CONCA DEI MARINI: THE GARDEN OF WONDERS OF AMALFI COAST
The Conca dei Marini village is a characteristic garden of wonders that stretches for three kilometers among the fragrant lemon, olive, and carob trees.
by Barbara Iovine
If you are looking for a quiet place where you can spend a carefree day immersed in suggestive beauty, you will not want to miss Conca dei Marini. This is one of the smallest municipalities of the Amalfi Coast, second in numbers only to Atrani. With its small houses directly on the emerald sea, it is truly a masterpiece you will carry in your heart.
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Conca dei Marini - Capo di Conca area with the Saracen Tower
The two level paradise
Characterized by a seafaring soul, Conca dei Marini is able to guarantee a peaceful and relaxing stay, especially thanks to the excellent position it enjoys. Its hollow conformation is so characteristic that it is what gives this municipality its name: Conca (basin).
It offers a truly unmissable landscape: from here you have a beautiful view of the nearby Amalfi and Capri, two of the most popular destinations in the area.
This village is a small paradise developed on two levels: at the top there is the hill one, with white houses alternated with the typical landscapes of the coastal area, the vegetable gardens, the olive, and the lemon groves; at the bottom one, instead, you have picturesque houses directly on the sea, reflected in the small bay. Characteristic elements, not only of this village but of the whole coast, are the classic "stairways" that connect the whole town, usually adorned with aromatic plants that inebriate passers-by with their enveloping scents.
The Emerald Grotto: the green temple
Despite its small size, Conca dei Marini offers its guests many places of interest, such as the fabulous Emerald Grotto, an unmissable naturalistic pearl.
This cave is a particular natural inlet, rich in stalactites and stalagmites which, joining together, form limestone columns even more than ten meters high.
You can book a guided tour that with a small boat will take you to this green temple, where the light effects will make the atmosphere almost surreal, coloring the environment with an "emerald" green. Inside the grotto, you can also admire an underwater “presepe” in white ceramic, a small hidden masterpiece.
Great attractions for a small village
Among the other attractions of Conca dei Marini there are several churches, all characterized by an excellent panoramic position. I will suggest to you those that I think are most worthy of a visit.
Let's start with the Church of San Pancrazio, in the upper part of the town, with its bright striped facade. This is a dream place, surrounded by a centuries-old olive grove. It is almost never crowded since it is not always open to visitors. You can indeed access it only during liturgical rites and in summer, depending on the availability of volunteers. Be sure to check its opening schedule during your stay.
This church is characterized by a spacious churchyard, not far away from an unmissable belvedere where you can enjoy the beauty of the landscape in the majestic silence dictated by the little frequency of people in this place. Here, in front of the beautiful scenery, surrounded by greenery, I am sure you will feel at peace with the world.
Another point of interest is the thirteenth-century Church of San Giovanni Battista, also known as the Church of Sant'Antonio, with its particular Baroque facade and majolica bell tower. From here it is also possible to enjoy the unmissable view of the sea, the hallmark of a visit to the Amalfi Coast. It is also the starting point of the June 13 procession that celebrates the patron saint of the place, Sant'Antonio, and crosses almost the whole town.
The former complex of the Convent of Santa Rosa is one of the most representative buildings of the Amalfi Coast as well. It is located at the entrance of the village and, although from the outside it may seem a bit austere, it dominates a rich Baroque style on the inside. Like the other churches of Conca dei Marini, this structure is characterized by a particular view of the Gulf of Salerno, too. I am sure it will not disappoint you.
It is interesting to know that right here, in the eighteenth century, the famous Santa Rosa sfogliatella, one of the traditional pastries of the area, was born from the hands of a nun who did not want to waste the leftovers of the dinner. On August 30, right on the day of Santa Rosa, the sfogliatella is still celebrated with a great party that involves both residents and curious tourists.
Another suggestion for your tour in this seaside village is a visit to the Saracen Tower, also known as the White Tower, located on a rock overlooking the sea in Capo di Conca area. The path leading to this Tower is very pleasant, even if there are numerous stairs. I am sure you will not regret the effort because you will be surrounded by beautiful natural elements, such as coves and rocks.
Before you leave, you cannot miss a swim in the small bay of Marina di Conca. This is a suggestive pebble beach with a crystalline sea, the ideal for cooling off after visiting the village or snorkling.
Even if Conca dei Marini is one of the smallest villages in Italy, I am sure that after your visit, it will reserve a big place in your heart.
- In the 60s and 70s many famous people used to frequent the small village of Conca dei Marini. Among the many: Carlo Ponti, Sofia Loren, the Agnelli family, Jacqueline Kennedy and the princesses of Holland and England.
- Visit the Emerald Grotto by 12 PM, so you can enjoy the best lights.
- The Church of San Pancrazio is linked to the legend of the “janare”, mythological witches who, according to the legend, take possession of the fishing boats at night.
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