Sure, they are the most popular towns along the Costiera, but no holiday can be considered complete without visiting the hidden gems of the Coast.
What is there to see, visit, experience, eat and drink in Minori and Maiori? What about Cetara? And Vietri? And is there anything we may be missing during our vacation in the Costiera?
Minori is one of the town belonging to the souther part of the Costiera.
It’s one of the town that kept its authentic spirit, becoming far less “touristic” than Amalfi and Positano: a little town where everyday life keeps going on and where we will be able to experience the true life of the Costiera.
Minori shores are simply amazing and even if we have allotted little time for our visit of the towns south from Amalfi, we should definitely remain in Minori for at least half a day.
What to see in Minori
There is a lot to see in Minori, with the city being shot to several historical building, attesting the very old foundation of the town.
Basilica di Santa Trofimena
It’s the main religious building of Minori, a minor basilica since 1910. The church is one of the newest of the Coast though, as it has been completed in the first years of XIX century.
The inner structure of the church is the same of the days of its foundation: it’s a neoclassic church with Latin cross structure, extremely elegant in its decoration. It’s one of the most luminous church you will ever have the chance to visit.
If you want to visit Saint Trifomena, you will have to reach the crypt downstairs, which can be reached by feet and without the need of any authorisation. The Basilica is definitely worth a visit.
There is a legend connected to the name of the church: the bones of the saint reached the shores of Minori and the church has been built right on the place where the bones have been found by christian believers.
The Roman Maritime Archeological Villa
Minori has a very long history and this villa is one of the proofs that the town was very popular among wealthy roman families, that reached the very shores of Minori to spend the spring and summer.
The villa is in a good state of conservation and can be visited by in most of its part. It is also possible to get a guide, better if authorised by Regione Campania, to take us to the Villa, talk about its history and organise the best path to visit this authentic piece of roman history.
Don’t forget to check the wonderful mosaics and to take a stroll under the very beautiful portico in the garden of the villa.
Maiori is a beautiful borgo, one of the most beautiful of the Costiera Amalfitana and the right place to enjoy both the historical building and the a day at the beach.
In Maiori you will find one of the most wonderful beaches of the whole Costiera, together with many buildings of historical relevance.
Maiori was one of the most important towns during the dominion of the Republic of Amalfi and even if it lost its centrality in the economy of the Coast, it’s still one of the most relevant towns of the Costiera Amalfitana.
You should surely try to allot at least half a day to visit what the town has to offer.
San Nicola de Thoro-Plano Fortress
It’s a wonderful medieval fortress, right on the hills right behind the center of the town. It’s one of the most unique buildings of the whole Amalfi Coast.
To reach the castle/fortress you will will have to walk quite a bit and you will find this amazing structure at the end of one of the most suggestive trekking trails of the whole costiera.
You can reach the castle after the some 700 stairs from Rione San Paolo or reaching it from Nuova Chiunzi, a much easier track especially if walking is not your cup of tea.
From Maiori to Minori: the Lemon Track
The Amalfi Coast is the cradle of lemons: its amazing landscape is shaped also by lemon trees, coming out from every garden.
If you would like to enjoy a walk among this meaningful tree for the whole Costiera, you may follow the Sentiero dei Limoni, the Lemon Track.
Leaving from Minori and walking through the old village of Torre, you will enjoy some hours in peace, relax, serenity and nature, far from the sea and its extremely animated life.
For break, for a homage to the wonderful nature surrounding the Coast, to treat ourselves with a walk in one of the most wonderful scenarios of the world.
Sea, beaches, little bays
Minori and Maiori are also wonderful locations to enjoy the sea.
You will find all along the coast of the cities amazing beaches and little bays to have a bath, a sunbath or simply an aperitivo enjoying the unbelievable view of the coast.
We are in front of one of the most famous locations not just in Costiera Amalfitana, but in the whole Italy.
Go, sit, enjoy, bath, walk, run, sleep, do whatever you will feel like doing. The simple environment of the beaches around Minori and Maiori is all you need to have the perfect relaxing vacation for you and your family.
Cetara: the fishermen village
Cetara hasn’t been modified much by the massive tourism along the Amalfi Coast. As a village, Cetara kept its spirit and its characteristics, without changing even in the most modern era.
Historically it has been once a saracene fort, while the moors were trying to conquer Salerno and after that it passed into the hands of Amalfi Republic.
The name itself shows the deep connection between the people living in this town and fishing. “I Cetari” were people taking their name from “big fishes”, which was the name at that time for tuna fish.
What to see in Cetara
- Torre di Cetara: a very old tower (from 1500) with an amazing view of the Costa, today used as museum and venue for weddings
- San Francesco Church and abbey: with its wonderful frescoes of Marco Benincasa
- San Peter Church: a baroque masterpiece with a wonderful display of the worldwide famous tiles of Vietri.
- Saint Mary of Costantinople’s Church: another beautiful church, the most modern among the one in our list, which surely deserves a quick visit
Cetara is also famous for its “colatura”. It some kind of dressing, which is supposed to be very close to roman side sauce “Garrum”, which is prepared from anchovies put under salt for months.
The precious liquid is a staple of the local cuisine and would make surely a good souvenir for our friends or family interested in local ingredients.
The smell may be putting a bit off, at the beginning. Soon after that you will realise of being in front of one of the most unique ingridients of the world.
Even just having a stroll and enjoying the beaches in Cetara may be enough. It’s one of the least crowded towns, especially during the high season and may become for us a safe harbour from the noise and the crowd of the more famous towns like Amalfi and Positano.
Even though it’s mostly famous due to its wonderful seaside, the Amalfi Coast also has to offer an amazing nature right behind the coastal towns.
Tramonti, right in the middle of Monti Lattari, is a mountain town where the local population makes a living producing some among the most famous cheeses of Italy.
Tramonti is not just the home of those cheeses though: there is much to see, enjoy, live in this little town.
S. Giuseppe and Teresa Music Academy is one of the most famous buildings of the town. It has to offer a very old architecture.
The oldest part of the building was realised in the XVII century and it’s today one of the most famous abbeys of southern Italy.
An old fortress between Amalfi and its mountains. There is not much left but you can still enjoy one of the most relevant sites of the whole Amalfi Coast, where many battles between the local population and Normans were fought.
Normans won the war and it is here that the decline of Amalfi Republic started.
The best cuisine of the world
During your stay in Minori, Maiori, Tramonti and Cetara you will have the chance to enjoy many of the best dishes of Italian cuisine:
- pasta with seafood: it’s the most typical dish, prepared with very simple ingredients, but nonetheless a preparation of wonderful taste
- desserts: every dessert includes the real majesty of the Amalfi Coast, the lemon. Most of the best pastry shops of Italy are in between Minori and Maiori; treat yourself with one of the many wonderful desserts prepared in this part of the Coast
- cheese: if you like cheese, you will simply fall in love with what this region has to offer. Caciocavallo, mozzarella and many other cheeses will be waiting for you in the best cheese shops and restaurants of the town.