Maiori is well known for being an active town with possibly the nicest and largest beach of the Amalfi Coast. The town, fairly large for the average size of the villages on the coast, offers colorful nightlife as well as good restaurants and shops.
The origin of Maiori is shrouded in mystery. The debate about whether the founders were the Romans, the Etrurians or the Greeks still goes on today. What the experts agree on is the fact that the original name of the town was Reginna Maior, in contrast to the neighbouring town, Minori, Reginna Minor.
As a matter of fact, Reginna Maior and Reginna Minor used to be the names of two rivers, and, you guess it, Maiori was founded at the mouth of the Reginna Maior river. As it happened, the river dramatically overflowed in 1954, leaving little of the ancient Maiori, that has been nearly completely rebuilt. Nowadays the town has a modern look, quite different from the look of the other villages of the coast. The large beach of Maiori is also courtesy of the river... the debris brought from the hills towards the sea over time made it what it is now.
Worth a visit in Maiori are the church of Santa Maria a Mare and the Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
Santa Maria a Mare is the main church of the town, built in an elevated position in the 12th century and renovated between the 18th and 19th century. It has a characteristic dome tile with hand-made majolica tiles and hosts a a wooden sculpture of the Madonna with Child of the 15th century, as well as, in the sacristy, the museum of Sacred Vestments.
The Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie dates back to year 596. The original basilica was destroyed by a flood of the river, and later reconstructed. The facade belongs to the 17th century, and inside you will be able to see a christening font of the 13th century and the frescoes painted between the 14th and 16th century.
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