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Amalfi coast

Discover the unique diversity of the Amalfi Coast through its beautiful 16 provinces, characterized by architectural monuments, on a landscape that looks like a balcony suspended over the sea. Taste the famous limoncello, or anchovies and canned fish produced in Cetara, or admire the hand-painted and hand-made pottery in Vietri, and much more.

Actractive resources

Church of San Giacomo

Salita S. Giacomo, 3 84010 Furore (SA)

The church of St. Giacomo, also known as St. Jaco, shows the building work made after 1858. The church has a plan of three naves separated by pointed arches that are leaning on columns with capitals. The covering is a flat roof over the central nave and the groin vaults cover the aisles. The front has an exonarthex and the three apses were walled up only in 1858. The bell tower, with single lancet windows and underlinings of the different orders by jutting out frames, culminating with a pinnacle lined by majolicas. The importance of this structure is based on the series of paintings discovered by chance in a room below the apse of the right aisle. The paintings, reproducing the iconography of Mary Magdalene, St. Catherine and St. Margaret, are ascribed to the artistic age of the late Byzantine Costa ( it is similar to the paintings in the superior chapel of the site of St. Maria de' Olearia, above all for its perspective - front facing or three quarter figures). The discovery of these paintings led to hypothesize the origin of the place of worship as a rock chapel, identified in the rooms beneath.

Church of S. Elia

Piazzale Carmine, 2 84010 Furore (SA)

The church has a single nave, the result of the enlargement of an original square hall built in 1474, still recognizable in the presbytery area; a chapel on each side and a dome as a cover can be traced back to the first building phase. The covering of the section added in 1474 is a vault leaning on columns with capitelli a stampella (a particular type of medieval capital) .The entrance to the monumental area is located on the ground floor of the bell tower. Here a wooden panel is preserved with the Madonna between St. Elijah and St. Bartholomew, painted by Angelo Antonelli from Capua in 1479.

Church of S. Michele Arcangelo

Via Orti, 84010 Furore (SA)

This church was also individualized in the historical documentation as the Church of S. Agnelo (= Angelo); it shows three aisles, divided by pointed arches leaning on columns without bases and with cone capitals. The nave is covered by a plain ceiling, while the aisles, by cross pointed arch vaults .Trilobite windows, of clear eighteenth-century imprint, are open on the side walls; the wall at the end of the building is three-apsed. The bell tower, ahead of church , is decorated with single lancet windows on every level and finishes with a small dome vault.

The Fjord of Furore

Via Trasita, 84010 Furore SA

The Fjord of Furore is defined a corner of Norwey, cut in the rock of Mediterranean Sea. This small inlet, that guests a small sea village which has been recently restored thanks to the recovery of ancient structures in museum areas, represents a picturesque picture of rare beauty, framed by cliffs with green woods and terraced gardens. At sea level there is a small beach with small stones and on the top there is the bridge of the state road which divides the narrow cleft. From the upper part of the village it is possible to get to this area through some steps which perfectly match with rocks and terraced gardens. This area has a great naturalistic interest and in this valley there are different vegetation examples. In Furore there are several paths with imaginative names; among these there is Love path, the one of Abu Tabela and of Crazy bats. There are two paths which depart from the bottom of the fjord, one for each side, and furthermore there is another one which is very nice and which departs from a place called Pino, but it is not recommended to walk along this path in winter because it is necessary to cross a torrent called Schiatro (and in winter it might overflow). (*) Description of the historical, cultural, architectural, artistic, legendary/mythical, symbolic, identity aspects with some special foci on each single element.

Grapes orchards

On the entire municipality

The urban centre of Furore shows terraced gardens everywhere in its land with an high percentage of vegetables (mostly in the gardens next to the houses) and grapevines. In the high part of the land and in the locality called Saint Barbara the terraced gardens are placed along the slopes that were once very steep; this geological shape created narrow and adjoining land bands, that the pergola changed in a structure having the features of an only one system.

