Cetara, like all the other towns on the Amalfi Coast, has been declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. Cetara must absolutely be visited by those who love quiet places where it is possible to appreciate the most authentic soul of the areas. In fact, Cetara, still little known by tourists compared to Amalfi and Positano, is a quiet fishing village. Here, you can appreciate the life of the Amalfi Coast in its most genuine and local side.
- A bit of history and information about Cetara
- In Cetara for a walk
- A day at the beach or a stop to eat in Cetara
- How to get to Cetara
A bit of history and information on Cetara
The village of Cetara is located in a cove in the Amalfi Coast. It is hidden among the mountains which descend mightily towards the sea. The name of the hill that surrounds it is Falerio, from which a stream descends towards the sea, which the locals call “Cannillo“. Cetara, hidden in the mountains, is exposed to the sea and its weather. For this reason, throughout history, it has been subject to several invasions of peoples coming from the sea.
For a long time under the domination of Amalfi, Cetara also underwent the hegemony of the Normans and of Cava de’ Tirreni. The invasion by the Turks, however, marked a sad phase of enslavement and death. It was precisely to defend against attacks of this type that the tower was built. It served to spot the arrival of the Saracens and today it dominates the landscape of Cetara making it really unique.
Cetara has always been a fishing village. Some of the fishermen left from its small port to devote themselves to fishing for several months, away from their land, to fish anchovies. Other fishermen, on the other hand, have always dedicated themselves to fishing and selling tunas, through the tuna traps. It is precisely from the Latin name “Cetaria”, namely “tuna trap”, that derives the name of Cetara.
In Cetara for a walk
You can either stay in Cetara, and from here visit the whole Amalfi Coast, or you can go for a walk if you’re staying in Salerno or in any other village on the Coast. Reaching Cetara is very simple (in particular from April to October, when ferries are active), I tell you how to reach Cetara further on.
Whether you come to Cetara from the sea, by bus or by car, you definitely must take a walk in the centre. Do not expect the Positano or Amalfi kind of village, full of little shops where you can shop for clothes. Here you will be surprised by the simplicity of a life focused on fishing. Therefore, there will be many shops selling typical culinary products based on fish and small restaurants with a pleasant smell.
It can be said that the S. Pietro Restaurant divides the city of Cetara into two parts: the inhabited area, which develops uphill towards Mount Falerio, and the seaside. Coming down Corso Garibladi, you will find the main beach of Cetara right in front of you, dominated on the right by the Viceroyal Tower and, on the left, the port.
For those who come to Cetara for a walk, I recommend continuing along Galea street and head to the pier. From there you will admire Cetara from the sea. The ideal would be at sunset, but the colors of the Amalfi Coast are splendid at any time of day. From the tip of the pier, you can see Cetara’s village in the central part, the tower and the majolica dome of the Church of San Pietro Apostolo, all framed by the green of the mountain and the blue of the sea.
A day at the beach or a stop to eat in Cetara
Cetara is the perfect place to spend one day at the beach, especially for those staying in Salerno or on the Amalfi Coast. The central beach, clearly visible when arriving in the city, it is not the only one. Cetara hides two other small beaches which, especially in the less crowded periods, represent real natural oases with crystal clear water.
One of the two beaches is hidden behind the port, reached by taking via Galea. The other is the Lannio beach, which is located behind the Tower. To reach Lannio beach, you have to cross the hidden alleys of the village, passing under an arch that is located in Via Marina. From there, first, you have to climb the stairs between the houses and, then, go down through Lannio street.
What you need to know is also that Cetara is the perfect place where to stop and eat, before visiting some other village on the Amalfi Coast. Alternatively, you can stop here to enjoy an aperitif at sunset returning from a day at the beach or hiking. Absolutely to try is the fish, but, in particular, the cuoppo of fish and spaghetti with “colatura di alici” (the result of the fermentation of anchovies put to marinate in the jars), the two specialities of Cetara!
How to get to Cetara
A visit to Cetara is perfect for those staying in Salerno. If you are by car, you can reach it in 20 minutes (without traffic), along the SS163 road. Once you arrive, I suggest you park your car in Piazza Europa and start your walk from here towards Corso Garibaldi, on foot or with the parking shuttle. Or, if you’re lucky enough, you can park near the port!
Reaching Cetara by ferry is even simpler! Ferries connect Salerno with all the villages of the Amalfi Coast, starting from the port of Molo Manfredi or the Masuccio Salernitano tourist port. The ferry boats are active from April until the end of October, and the journeys from Salerno take only 15 minutes to reach Cetara. To visit the complete page with all times, you can click here.
What are you waiting for to plan your next holiday in the Amalfi Coast?
Hoping that travelling will be possible again as soon as possible, I will wait for you here!
Meanwhile, if the article was to your liking, please leave a comment 🙂