Vietri sul Mare

Vietri sul Mare

Vietri sul Mare, the homeland of ceramics, is the last of the towns on the Amalfi Coast towards the south and is rightfully part of the villages and towns that should be visited during our vacation. Vietri is a small town of about 8,500 people and boasts among the oldest origins on the entire Coast.

If you are looking for information about the town, we suggest you read our detailed guide that will take you step by step toward choosing your travel itinerary.

Let’s see together what to visit in Vietri sul Mare, one of the perhaps less well-known jewels among those we can find along the Amalfi Coast.

How to get to Vietri sul Mare

βœ… Car – For those arriving from Salerno, it is the first town from the Coast, while those arriving from Naples can take the A3 highway towards Salerno and then take the exit of the same name, which is Vietri sul Mare. From here continue on State Road SS 163 and in a few minutes you can arrive in Vietri.

We know how frightening State Road 163 Amalfitana can be, especially if you are not used to narrow, winding roads. We also know how frustrating it can be to drive off to a tourist destination that promises to be crowded, with the nightmare of having to go crazy to find a parking space! That’s why, we have written a free guide for you, taking care to include all the indispensable information to make it easy, smooth and contingency-proof to travel around the Amalfi Coast, whether by car or by public transportation. Inside you will also find a list of car and motorcycle parking lots!

βœ… Bus – Those wishing to arrive by public transportation, on the other hand, will find good connections through SITA SUD buses from Salerno and Amalfi, which run regular service both during the peak season and in winter.

Travelmar ferries also stop in Vietri sul mare.

Where to Sleep in Vietri sul Mare

πŸ“£ Looking for a place to sleep in Vietri sul Mare?
We have already selected the best ones for you!

Apartments
Casa Vacanze

Starhost – CASA ADA

Vietri sul Mare – Via scavata 50
9.4
Superb –
33 reviews
B&B

Ambrosea Amalfi Coast B&B

Vietri sul Mare – Corso Umberto Iα΅’ 178
9.7
Exceptional –
49 reviews
Hotel

Relais Paradiso

Vietri sul Mare – Via Nuova Raito 10
8.3
Very good –
154 reviews

What to see in Vietri sul Mare: Tours and Excursions

πŸ“ The Church of St. John the Baptist

With its distinctive cupola made of beautiful colored majolica tiles, the church of St. John the Baptist is perhaps among the most important historic buildings to visit during our coastal vacation. The Cathedral on the Sea is located in the center of the old town and in an absolutely dominant position over the town’s territory. Bell tower and dome are among the most incredible beauties you will have the chance to visit during your stay on the Coast, and the interiors, where Romanesque, Renaissance and Baroque styles alternate, are also of great interest to those who love beauty. The coffered ceiling in pure gold, which dates back to the 17th century, and the altar in marble inlays are also splendid.

πŸ“ A visit to the Provincial Museum of Ceramics

For those interested instead in ceramics, which is also the most important craft product in the whole area, there is also the chance to visit the Provincial Museum of Ceramics, located right in Vietri, inside Villa Guariglia.

Inside you will find pottery designed for everyday use; the bulk of the productions of what goes by the name of “German period” for Salerno ceramics; an incredible assortment of religious-themed ceramic objects; The artistic production contained within the museum is certainly valuable and well worth setting aside a couple of hours for the museum visit.

πŸ“ The Villa Comunale of Vietri sul Mare

Near the imposing building of “Ceramiche Solimene”, at the edge of the historic center of Vietri sul Mare, you will find the splendid Villa Comunale di Vietri, where we recommend you stop, even if you are just passing through.

The park is covered with colorful majolica tiles, which shimmer in the sunlight, creating a very striking setting, reminiscent of Parc Guell in Barcelona. The Villa also houses a small amphitheater that hosts cultural events in the summer.

Overlook it from here to enjoy the splendid view and to take surefire photos!

πŸ“£ The other historical and monumental stops on your visit to Vietri sul Mare

A visit to Vietri sul Mare and its immediate surroundings should also consider:

πŸ”Ή The Archconfraternity of the Annunziata and the Rosary: beautiful 17th-century building adorned with splendid painted ceramic decorations and frescoes;

πŸ”Ή The Marina di Vietri Tower;

πŸ”Ή in Raito, a short walk from Villa Guariglia, also the Belvedere Tower;

πŸ”Ή the Dragonea Tower.

