The majolica domes of the Amalfi Coast

Recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, the Amalfi Coast is world famous for its natural beauty but also, and above all, for its truly unique architecture. You only have to look up a bit to be amazed by the enchanting majolica domes that embellish the churches and convents of the small Amalfi villages. Let’s find out together where they are located and what their characteristics are.

The Church of San Gennaro Vescovo e Martire in Praiano

One of the most beautiful majolica domes on the Amalfi Coast is undoubtedly that of the Church of San Gennaro Vescovo e Martire in Praiano. The sacred building, built between 1589 and 1602 on the remains of an earlier 13th-century church, is surmounted by an oval-shaped dome decorated externally with a multicolored majolica covering and internally with stucco work. In 2009 the dome underwent a major restoration that restored the marvelous decoration to its original splendor.

The Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Positano

The Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Positano is a true architectural jewel. It was founded in the second half of the 10th century but owes its present appearance to 18th-century extensions. Its majolica dome, which sparkles from the sea, is one of the symbols of the Amalfi Coast and is easily recognizable from every corner of the town. It is covered with the classic Vietri “riggiole” in the colors of yellow, indicating the sun, green, recalling the surrounding vegetation, and blue, evoking the sea.

The Collegiate Church of Santa Maria a Mare in Maiori

Foto © Città di Maiori

Perched on a rise in the center of the town, the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria a Mare is the main religious building in Maiori. It was erected in the 13th century although what we see today is the result of a series of transformations over time. Inside is preserved a statue of the Madonna, which according to tradition was found by Maiori fishermen in 1204, from which it takes its name. As well, this church is surmounted by a magnificent tiled dome, colored with majolica tiles of different colors.

The Church of St. John the Baptist in Vietri sul Mare

Foto © Parrocchia San Giovanni Battista

The center of Vietri sul Mare is dominated by the Church of St. John the Baptist, the town’s main monument. It was probably founded in the 10th century but its present layout, in the late Neapolitan Renaissance style, dates from the 17th century. From the early 20th century, on the other hand, is the covering of the dome’s canopy with bright green, yellow, and blue majolica-colored embryos by the Taiani faenzera. Its bright colors immediately catch the eye of visitors.

The Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Maddalena in Atrani

Another splendid tiled dome is that of the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Maddalena in Atrani. The church stands in the same place where there was once a small watchtower that was later incorporated into the transept. It was erected in the second half of the 13th century by the people of Atrani as a thanksgiving to St. Mary Magdalene for freeing them from the settlement of a colony of Saracen pirates. The dome is covered with green and yellow majolica tiles that form small rhombuses inscribed in turn in larger rhombuses.

The Church of St. Peter the Apostle in Cetara

Foto © Parrocchia San Pietro Apostolo

The Church of St. Peter the Apostle is the main place of worship in Cetara. Located in the historic center, it dates back to the 10th century but over time it was destroyed and rebuilt several times, until it took on its final Baroque appearance in the 18th century. The entire building is dominated by the imposing dome with its traditional colored majolica decoration. The dome is divided into four spherical triangles, at the apex of which is a lantern decorated with a dove depicting the Holy Spirit.