Cetara, Erchie

This is an excerpt from the book “The Amalfi Coast“.

Cetara – Photo © dmmaus
Cetara – Photo © dmmaus

Cetara

It has always been a village fishermen. Cetara was the farthest eastern possession of the Amalfi Republic.Then, fallen into the hands of Saracens (879 a.C.), it suffered domination for a long time. Moreover, it was one of the most important port bases of Arabian pirates due to the precious shelter afforded by the nearby Cala Fuenti. From there fast boats of the raiders sailed in order to hit and sack the coast centers of the middle and southern Tyrrhenian Sea.

amalfi_vietri

In fact, both the Longobards who dominated this part of Southern Italy, and the Sea Republie of Amalfi, the other great power of region, could not efficiently control their coastal possessions.  As a matter of fact, the Longobards were not very familiar with sea activities, while Amalfi was mainly a commercial and not a military power.

Finally after Christian governors had driven the Saracens out of Southern Italy (and out of Sicily), Cetara shared Amalfi’s decline and in the following centuries, it was more and more under the influence of Salerno.  In the 16th century Cetara suffered a terrible raid carried out by the Turks of Sinan Pascia’ that reduced to slavery more than three hundred inhabitants, exterminating all those people who had not managed to escape.

Today the town lives a more tranquil life, made of summery tourism and winter fishing. It is a calm and industrious village, that has preserved its urban structure almost intact surrounding its sandy beach and port.

Where to stay in Cetara

Hotels, villas, B&Bs and apartments: search and make reservations here.

Erchie Tower – Photo © Positanonews
Erchie Tower – Photo © Positanonews

Erchie

Erchie has always been the beach chosen by the most enterprising inhabitants of Salerno. Today it is a very small and charming village climbing up along the slopes of the Coast in a pleasant and uninterrupted series of small villas discreetly hidden behind beautiful gardens.  The town was born as a Benedictine abbey (eventually restored in 1966) that attracted a certain number of residents, until it was destroyed by a Saracen raid in 1154 and the village was subsequently abandoned.

In 1451, the Abbey was abolished by Pope Nicola V and the area became dominion of Salerno and was slowly repopulated.

Erchie offers itself to the caress of the blue sea of the Coast on two small and elegant beaches, divided by a rocky strip. Until a few years ago, it was possible to pass from one beach to the other through a fissure that today has been walled up.

Where to stay in Erchie

Hotels, villas, B&Bs and apartments: search and make reservations here.