Cava de' Tirreni
Cava de' Tirreni is a fascinating town, steeped in history, today counting 50 thousands inhabitants and more than twenty districts that make it known as the "stellar city".
The first inhabitants in what is now Cava, the Tyrrhenians, were the descendants of the people that had migrated from Etruria — usually referred to in Greek and Latin source texts as Tyrrhenia – whose presence in this area is been documented through the archaeological finds preserved into the local Benedictine Abbey Museum and civic Antiquarium.
The city is simply charming as a mixture of ancient, Christian and modern cultures co-exist in this place. Cava used to be one of the favourite vacation places by the ancient nobles in Rome. Innumerable Roman ruins have been found throughout the ages, especially on the northern zone, bordering eith the Roman settlement of Nuceria Alfaterna. The Longobards stayed here, as shown by the series of towers built to allow the "Gioco delle Colombe" (Doves Game – ancient Longobard hunting technique: the doves were canalized into narrow passes through the mountains, at the end of which, the birds knocked against a net and were captured).
The splendid Benedictine Abbey of the Holy Trinity was founded in 1011, true summary of history, culture and works of art.
Abbot St Peter I (1079-1123), founded nearby the Benedictine Cenoby the village of Corpo di Cava, protected by high walls and ramparts; actually the first modern settlement of the current city.
Coming from the Corso between two uninterrupted rows of arcades, you will get into Borgo Scacciaventi, noteworthy example of fifteenth-century shopping centre with age-old buildings, carved stone portals and courtyards with evident traces of Aragonese architecture. The end of the winding Borgo Scacciaventi opens out into the bright Piazza San Francesco with the sixteenth-century Our Lady of the Elm Church (Chiesa della Madonna dell'Olmo) and the square-based bell tower that rises above a wonderful sixteenth-century cloister.
Cava became a proper big city thanks to the bull written by Pope Boniface IX, in 1394. The toponym Cava was born then and, only after the unification of Italy, the name turned into the current Cava de' Tirreni.
Since 1700, Cava de' Tirreni has been important destination of tourists and travellers. Nineteenth-century Neapolitan poets preferred it because of the pleasant panoramas, rich in vegetation and awesome seascapes. Many artists coming from the Pictorial School of Naples, like Gigante, Morelli, Palizzi, Van Pitloo, Poussin, painted glimpses of the Metelliana Valley – where Cava lies.
From the XVIII century to the first half of the XX century, Cava de' Tirreni was unavoidable destination of a huge flow of travellers that gave life to the magic Grand Tour.
Important personages like Goethe and Kniep (1787), Hackert (1792), Bourgeois (1804), Michallon (1817), Wan Day (1820), Coignet (1821), R. Keppel Crafen (1821), Lady Blessington (1823-26), Muller (1829), Walter Scott (1831), William Gell (1831), Vanderburch (1833), John Ruskin (1841) and many others visited Cava and were thrilled with it.
In 1929 born the famous local Tennis Club, elegant and worldly meeting place that still today enriches the fame of vibrant and socially evolved city on the edge of Salerno.
Cava de' Tirreni offers culture, history, architecture, art, verdant hills and thick woods close to the sea, mountain tours and lovely itineraries.
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