Other churches of Tramonti's hamlets

Location: hamlets in Tramonti

Cave of St Barbara

LocalitÓ S. Barbara , Furore (SA)

A little far away from the urban centre, in a natural cave, a little church, now decaying, was built in an indeterminate age, but before 1800. The building is preceded by a squared vestibule, under which a cistern was dug in order to collect water coming from a spring in the cave. Its roofing with stilted vaults on the entrance (the only entrance that is architecturally readable) shows painting decorations marks; the building has three naves, with apses and it underwent structural works in 19th century (a wall in front of the apses was built). The best preserved painting decoration shows the Virgin with the Infant Jesus between two monks, framed by two columns with Corinthian capitals that support a tympanum architectural structure. On the right of the entrance a square plan bell tower concluded the religious building. The cave underlying the church conserved not yet architecturally readable painting marks and it was maybe the first religious place.

Cathedral of S. Lorenzo

Piazza Duomo - 84010 Scala (SA)

The Cathedral was built in the XI Century. During the years it has been subject to many renovations. The interior has three naves divided by pointed arches leaning on pilasters and has a three -apses transept. The cover of the naves is decorated with floral and geometric designs and pictures by Antonio Cacciapuoti. The main altar is decorated with the Madonna and Martyrs and in the lower part, there is the Last Supper by Marco Pino and Bartolomeo Guelfo. The aisles, covered with crossed vaults, have some recesses on the top part of the wall. There is a little ambo in the right aisle with mosaic decoration and leaning on four columns (the work comes from a church of Campidoglio in Scala). Above the door, in the right aisle, there is a painting of the Hecce Homo with pope S. Sisto by Andrea Sabatini. Beyond the door a wide staircase leads to the crypt divided longitudinally in two parts by four columns that support crossed vaults. On the left wall of the crypt there is the funeral monument of Marinella Rufolo. Tino da Camaino's disciple built the monument in 1332 as requested by Antonio Coppola, Marinella's husband. The monument, in Gothic style, has a double slope adorned with steeples and decorated with marble bas-relief: the Dove, Christ with the Apostles, the Death, the Assumption and the Coronation of the Virgin. On the lower level there is the body of Marinella lying on the tomb which shows the classical funeral scene with a dog lying down, the coffin decorated with medallions of the Virgin and the Saints. On the pedestal the figures of the deceased and her husband complete the structure. Among the church decorations there is: -an episcopal bishop , the gift of Carlo I d'Angi˛ in 1270, the day of the feast of the Patron Saint when he defeated the Saracens; - a chalice of a goldsmith's art. The bell tower, next to the church, is with three levels and not very high. The majolica mosaic floor of 1853 is very interesting.

Church of St. Eustachio

Pontone ? 84010 Scala (SA)

The remains of the structure, traced back to the XII Century (the bell towers are dated 1187) , were the interest of an important restorer, who managed to stop the destructive process, which had already begun in 1570. The structure is Basilican style with three naves and apses. It still preserves its grandeur due to its dominant position on a rocky spur and the three apses which rise high above the surrounding tableland. The naves were probably divided by arches leaning on columns of which only a few remain. Nothing is left of the roof, while the decorations on the outside of the apses are interesting. The fašade is decorated with motifs of pointed arches leaning on small coupled columns of fine white marble, sometimes doubled, and decorated with elements of tuff. It's right for made shades of colour. The remains of a crypt, part of which has collapsed and of varied terracing, enhances the structure.

Church of Annunziata

Location: Minuta - 84010 Scala

From the XI Century, this church is a typical example of early Christian architecture, with frescoes in the crypt from the Middle Ages. The structure, which previously had an esonartece with crossed vaults, has a Basilican plan with three naves divided by six columns on each side which support pointed arches; three apses close the southern part of the structure (in the central apse there is the main altar). The crypt, with a rectangular plan and with crossed vaults, is reached by a ladder from the right aisle. The paintings are found on the upper part of the walls and the vaults; the frescoes should have covered the lower parts of the walls, but evidence shows that they must have been removed in the past. The iconographic collection has been inspired by Byzantine themes, with Cristo Pantocratore and Saint Giovanni Battista on the north vault, Saint Giovanni Evangelista on the west vault, David and Daniel on the east vault ; the principal scene is made up of reproductions of the life of Christ: on the north wall there is the Nativity, to the south ,The Annunciation, to the west, The Visitation; in addition , the scenes of two miracles of Saint Nicola were reproduced, the figure of Saint Giorgio and some fake marble panels. The disposition of the figures has a direct relationship with Byzantine pictorial patrimony, while the scenes with Saint Nicola come from a western tradition. The lunette on the outside of the main entrance is decorated with a Madonna and Child (a fresco from the XV Century). The square bell tower is covered by a dome.

