturing, an art which according to archaeologists dates back to ancient times. Ceramics are everywhere in Vietri: even the main cultural attractions enhance the historic production of majolica.
What to see in Vietri sul Mare? Here are 5 things not to miss!
The Church of San Giovanni Battista
The Church of San Giovanni Battista is the main religious building of Vietri sul Mare. It was built around the 17th century in the late Neapolitan Renaissance style although over time it has undergone various transformations and restorations which have modified its original appearance. The church is surmounted by a splendid dome, decorated with bright green, yellow and blue majolica tiles. Inside you can admire numerous valuable works, among which we highlight: the magnificent gilded coffered ceiling from the 17th century; the main altar in marble inlays; and a sixteenth-century polyptych attributed to Andrea Sabatini from Salerno depicting a Madonna del latte.
In the Raito area there is the fascinating Villa Guariglia, the noble palace par excellence of Vietri sul Mare. Originally a farmhouse, it owes its current appearance to a series of renovations carried out starting from the 19th century. The complex, now owned by the Province of Salerno, is made up of the villa, a turret and a park which, in turn, includes gardens and some small agricultural plots. The turret houses the Ceramics Museum, which houses an extraordinary collection of local ceramics, among which works from the so-called “German period” stand out, dating back to the 1920s and 1930s.
Continuing on the road that leads to Villa Guariglia, after just over 1 kilometer you reach the village of Albori, the smallest hamlet of Vietri sul Mare. Fully included in the circuit of “The Most Beautiful Villages in Italy“, it is a small jewel made up of colorful houses leaning against each other and narrow between narrow streets and alleys. In the center of the town, which has maintained its original Mediterranean architecture, stands the parish church dedicated to Santa Margherita di Antiochia. The building hides within it magnificent frescoes of the Neapolitan school, of which Francesco Solimena (1657-1747) was one of the greatest exponents.
Solimene Artistic Ceramics Factory
The Solimene Artistic Ceramics Factory is absolutely worth a visit, a company known throughout the world that has its roots in an ancient family tradition. It offers a series of high-profile services: architectural design, customized production of product lines, creation of limited series of objects, etc. In addition to the fine ceramics, what is striking is the building itself, one of the most significant pieces of architecture of the 20th century. It was built in 1954 based on a design by the architect Paolo Soleri, famous for having invented the concept of “arcalogy”. The Solimene Artistic Ceramics is also an open space both for the staging of exhibitions and for professional training.
Also not to be missed is the beautiful Crestarella beach, perfect for those who want to enjoy the sun by the sea away from the chaos. The small bathing establishment is always not very crowded because once the maximum number of people has been reached, access is no longer allowed. The beach, surrounded by rocks overlooking the sea, is washed by turquoise waters. And it is dominated by a sixteenth-century tower (from which it takes its name), which stands on a rock promontory called “il Cannocchiale”. In front of the beach it is impossible not to notice the two rocks, called the “Two Brothers“, very similar to small stacks and over which numerous legends hover.