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Cetara is a small fishing village located at the foot of Mount Falerio, near Vietri sul Mare. Immersed in a deep valley, between vineyards and citrus groves, this village is still immune to mass tourism.

by Barbara Iovine

Perfect combination of charm and tradition, Cetara is the ideal destination for those who prefer a peaceful holiday. Here you can still feel the ancient seafaring charm among the beaches, churches, and the particular Saracen Tower.

Famous not only for the anchovy sauce but also for the excellent tuna caught with the characteristics “tonnare”, typical boats of the area, in this ancient village also it is possible to taste the best fish of the Amalfi Coast. Thanks to the generosity of the sea, the local cuisine boasts many typical products, all handmade, and keeps its link with the ancient maritime traditions intact.  

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Cetara with the Viceregal Tower

Sea: not only tuna and anchovies but also sunbathing

Cetara’s strong bond with the sea has made the city famous all over the world, attracting tourists intrigued by the famous anchovy sauce from all over the world. But Cetara is not only about fishing tuna and anchovies! Its crystalline sea is indeed a summer destination for young people from the Salerno area, who prefer to sunbathe in its private beaches, avoiding the more crowded ones of the other coastal pearls.
I will recommend you some of my favorites.

Marina di Cetara beach is the one that best represents the essence of the village.  Enclosed between the houses and the port, with the Viceregal Tower watching over the bathers, it is very peculiar. With the sublime landscape of the Coast and the boats moored, swimming here will be like taking a dip in a postcard!

The sandy beach of Lannio, on the other hand, is an almost hidden wild beauty. It can only be accessed on foot, crossing a flight of stairs that starts from the Tower. Once there you can choose between the free beach or the equipped lido.

La Baia beach, surrounded by clubs, restaurants, and shops, is ideal for those who, after a walk in Cetara, want to relax enjoying a typical Italian “aperitivo” overlooking the sea. Take a “spritz” and let yourself be caressed by the summer breeze while admiring in front of you the colorful spectacle of an exciting sunset on the Amalfi Coast! 


The village

Church of San Pietro Apostolo

A visit to the village between the Tower and the Churches

In addition to the peace of its beaches and its culinary delicacies, I recommend you to visit the city to discover its historical and artistic heritage.

Take a look at the fascinating Viceregal Tower, for example, rising above the small beach. It was built in the sixteenth century for defensive purposes and today houses the Civic Museum, which exposes the coastal painters’ works. This luxurious location is often the set of romantic weddings and has become the symbol of this village. I recommend you arrive in Cetara by ferry, so you will have the opportunity to see the majesty of the Tower from the sea. I assure you that it is an even more suggestive point of view. Don't miss it!
In the city center, on a long flight of stone stairs, there is the Church of San Pietro Apostolo, with different architectural styles. Maybe the sobriety of the neoclassical facade could be not inviting, but you will surely change your mind once inside. The interior is decorated with an explosive Baroque style that, with its predominance of white and gold, will leave you speechless. 

Do not miss the organ and the plaque, a homage to the people of Cetara who freed Frederick of Aragon from imprisonment in 1484. The bell tower, about 18 meters high, and the majolica dome are also very particular. 

It is also worth paying a visit to the Church of San Francesco, with its enchanting frescoes, and the Church of the Madonna di Costantinopoli, which preserves a statue of the Madonna delle Grazie.

The Anchovy  colatura

The famous PDO anchovy colatura

Finally, I cannot help but invite you to taste the typical local dish: spaghetti with anchovy sauce. This famous condiment has an amber color and a very strong and intense flavor. It is obtained from the fermentation of salted anchovies, made with a very ancient technique: it seems to be the heir of the Garum, a fish sauce that the ancient Romans were fond of.
In 2020 the colatura obtained the PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) recognition attracting even more food lovers from all over the world that come to this small village to not miss this tasty opportunity!

Sea, food and unforgettable landscapes. Cetara has nothing to envy to the other pearls of the Amalfi Coast. I'm sure you'll fall in love with it soon too!  

  • The name of Cetara derives from the Latin Cetaria, tonnara, and from cetari, seller of big fish.
  • The name of the beach of Lannio derives from "complaints", those of the monks who were executed here by the Saracens in the Middle Ages following their? invasion.
  • At the end of July, the city celebrates the “La Notte delle lampare” event, where tourists can take part in a fish game and taste typical local recipes.

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