Agerola is known as "the small Switzerland" thanks to the beautiful mountain landscape, the bracing air, the refined buildings along with street order and cleanliness. This small village will give you the possibility to spend your vacation in total relax without forgoing the worldly pleasures, like boat trips around the divine Amalfi Coast.
The area has doubtless early-Roman origins: founded in the III century BC by refugees coming from San Cipriano Picentino, later conquered by the Romans, as witnessed in the numerous findings (like money dated back to the Age of the Caesars) within the area of Radiosa. The Romans stayed in Agerola even after the disastrous eruption of 79 AC, that destroyed Herculaneum and Pompeii: the catastrophe did not stop the local development and richness, like the great milk production, extolled by Galen (prominent Roman physician and philosopher of Greek origin) in the II century AC. Agerola became a huge brickwork and cutlery center: the locals were considered indeed the best ceramists of the coast.
Before the year 1000 the village got rich and famous for breeding silkworms, as learned during the long trips in the East. A great Jewish colony promoted even the silk manufacture, continued until the Italian unification in 1821, then it came to a definitive end.
During the Middle Ages, Agerola was famous for the cultivation of a special type of rose: the white "rosaria", to make refined essences, a flourishing industry until the end of seventeenth-century. In 1844, thanks to the general Avitabile, Agerola passed to the municipality of Naples. The illustrious citizen is best known to have made the local breed of cattle, called "mucca agerolese", which has favoured the production of milk, symbol of Agerola. The gradual impoverishment of the local population and general discontent subsequently the Italian unification, caused the resumption of brigandage, and Agerola became the headquarters.
Located just between the suggestive coast with a crystalline sea and the uncontaminated luxuriant green of the Park of Lattari Mountains, Agerola can boast great tourist and naturalistic attraction, in the heart of the Sorrento Peninsula. The lovely mountain landscape, rich in chestnut woods, meadows and orchards, recalls a special atmosphere, where the climate is mitigated by the nearby coast. The particular geographical position, gives to Agerola magic places to enjoy stunning views of the Amalfi Coast and the numerous path immersed into the green belt around the village, crossing the slopes where Agerola lies.
Once there do not miss:
- the Park "Colonia Montana": in the area of St Lazzaro, 1,5 hectares of natural beauty. Originally bigger than the current one, the park used to be owned by the general Avitabile that has his own residence (where now is a camping) there at the beginning of the XIX century. During the fascism, the natural environment was embellished with a huge central palace, used as summer camp for youths. The area boasts the presence of marvellous non-autochthonous arboreal species, too!
- Grotta del Biscotto: typical grotto shaped as a local biscuit, because of the special geological rocky conformation, that recalls the famous toasted bread (pane biscottato di Agerola). The grotto is part of the lovely Path of the Gods, from where you will be able to admire incredible panoramas.
- If you are staying in Agerola during the 'holy week' just before Easter, have a look at the local procession, it is worthy, indeed! The so-called 'precessione dei Battenti' is celebrated during the Holy Friday: the Battenti were special friars, so called because in ancient times they used to beat their own back with a double hemp rope and dressed a white hood to cover their faces. The locals do perform this ancient tradition, walking all around the village's narrow streets, accompanied with popular and liturgical chants.
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Explore nearby towns
Following the hairpin curves of the road cut along the coast between Amalfi and Positano, it's easy to miss Furore, but you should be on the look-out for it and stop.
In the middle of the Amalfi Coast, between Positano and Amalfi, is the lesser-known but beautiful village of Praiano.
Conca dei Marini is a pearl on the Amalfi Coast amongst scented lemon orchards and flamboyant flowers.