What to see and what to do in Cetara
The city of Cetara is located between the cities of “Vietri sul Mare” and Maiori, it is an authentic fishing village that has kept its simple and cordial air. It has an ancient tradition of fishing, especially tuna, in fact, Cetara is derived from the Latin word: “Cetaria” means “tonnara” in English tuna, and the word “Cetari”, which are people who sell large fish and the place where the tuna is caught and prepared.
Cetara was founded in 879 by Saracen pirates, who took this small piece of land (between sea and mountain) as a base for their explorations. As a vestige of this past, there is only the Tower that from the top dominates the coast, time as a defense weapon today as a tourist destination.
Cetara, among the towns of the Amalfi Coast, is known for its dishes based on fresh fish. It is said that the best tuna of the whole Costa can be tasted here. In fact, all the tuna in the area come to fish with a labyrinth of nets following the ancient and traditional methods you pre-Roman times. To understand the importance and power of this small town in the tuna market, it is enough to know that throughout Italy there are 12 boats authorized for tuna fishing with the method of nets, of which 5 boats are from Cetara !. Not bad for a town of 2400 inhabitants.
The best thing about Cetara is that it is not very visited by tourists, and it is a good town to spend a day or half a day away from the world. In fact, to cross it is a delight, with its small port full of boats, its beach, its red houses embedded in the rock !.
Main monuments to visit in Cetara:
1.- Vicereale Tower
The Tower of Cetara is full of history, and it is the union of an Angevin Tower and a virreale Tower, in addition to other mayors modifications. The Tower of the Angevin period was built around the 1200s, as a protection against the Corsaros who came from Sicily, where the War of the Vespro was being developed. In the 1460s it was used as a prison for Don Federico, son of King Ferdinando I of Aragón, during the conspiracy of the barons. In 1563 it was integrated and modified as part of the protection tower system of the entire coast of Salerno, against Turkish pirates who infested the area.
In 1864, to heal public debts, the mayor of Cetara sold it to a family that transformed it radically, giving it a room. Extensions, dismantling and other important modifications were made during that period. The Torre de Cetara passed from family to family, until finally in 1998 the Ministry of Cultural Heritage declared it a historical monument, and the mayor’s office was able to buy it and turn it into the museum that can be visited today.
As you can see the history of this Tower is very interesting, I have made a super resume, so there is much more to discover. Do not miss visiting her on your trip to Cetara !.
To know more can visit the official website: http://www.torredicetara.it
2.- Church of San Pedro Apóstol
The Church of San Pedro Apostle of Cetara, in Italian Chiesa San Pietro Apostolo, like many of the monuments and churches of the area, has been remodeled several times over the centuries. There is news of this church in documents of 988, while the current baroque form is from the 18th century.
The Church of San Pedro Apóstol is presented to a single nave with altars on the sides. The bronze door is the work of the artist Battista Marello. In the interior is the gravestone of Grandenetto Aulisio, a heore of Cetara that in 1484 managed to save Prince Federico, son of King Ferdinando I of Aragón. Thanks to this asana, the town of Cetara gained respect and favorable treatment.
In addition inside the Church, you can see different canvases from the Baroque period to the early 900.
3.- Church and Convent of San Francisco
The Church and the Convent of San Francisco, in Italian Chiesa e Convento di San Francesco, form a complex built at the end of the 14th century. At one time it was composed of the clautro (which is now a restaurant), and the seat of the town hall.
The church of San Francisco was built in 1585, it has a structure with a single central nave. You can mention the frescoes under the vault and on the facade, which represents the Immaculate.
4.- Church of Santa María de Constantinople
The Church of Santa María de Constantinople, in Italian Chiesa di Santa Maria di Costantinopoli, was built at the end of the 19th century. Like the rest of the churches of Cetara, it is a small church with a single nave, with a bell tower. The church was destroyed in 1910 by a terrible storm and was rebuilt in 1921. On the altar and on the facade of the church you can admire two reproductions of the Virgin of Constantinople.
What to eat in Cetara
Because of its tradition as a fishing village, Cetara is famous for its fresh fish dishes, especially sardines and tuna. The sardines can be tasted in the traditional dish “La Colatura di alici di Cetara”, a liquid obtained with secret recipes that pass from generation to generation. The process lasts about 5 months and foresees the use of fresh sardines. With the pressure a liquid (the seam) is deposited. After several steps, the liquid obtained is placed to “dry” in the sun to eliminate the water and concentrate it. Meanwhile, the sardines are matured in salt. At the end of 4-5 months, the original liquid is restrained through the cured sardines. The result is what is known as “colatura di alici”. A specialty that they have to taste in Cetara !.
The lemon “Sfusato Amalfitano” an ancient variety of lemon that is cultivated in the terraces of Cetara. This variety was imported from Sicily (and the Middle East is believed) at the end of the 10th century. There are very few “original” varieties of this variety, so I recommend you try it!.
Of course do not forget to try the tuna from Cetara and in general all the fresh fish that can be tasted with the pasta (several interesting recipes), fried and in many other versions !.
Where to sleep in Cetara
Cetara is a very small town, but offers tourists some hotels and bed & breakfast. During the high season, as in all the Amalfi Coast presents high prices, but lower to cities such as Amalfi or Positano. I recommend sleeping in Cetara if you like small towns that live from the sea and breathe tranquility and normal life. You can see the offers and book Hotels with Booking.com.
How to get to Cetara
Get to Cetara by bus
The best way to get to Cetara is by taking a bus from the company SitaSud. They can arrive from Salerno, Vietri sul mare, or any other town on the Amalfi Coast.
Reach Cetara by car
You can get to Cetara by car following the SS163 road. Cetara is about 5 km from Vietri sul mare, and about 25 km from Salerno. It is easy to get to it, what is more difficult (especially in summer) is finding where to park the car!.
Getting to Cetara by boat
From the Port of Cetara you can arrive or depart with private companies that make routes to Salerno, Amalfi and other cities of the Amalfi Coast. The cost varies according to the route and the company, but prices are not impossible. It starts from € 5 to € 15. Surely advisable to enjoy the Amalfi Coast.