What to do in Vietri sul Mare

πŸ“£ Looking for ideas to enrich your vacation?
We have selected the best experiences in and around Vietri sul Mare!

Trekking and walking

πŸ“ The Parco Croce WWF oasis

If you love nature, you also have the opportunity to visit Parco Croce, a WWF oasis gifted by the family of Benedetto Croce and located very close to the town of Albori. This beautiful oasis, covered in part by Mediterranean scrub forest, also harbors a fair assortment of natural fauna, with natrixes, bark beetles, badgers, pine martens, wild boars and foxes. The park i is also inhabited by numerous birds of prey, including owls, peregrine falcons, kestrels, buzzards and sparrowhawks.

πŸ“ The Vietresi Villages Trail

From Marina di Vietri you reach Raito, Albori, Iaconti and Dragonea, the hamlets of Vietri, which we will tell you more about in the next paragraphs. The path, through “Via Madonna dell’Arco,” first leads to State Road 163 Amalfitana, from which you take another staircase that passes between the hamlets.

You first reach Raito, coming out in the small square of the Church of Madonna delle Grazie. After a contemplative pause, proceed to Albori, the third most beautiful village in Italy. From here, via a naturalistic path, you reach Dragonea, then Benincasa. From here, for the return, the road is pleasantly downhill and returns to the center of Raito, from which you proceed to Marina di Vietri.

πŸ“ From Raito to Monte Avvocata

From the hamlet of Turino in the hamlet of Raito you can take a path marked by CAI that leads to Mount Avvocata. The path crosses the New Chapel and then, through a climb, reaches the Old Chapel. From here it starts by walking first on level ground, then along the uphill road that leads to Acqua Fredda and finally to the top of the mountain, where the Sanctuary stands. Not far away are the caves where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared, to whom the feast is dedicated that is traditionally celebrated 50 days after Easter.

Experiences you can only do in Vietri sul Mare

πŸ“£ What can you do if you decide to stay overnight in Vietri sul Mare?

As we already mentioned at the beginning of this article, the first village on the Coast coming from Salerno represents the home of handmade ceramics. You will realize this as soon as you have started your tour of the town: the votive shrines, on which ceramic details in the typical colors of the Coast stand out, the classic Vietri “riggiole” (polychrome tiles), the holy water fonts, and the typical Vietri donkeys will capture your attention, as will surely the numerous stores displaying ceramic objects and souvenirs.

You will have realized that among the first things we recommend is a shopping trip: every ceramic object you will see on display is made entirely by hand, through a process of craftsmanship that has been handed down from generation to generation.

Some workshops offer introductory courses in Vietrese ceramics, which will allow you to learn in detail about the working processes and personally try your hand at making an object to take home.

If you’re looking for other experiences, we remind you that Vietri is just a few minutes from Cava de’ Tirreni: here you can go on a discovery tour of the city’s medieval center and the gems of its rich past.

Do you prefer the sea?
Direct boat tours to the Amalfi Coast depart from Salerno, allowing you to observe the hidden pearls of the Divina and stop at the most iconic places or the most exclusive beaches!

The Hamlets of Vietri sul Mare

πŸ“ Molina: the closest of the hamlets of Vietri sul Mare. It is located below the level of Via Nazionale, which leads to Cava de’ Tirreni. The appearance of the village was compromised by the flood of ’54, but the pylons of an aqueduct built in 1320 remain.

πŸ“ Raito: was chosen as the residence of King Victor Emmanuel III from August ’44 to April ’45.  Stop by the Provincial Museum of Ceramics, inside the beautiful Villa Guariglia, and enjoy the spectacular view from the Belvedere. Then proceed on foot through the village: the special feature of Raito is that it can only be traveled on foot by a single road that passes between small white houses, alleys and courtyards.

