Maiori is one of the main towns of the Amalfi Coast. UNESCO declared Maiori, along with the Amalfi Coast, a World Heritage Site in 1997.
According to history, the city’s origins date back to the Etruscan period. The original name of Maiori Rheginna Maior was to distinguish it from the nearby town Rheginna Minor (present-Minor). The City has undergone the historical events of the Divine since the days of the Ancient Amalfi Republic.
After World War II Maiori has experienced a major urban expansion and boasts one of the best standards of living in Campania. After World War II, in the period of neo-realism, Maiori was chosen by Roberto Rossellini as a set for some of his films: Paisan, Voyage in Italy, Miracle and The Machine That Kills. Many Maiori residents participated as actors.
The town is primarily a tourist town and has the longest beach on this stretch of coastline. Erchie is a town which is part of Maiori and is a little gem among the coastal towns.
The patron saint’s day in Maiori is on the 15th August and the patron saint is the Santa Maria a Mare. Another important event is the Avvocata festival, celebrated every year on the first Monday after Pentecost on the nearby Mount Falerzio.
According to tradition is was founded by the Etruscans around the seventh century BC by the name of Major Rheginna to distinguish it from the nearby Minor said Rheginna Minor (named after two rivers a bigger and smaller one called Regina and Reginella). It then passed under Roman rule.
Destroyed and looted in the ninth century by Sicario Duke of Benevento, it was soon rebuilt and fortified with defensive walls and towers, of which the remains are still visible.
The violent tsunami of 1343, the plague of 1348, pirate attacks and the terrible floods, inevitably caused the decline of Maiori. Its reconstruction radically distorted the city’s appearance and nowadays one can see many hotels along its promenade.
What to see in Maiori
There are many things to do in Maiori, and it has one of the largest Coastlines on the Amalfi coast. It is home to several beachfront hotels and is ideal for those who want to enjoy a few days at the beach.
One can visit the Collegiata di Santa Maria a Mare which is the main church in the town. It dates back to the XIII century and lies on a hill overlooking Maiori. The view from here overlooks the coast and is spectacular. Inside the church there is a Museum where visitors can see ornaments and robes used throughout the centuries by clergymen.
Palazzo Mezzacapo was one the local town hall which is currently the town library. It can be found on Corso Reginna the main shopping street in Maiori. It was built in the XIX century and then was completely refurbished by the Mezzacapo family. Next to the building there are communal gardens which are a quiet place to sit and reflect. At Christmas time it becomes a nativity scene and locals visit it daily.
Towers are common in Maiori and were used in order to defend the city from attack. Some of the towers are torre di milo which was in via Nuova Provinciale Chiunzi, Torre di vecite, Torre Mezzacapo, torre dell’Angolo today called Torre Normanna. One can also find, Torretta di Capo’orso, Torre del Tumulo and Torre di Erchie.
Other churches that deserve a visit are the Santissimo Rosario church on Corso Reginna which is a baroque style with one big nave.
There is San Rocco’s church in Piazza Raffaele D’Amato which is celebrated on the 16th of August. The church of Assunta in Erchie was originally a Benedictine monastery which was usual for the time. In the XVI century it become a parish church and was frequented by locals.