Church of St. Filippo Neri

Location: Pontone - 84010 Scala

The structure, with an atrium with crossed vaults at the front, has three aisles with apses, divided by three arches on columns, covered with lunette barrel vaults. (The peacock tail flute on the lunette in the aisles is very interesting.). In the sacrestia, next to the right aisle, there is a fresco representing a scene of Calvary, from the late Middle Ages iconography.

Church of St. Giovanni Battista

Location: Pontone ? 84010 Scala

The church, originally with three naves, has undergone numerous restorations during the centuries which covered the previous structure of around 1100 (the nineteenth century restoration cancelled the eighteenth century vault paintings by Giovanni Cristiano). The main altar, in a recess, has the statue of the Patron Saint, while in the side chapels there are some paintings. On the right wall there is a tomb slab of a member of the local Spina family, dated 1346. It was previously positioned on the floor. The bell tower has a majolica clock on the top.

Castrum Scala Maior

Mentioned in relation to Ruggiero II?s siege in 1131, the castle takes up the flatland towards NW-SE and it's very important for its structure. The south side of this building hangs over with some towers and surrounding walls sections; the advanced bulwarks, among which there is one with pentagonal plan, remind the Byzantine examples in Turkey. The constructive technique is opus incertum, that uses irregular shaped and uncut stones inserted in a core of cement, made of limestone and mortar.

Ziro Tower

On the rocks spur that stretches to the sea, between the Atrani and Amalfi centers, the Ziro tower raises, with a narrow rampart, enclosed by crenellated walls. This rampart links the tower to the spur extreme point. The tower shows all the structural defensive elements dated back to the Angevin age; it's indeed a cylindrical building with a widened base and a protruding torus along the impost of the cylinder on the base. The crowning must present battlements, whose some elements survive; the only openings are at the top of the crowning, one if wider for the entrance, the others smaller (four square windows). The first information about this tower dates back to 1151, when it was called yet "Saint Felix Rock";, instead since 1292 it has become "Turris Cziri";. This property is linked to a story widely known among the locals; it is said that the tower was used as a place of imprisonment for Giovanna d'Aragona. She was very young when she married Alfonso Piccolomini, Duke of Amalfi, but prematurely became widow (she was about twenty years old) and fell in love with her house administrator, Antonio Bologna, whom she secretly married and from which she had some children. When her two brothers, cardinal Carlo and Federico, discovered her marriage, showed their disapproval trying to split the two lovers; Giovanna and her lover fled but were tracked down: Bologna was killed, and Giovanna was brought back to Amalfi, where she disappeared. The history, dated back to the 16th century, is a real event, told by Matteo Bandello, an Italian writer, one of Antonio Bologna?s friends and eyewitness of the circumstance. The history was turned into a tragedy by John Webster, in 16th century, but the story ends with the murder of Giovanna by an assassin, Bosola. Local tradition says that Giovanna instead, brought back to Amalfi, was imprisoned in the Tower of the Ziro and buried alive with their children, the fruit of secret; the proof of this conclusion is, according to the vox populi , in the absence of doors in the tower.

Valle delle Ferriere

A very interesting environment not only for the lush vegetation but also for the presence of a lot of industrial archeological evidences which belong to different periods, is represented by Valle delle Ferriere, which is situated between Scala and Amalfi. A lot of people who visited this valley remind the experience as a journey out of the ordinary. Departing from the route that starts in the small square of Pontone at 290 m.s.l.m, it is possible to observe evidences of different ages and uncontaminated environments. Pontone has some architectonic elements worthy to be observed before starting the descent, such as S. Eustachio church (XII century), which can be seen from the square of Pontone. The route descends along the valley crossed by Chiarito torrent and in the upper part there are chestnut and mixed woods alternated to terraced gardens as far as you reach the natural reserve, where there is a warm-moist microclimate that allowed the permanence of a subtropical vegetation of tertiary. Here in fact you can find rare ferns such as Pteris cretica, Pteris vittata, Woodwardia radicans (this one is situated in the last part of the route and you can only enter here with the forest service since it is integral natural reserve) and Pinguicula hirtiflora Ten.,, the small carnivorous plant which represents a glacial wreck. Carrying on walking along the route it is possible to see several waterfalls and small stretch of water, and several examples of different vegetation such as the rare Erica terminalis. The descent carries on as far as the visitor gets to a different view: proto-industrial buildings that used motive power of water of the torrent for their own productions. These buildings, above all paper mills, are essentially identical and they show a peculiar architecture finalized to exploitation of power of water, creating typical structures with several floors: water of the torrent was brought through a drain.

