It was one of the favorite settings for the directors of Italian neorealism. Some of the cinematic masterpieces including Paisà, in 1946, Il Miracolo (second episode of L’Amore – 1948), La Macchina Ammazzacattivi (1948), Viaggio in Italia (1953) by the Roman director Roberto Rossellini who, during what has been called his Maiori period, loved the Amalfi Coast and in particular Maiori.
Maiori, between Capo d’Orso and Minori
Situated between Capo d’Orso and the short promontory that divides it from neighboring Minori, the village is a nook for lovers of spirituality and sacred works. In the Middle Ages, numerous monastic cenobia stood in Maiori, causing it to become one of the most significant and critical ecclesiastical seats in the Amalfi dukedom. The highest concentration of monasteries was located on Mount Falerzio. Here ancient and reformed monasticism coexisted with Benedictines, Basilians, Cluniacs, Cistercians, and Camaldolese Florens.
With its borders well marked by two Saracen towers, the Norman one and La Cerniola, located in the hamlet of Erchie, the village is a destination not only for sea lovers (it is home to the largest beach on the Amalfi Coast) but also for devotees and mystical trekking enthusiasts.
The churches of Maiori
Maiori is known for its churches that enclose true works of art in their spaces. Just delve into the crypt of the Collegiate Church of Santa Maria a Mare, where the small Don Clemente Confalone Museum is housed. Here, several 18th-century statues are on permanent display, including those depicting St. Lucy and St. Apollonia, the reliquary bust of St. Tryphon, the original statue dedicated to Our Lady of the Advocate, the Madonna and Child attributed to the 16th-century German school, and a splendid Madonna in Glory by Diego de Silóe from Ferdinando Bologna.
On the other hand, the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie has some 15th-century paintings inside, including the Visitation, the Crucifixion from the school of Andrea Sabatino, and a 13th-century marble baptismal font.
Finally, the abbey complex of Santa Maria dell’Olearia is so named because it is surrounded by lush olive trees and because of the presence of an oil mill used in medieval times, which made it one of the most active centers of oil production.
The abbey stands on the road that connects Capo d’Orso with Maiori and consists of three small, overlapping, and differently frescoed churches. Here, frescoes are preserved partly attributed to Leone Amalfitano, a Benedictine monk who lived in the 11th century. At the same time, well-preserved paintings like the one with the “Praying Virgin with Saints” can be admired in the crypt.
Mezzacapo Palace of Maiori
Outside the sacred walls, the Mezzacapo Palace, one of the most splendid examples of 18th-century architecture and decoration, now home to the municipal library, houses unique gardens: from the curious Maltese cross shape, rose garden violets to large underground pools, all communicating.
Maiori also is known for its handicrafts. During Christmas, Maiori’s San Francesco Convent Church is home to an exhibition of nativity scenes made by members of the Maiori Nativity Association. In February, the village streets come alive with floats and masks to celebrate the Gran Carnevale Maiorese, accurate mobile installations made by local amateur artists.
The Path of Lemons
An itinerary in the Amalfi Coast, the Sentiero dei Limoni is easy to follow, it unites the two coastal towns of Maiori and Minori and pays homage to the cultivation of the Sfusato Amalfitano.
Tourist Information Office Amalfi Coast Tourist District
via G. Capriglione, 116 B
84010 Praiano [Salerno, Italy]
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