Albori, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy
Albori is the smallest hamlet of Vietri sul Mare and is part of the prestigious club of “I Borghi più Belli d’Italia.” It is located about 30 kilometers from our boutique hotel and is definitely worth a visit. Perched on the eastern slope of a picturesque valley, the village still retains its original Mediterranean architecture, with its stone and lime buildings topped with Neapolitan tiles. Indeed, among its alleys one has the feeling that time has stood still. Just over 300 people live here and quiet reigns supreme. In this regard, the Neapolitan writer Domenico Rea said, “If someone speaks in the upper part of the town, down below you can also hear sighs.”
Regarding the etymology of the name, according to the most fascinating hypothesis it would derive from Arvo, an Argonaut who, captivated by the beauty of the place, settled there after a storm. But it could also designate the place where in ancient times people went to get lumber to build ships (from the Latin word arbor, meaning tree). Around the 9th century there are the first reports of a settlement in the area while a document in which the hamlet of Àlbori is mentioned for the first time dates back to 1324. Probably the inhabitants, frightened by the constant attacks of Saracen pirates, decided to move away from the marina and take refuge inland.
The village is practically suspended between sea and mountain and is characterized by colorful little houses leaning against each other and squeezed between narrow streets and alleys. Brightly colored houses, according to the custom of seafaring people, which served to make them recognizable from afar to sailors. In the center of the village stands the parish church dedicated to St. Margaret of Antioch, patron saint of the village. It became a parish church in 1610, but already existed in the 1500s, and contains splendid frescoes of the Neapolitan school, whose major representatives were Belisario Corenzio (1558-1643) and Francesco Solimena (1657-1747).
For lovers of the sea there is Marina di Albori, the small stretch of coastline located between Vietri and Cetara with a pretty little beach set among the rocks and a striking watchtower. To reach it you have to walk a good 200 steps down from the main road, but it is well worth it. Albori is also an ideal destination for hiking enthusiasts. Several paths lead from the village to the top of Mount Falerno, from which there is a privileged view of the entire Gulf of Salerno.
From Albori one can then reach the other charming hamlets of Vietri sul Mare such as Raito, where there is the elegant Villa Guariglia, inside which is housed the Museum of Ceramics, which preserves an exceptional collection of local ceramics, including works from the so-called “German period,” dating from the 1920s and 1930s.
Foto © E-Borghi – Giambattista Lazazzera/Shutterstock