Arabic Bathrooms

Two structures of this kind have survived, being part of the old palaces belonging to the noble families of Scala, the first in a building in Pontone, one of Scala?s hamlets, called house-tower, the other in S. Caterina, another of Scala?s hamlets, in the so called Trara Palace. Both baths show the same model; they are composed of little rooms communicating among each other, but with different functions: one for the cold bath, one for the warm one and the last for the hot bath. This last bath is the best preserved, with a domed roof and central pool which is accessed through steps. Very interesting is the system of pipes made of clay, that had to be able to bring water and to take off vapors. A best preserved example of this system is in Pontone.

Palace de Saxo

The Palace, dated back to the XIII century, retains little of the original structure, but the description given by local historians is valuable to reconstruct the image of this house belonging to one of the most important families of Scala. Its entrance, decorated with architectural marble elements, led from North into an atrium covered and surrounded by a big portico, supported by columns. The courtyard had decorative interlacing arches and was the central element of the entire building, which was developed on four sides and ended with four towers, one per corner. According to tradition, Gerardo Sasso, founder of the Order of the Jerusalem Hospital Workers belonged to this family.

Saint Alfonso Grotto

The cave, inserted in a building, is the first place where Saint Alfonso Maria dei Liguori, coming to Scala in 1775 for religious activity, withdrew praying. The actual aspect is that of a building with just one room covered by a gable roof, and the altar facing north. The further feminine cloister, dedicated to the Savior, whose original part dates back to 1634, is ideally linked to this structure. In the cloister, whose cells are built along an only side, the chapel shows a contemporary aspect. It has only a nave with an altar and, on the entrance, a matroneum (the women' gallery where the seclusion sisters could follow the Mass).

Castrum of Scalella

The castle of Scalelle has almost completely collapsed. Many parts of this structure that aren't higher than 1,00 m, survive and this building was a part of a wider security system, with walls and tower, that was linked to the so called house-towers. Some pools for water remain of the central nucleus on the top of the hill.

Cave of Lucione

The grotto opens at a short distance from the Dragone creek and falls in many cases of karsic features that can be seen along the streams valleys. It consists of a small inlet cavity from which a not completely walkable path unfolds. It then leads to many halls, some of them are very huge, where you can see such geological events as stalactites and stalagmites. The path, made safe and walkable for the visitors, leads to a fall, at whose bottom a creek sector, that becomes underground upstream, can be heard flowing. The grotto shows a high humidity level that keeps the internal temperature constant both in summer and winter.

Mount Aureo and its Grottoes

The area on the top of Mount Aureo, including the Ziro tower, is an important proof of the presence of cave sites with religious finalities. The best known site is called "of the Savior" (see beyond). Along the hillside overlooking the town of Atrani is possible to identify a site in the cave, along the path that leads to the clearing of the Tower of the Ziro, the site that certifies a settlement due to the first phase of the attendance of the area: there are no paintings on the walls, but a simple adaptation of the natural cavity through a regularization of the decking and the building of a low wall, of which few remains survive, in the deepest part of the cavity. Other caves being near the Ziro tower are part of this original phase; they only show little walls construction on external side. These cave aren't accessible. It' possible to suppose these caves housed some hermits, especially since the local tradition says a famous hermit, Saint Saba from Collesano (Sicily), stopped here at the beginning of his religious activity.

