Minori

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

Minori – Minori con costiera – Photo © De Maio Agostino
Minori – Minori con costiera – Photo © De Maio Agostino

Suspended between sea, sky and land, the section of coast that goes along Sant’Agata on the Two Golfs, Positano, Amalfi, Atrani, Ravello, Minori, Maiori and Vietri reveals, behind every curve.

Almost completely isolated until the 800′s – when it was only reachable via steep mule tracks – the ‘divine coast’ was discovered only at the beginning of the 900′s, and revealed artistic and architectonic masterpieces of great value which were practically unknown.

As in Positano, the houses are painted with pastel colors and the streets are webs of roads and staircases amongst terraces and gardens engraved in the rock; or Amalfi, with it’s marine past and Duomo with it’s scenic front; or Ravello, slightly out of the way on the mountain, and therefore still able to offer the peace and mystery which Wagner loved – when a guest at Villa Rufolo, where he composed the Parsifal.

amalfi_vietri

How to get there: Vietri sul Mare (SA) -eastern “door” of the Coastal crossroad between the main road n. 163 and the motorway A3 Napoli/Salerno/Reggio Calabria – 5 km from Salerno, 20km from Amalfi, 37km from Positano, 50km from Napoli, 260km from Roma and 830km from Milano.

Minori – Photo © De Maio Agostino
Minori – Photo © De Maio Agostino

Minori

Minori derives its name from the torrent Reginna Minor (or Reginuolo) that crosses it.

It has been inhabited since Roman times, as some remains of the splendid Villa Romana testify.  In the Middle Ages it had a more than adequate economic development, in fact, Minori had been a Diocese since 987, due to Pope Giovanni XV’s will and shared the history and fate of the near Amalfi, with which it was often in competition.

It is a small but very nice town with a beautiful promenade, enriched by a splendid IInd-century fountain (Lions’ Fountain) and a net of picturesque and lively lanes.

Minori has often been devastated by natural catastrophes and plagues: a tempest in 1597 was particularly terrible, it destroyed the walls and the main square.  The Cathedral deserves a visit: it preserves S. Trofimena’s relics , a saint venerated all along the Coast.  A 17th-century marble pulpit is very remarkable.  A wooden Baroque altar is interesting too, it is in the Church of S. Lucia at Benedictine Convent.

Photo picornot.com
Photo picornot.com

However, above all, Minori offers the possibilities of visiting the remains of a Roman Villa of the Augustean Age (Ist century), built on a 2500-square-metre arc.  Excavations began in 1932 and were continued after the flood of 1954 buried it under a blanket of mud.  The building had two stories originally, but the top floor has been lost.

The ground floor is still intact and is surrounded by three archways and a nymphaeum and is decorated by frescoes and mosaics. In the inside a swimming-pool of Roman times was discovered. The Roman Villa is of a great archeological interest: it is the only evidence of this type on the Coast. lt permits historians to verify their theories about the importance of the Villa (and in particular of Minori) during Roman dominion.

On the other hand, even its country name is of Latin origin, like that of the nearby Maiori.

Besides, perhaps it will be necessary to explain that the augmentative (maior that is bigger) and the diminutive (minor, that is smaller) do not refer to the importance or size of the respective towns, but to the torrents’ flow crossing their centers and having the same name, Reginna Maior the former and Reginna Minor the latter.

These torrents are both terrible when they fall headlong into the sea during the winter.  As a matter of fact both towns have often been devastated by terrible floods.  Fortunately, today, this danger is only a memory of the past thanks to the progress of civil engineering.

Where to stay in Minori

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