S.AGATA SUI DUE GOLFI
Sant'Agata sui due Golfi is a hill town that seprates the Gulf of Naples from the Gulf of Salerno. This fraction of the commune of Massa Lubrense, has a millennial history and a landscape of incomparable natural beauty. Since the ancient times this places came to be considered fascinating for its nature, its legends and for the mythological figures it inspired. The principal characteristics are the clean air, the mild temperatures even in the summer and the strategic position that allows on to easily reaching the enchanting Sorrento, Capri, Massa Lubrense, Positano, and the reliving of the history of Pompei, Herculaneum and Paestum before Vesivius, in 79 BC, made them hear the voice of his power and hid their beauty for nearly 2000 years. There is an unknown force that holds people to this place, where returning is almost obligatory.
The first inhabitants of the place were Greek colonies that built a necropolis on the hill of Desert not far from the center where bronze vases, copper, gold and silver were found dating back to the first millennium A.D. and also maybe the ancient, hybrid temple of the Etruscan and Greek cultures. The Romans arrived later. The small community of S.Agata was developed from the square; here you can find the church of S.Maria of Grace, in which there is an altar dating back to the 1600s. The little town faces the two gulfs ( the two gulfs can be observed from the monestary of the Benedettine monks on the hill of "The Desert", that one can find next to the center of Sant'Agata and that overlooks Sorrento). In the direction of Torca you can go down to a small beach, called Marina di Crapolla, accessable through a long footpath with hundreds of steps or by way of the sea. According to a legend, the apostle Peter landed on his difficult trip to Rome. There is a little church dedicated to him, venerated by the old fisherman from the village, and built on the remains of the temple of Apollo.
S.Agata sui due Golfi was half touristic since the 800s. The town also faces the island of Capri and the Galli islands that were owned by the dancer Rudolf Nurejev until he died. Currently S.Agata sui due Golfi is an active tourist center owing to its great location (close to Sorrento and Positano but with a much more calm way of life) with many properties (Villa dei Galli, Villa il Pino, Villa il Noce, Villa Rafaella, Villa il Mirto, Villa il Mirto 1, Villa il Mirto 2) wich the people want to rent often in the summer period. From here you can also reach, on foot, by way of marked trails, Sorrento and Massa Lubrense.
PLACES TO VISIT
- The church of S. Maria of Grace: wanted by the Casafestina family, around the 1500s, has always represented the center of activity of Sant'Agata. On the inside of the church, along with the statue of S.Agata you can find a gorgeous and prestigious alter considered on the most beautiful works of precious stones. It dates to the 1600s and is a a work of the sculptor and architect from the Florentine school, Dioniso Lazzari. Finished in mother of pearl, lapis lazuli and hard stones, it comes from the old church of Girolamini of Naples and is unique for its beauty. The historic Neapolitan D.A. Parrino (1700) used to say "that maybe you can't find anything else like it in the world".
- The Monestary of Desert: The monastery, built on the hill, gives its name to the complex of the Desert. On the terrace of the building, a panoramic belvedere faces both the Gulf of Naples and Salerno, offering a natural show without equal. From there it is impossible to remain indifferent to the combination of colors and the depth of the horizon that seems to indulge the fantasy to the eye of the observer. The monastery is easily accessed from the center by a nice walk through the colored vegetation that hugs the little town. Close to the monastery, in Vadabillo to be precise, a necropolis containing different sarcophaguses. During the digs, an ancient amphora was discovered that depicts a winged siren on its side. Some professionals say that this discovery, together with the other indications found in other ruins, makes you think that right on this hill, was erected a temple dedicated to the sirens, which the legend places in these waters.
- Fiord of Crapolla and the Tower: at the marina of Crapolla times seems to stop. The fiord of Crapolla, anciently the dock of the fishermen, is accessible in 45 minutes from S.Agata or Torca. Going down through the shade of the local chestnut and olive trees you reach a belvedere from which you can admire the three islands of Galli and the islets of Isca and Vetara. From here them passage of 650 limestone steps begins, rather easy for the descent, but challenging for the ascent. After walking for about 20 minutes, in the middle of myrtle and mastic plants, you reach the chapel of San Pietro, venerated by the fishermen of the ancient village. Near the chapel winds a path the crosses through the fiord and reaches the majestic tower ( constructed in the viceregal period face the attacks of the Turkish pirates) from the top of which you can admire the marvelous panorama. Backtracking on the path you arrive in the local marine village where there are various remains of roman constructions, like a cistern for the collection of rain waters. The fiord, closed in rocks, hanging over the marina, is attention grabbing and extraordinarily picturesque.
- Like every center of the Sorrentine peninsula, S.Agata sui due Golfi also has great gastronomical and wine traditions, with many local restaurants and one that has won 3 Michelin stars.