The Eremitic Chapel of the Savior

This site, mentioned by the local historian Matteo Camera in 1876, is in poor conditions due to vandalism events that carry on over time. The survived wall structure, once certainly more articulated than now, tends to stabilize the rather complex natural environment. On the right side it's possible to see a low part of an arch, that had to be the entrance, followed by an apse and small remains of masonry that would suggest an altar. Interesting is the series of paintings decorating the overall chapel: on the top right side the paintings remains represent the Virgin, at the bottom, maybe there was a triptych composed by a saint with a red clothing on a blue background, an infant's head and, on the right, the tracks of a painted throne. In the apse the Savior is painted, but only a part of the blessing hand survives. On the left it's possible to see the remains of two scenes separated by a yellow band. In the superior scene there's a saint with an orange robe and sandals sitting on a bishop throne. The saint 's head is missing.

Church of St. Erasmo

This church was built in 1412 on the remains of an older structure dedicated to S. Sebastiano. It has a single nave with lateral chapels and a dome over the intersection with the nave and the transept . From outside, the dome has an octagonal construction terminating with a spire. Among the sacred decoration there are some interesting paintings by Luca Giordano.

The Vineyards

The cultivated areas in this district enable us to understand the high incidence of the geological composition of the soil on the tiered structure. In fact, the land constituting the transit zones and connection of the various nuclei of settlements consist of terraces or "ripe". The difference between the two structures is given not only by the appearance of the gardens, but also by the use of them. Where the presence of clay is very high the cultivated area is not bounded downstream by dry walls of containment of the earth but by a ridge formed by grass holding firm the plates and is defined "ripa". The cultivation plan is tilted and it contains vines cultivated in pergolas. In cases where the terrain is not made ??from clay then the terracing is delimited by dry walls and the cultivation plan is not normally inclined and the extension of farmland is minor. It's possible to see in many places in Tramonti a contiguity of vegetables gardens, vineyards and chestnut wood, which is a system where each part relies on the contributions of the other vegetation and organic elements.

Castrum of Montalto

This castle, called "castrum (castle) Montalto" or "of Trivento (three winds)", built on the rock spur between the Tramonti valley and the land of Ravello, is mentioned yet in an archive document dated back to 1131. If the structures were deprived of vegetation layer, it would be possible to track their progress. The castle has a rectangular plan, there are remains of a tower southwards, and part of a tank, covered by opus signimun (tiles broken up in very small pieces, mixed with mortar) and partly collapsed eastwards. Limestone blocks of different sizes and taken from the area were used for construction material (you can easily identify the cuts where stone was taken from).

Roman Countryside

The most important and yet visible proof of Tramonti?s longevity is a rural roman villa sited in Polvica. During the activities for a road construction between the headquarters of the local mountain community and the municipal house, in the 80s, important archaeological evidence ranging from the Hellenistic Period to the Middle Ages have come into existence. Hellenistic Age- In the area, where a car park has been built, post holes with black-painted ceramics were found, dated back to the Hellenistic Age and not to the Bronze Age, how it was supposed at first (they aren't no longer visible),. Roman Age ? Many furrows, discovered in the South area of the villa (the current car park) came from the Roman Age, in a time before 79 a. C. They were sealed by the lapillus coming from Vesuvius by the winds in 79 a. C. In the area close to the hill base, ruins of a rural villa were discovered; they are two superimposed structures, the oldest one (1st century BC), being used to found the new building, whose ruins of four rooms, directed from North to South, and an opus signinum (made of crushed bricks and mortar) floor survive. The building technique is opus incertum (rock fragments and small stones mixed with mortar) and opus vittatum stone or tuff blocks intersected by one or more bricks bands at regular or irregular distance), with plaster. In the West area, at 10 m. from the villa, a pool for water was dug. Also many cappuccina tombs (tombs with upholstered marble or bricks), were found at 3,50 m South from the building, and amphorae, discovered at 200 m. South-East, dated back to the same age. Some fragments are prior to 79 AD, the others posterior to this date. Among the potsherd found the most ancient are: fragments of Arretine ware, two of them belonging to a dish foot and internally decorated with circles; one with remains of painting decoration showing a man's feet; fragments of brinks pertaining to common pottery, maybe open shaped. The fragments posterior to 79 AD are linked to a brink and a handle of an African amphora with double step lip (3rd century AD), an olla (earthen urn) (2nd century AD), a brink of an African patera (ceramic libation bowl) sealed pottery type C, a side with varnished interior (4th-5th century AD). - Medieval Age- A religious building dates back to this age; it is on the west of the ancient villa and when it was discovered the apse and the North walls survived. Currently it's only possible to see the ruins of the North wall. The area of these findings must have had a good viability, that still survives thanks to many paths that easily link it to the natural passage at North (Chiunzi) and to the coast at South.

Castle of Santa Maria La Nova

The castle "S. Maria La Nova" was built to defend the land of Tramonti; the name came from a little chapel dedicated to the Virgin, that was in the inner of the castle. The description of this castle, now collapsed, was made by the local historian Matteo Camera, who told the castle was begun in 1458 and was provided of a structure with walls protected by ten little towers and seven square half-bastions, pools for water and a bell for alarm against the attacks.

Tower Orsini

The tower, placed on the natural passage that links the Vesuvius Plane to the Amalfi Coast, was built when the whole defending system was reorganized in 15 th century. It had to communicate in a visual way with the other castles that were on the top of the Amalfi Coast mountains and with those were in Vesuvius Plane. Indeed, an archive document, dated back to 1454, tells Raimondo Orsini, feudatory of the Amalfi land, wanted to build a tower in this area. The round structure, before than it was rebuilt and transformed in a restaurant, showed many collapses on the east side e on the crowing. The constructive technique is opus incertum, that uses irregular shaped and uncut stones inserted in a core of cement, made of limestone and mortar . In the mortar it?s possible to see little volcanic stones.

Church and Monastery of St. Francesco

The convent which is above the hamlet, was built in 1474 and destroyed many times. It now hosts a community of Franciscan monks. The structure is simple but majestic and it is built around a central courtyard with pilasters decorated on the angles with brickwork. From here the upper floor can be reached by some side stairs . The nearby church has decorations by Raffaele Severino made in 1926, with some frescoes by Bocchetti. The roof of the church is flat with a dome on the transept. A bass-relief on the main altar shows S. Stefano, S. Antonio Abate, and S. Valentino. Two sarcophagus contain the bodies of Vescovo De Majo and the Vescovo of Minori, in 1409, Romano.

Cave of S. Michele at Gete

Near the church dedicated to Saint Angel, built in 1181 and destroyed by a flood in 1735, it?s possible to visit the rock chapel dedicated to Saint Michael Angel, maybe built in relation to a more ancient religious site (people often associate these two sites). The chapel has a square plan, divided in two naves and covered by cross vaults with pointed arch The vaults are supported by a pillar and two columns. The building has also an apse and it shows tracks of the painting reproducing the Lady of Graces. On the right side there is a little helicoidal room, covered by a little dome decorated with river stones reproducing flower motives; at the top of this room another little room opens; it?s decorated with star motifs, that would suggest, according to the experts, a tomb.

The Lemons

FURORE-SCALA-TRAMONTI

The cultivation of lemons arrived on the Amalfi Coast thanks to the trade with the eastern ports, since this fruit arrived from India. When the lemon tree was carried on the Coast, it well adapted to the land topography; the terraced gardens house these trees that are grown on the pergolas. The cultivation on pergolas enables trees to enlarge their branches, supporting them under the sun and, moreover, forming a uniform coverage of the underlying soil that is able to maintain a constant humidity level. The pergola allows an easy covering during winter in order to protect lemon fruits and their flowers from hail. In ancient times the covering was made of flexible branches cut in the wood and fastened. After a couple of years these branches were fired under the lemon trees, so that the smoke might reject parasites. Watering of plants is done through the water of the springs and streams at high altitude that is transported to the garden through a system of channels that come from the point of origin in all the terraces. Every farmer knows what time, what day of the week and how many hours can tap into the channel; if the water does not need at the moment it is stored in tanks called ?peschiere? (the name comes from the verb "pescare", the farmers, in fact, in winter, fished eels in these tanks because they could not go fishing in the sea). On Amalfi Coast, the cultivated variety of lemons, protected by PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) brand, is the ?sfusato?, so called from the tapered appearance of the fruits.