πŸ“ Albori: proceeding from Raito’s main road, you can reach this hamlet on the slopes of Mount Falerio. Stop here to savor the slowness and silence in the small square in front of the small church of St. Margaret of Antioch, built in the 1500s, with three naves, decorated with stucco, frescoes and a splendid ceramic floor. From here, you can take the pleasant nature trail that leads you to the top of Mt. falerio

πŸ“ Benincasa: one of the two hillside hamlets of Vietri sul Mare, nestled between trees and terraces. This hamlet is devoted to St. Francis of Paola, who, according to tradition, stayed at these hills. Looking around, you will see many votive shrines, which stand out for the typical colors of Vietri ceramics: yellow, blue, copper, and red.

πŸ“ Dragonea: the village includes the hamlets of Vallone, Iaconti and Padovani. From the latter, a path starts that reaches the caves of S. Cesareo, where the remains of an ecclesiastical building can be admired, located in front of the cave where the saint lived.

The Beaches of Vietri sul Mare

Vietri Sul Mare can also be very interesting for beach tourism, although its proximity to the port of Salerno makes the waters perhaps slightly less clear than those found on the rest of the Amalfi Coast. Within the Vietri area we can find:

βœ… Marina di Vietri: this is a recently formed beach, which is a consequence of the flood that affected all the towns and villages between Minori and Vietri in 1954. With a sandy bottom, it sees at its geographical center the Bonea River. On one side are private establishments, while on the other side is the free beach;

βœ… La Baia: this is the southernmost beach, right on the border with Salerno. It is very interesting as one of the few sandy beaches on the Coast. It is very wide and long and can be easily reached either by public transportation or by car;

βœ… La Crespella: this is a beach that is surrounded by beautiful towers dating back to the 1500s and finds right in front of it the stacks of Vietri sul Mare, which have practically always been called I Due Fratelli (The Two Brothers). There’s also a small establishment on the beach, which also offers parking services.

Events in Vietri sul Mare

βœ… The patronal celebration June 24 marks the celebration of St. John the Baptist, the patron saint of the town. The occasion is a great opportunity to touch on local traditions, which are always a surprising mixture of religious rites and folkore. As always, the participation of locals is heartfelt and passionate. There is no shortage of traditional fireworks to conclude the celebrations.

βœ… The feast of Montecastello in Cava de’ Tirreni. Given the proximity, we cannot fail to mention the evocative Festa di Monte Castello, which takes place every year in the second half of June in Cava de’ Tirreni. The event is very special and celebrates the miracle of the Blessed Sacrament, which allegedly defeated the plague of 1656.

To celebrate this event, a very special ritual is held each year that is deeply felt by the town’s inhabitants: a red and yellow flag is first hoisted over the castle. A Blessed Sacrament pole placed next to the iron cross is also set up for the occasion. Costumed processions are held in the days leading up to the feast, in which postmasters from individual hamlets parade wearing the banners of their respective hamlets. After the traditional mass, all the pistoniers have lunch together and finally let the firing of pistons echo downstream.

The celebrations end with an impressive fireworks display, reminiscent of the burning of the castle. The event is very special indeed and definitely worth a visit, given Vietri sul Mare’s proximity to the city of Cava de’ Tirreni.

βœ… Artist lights in Salerno Like Cava de’ Tirreni, the city of Salerno is only a few kilometers away, which can be covered in about ten minutes by car or bus. If you stay in Vietri sul Mare at the turn of the Christmas season, don’t miss β€œLuci d’artista”, an event that every year, usually from November to January, immerses the city in a magical atmosphere, with jaw-dropping illuminations. Definitely a must-see event, especially if you’re traveling with little ones.

Why choose Vietri sul Mare as your destination

The town of Vietri sul Mare is the first pearl of the Amalfi Coast, coming from Salerno. Its location offers significant advantages, because it avoids having to travel along the much-feared State Road 163 Amalfitana. In addition to this, its proximity to the cities of Salerno and Cava de’ Tirreni makes it an ideal destination for those seeking a travel destination that combines relaxing days by the sea with the possibility of enjoying the nightlife in the city.

Cava de’ Tirreni and Salerno offer a wide choice of clubs, bars and discos, as well as the pleasure of a lively night life, which enlivens the most interesting areas of both cities.

πŸ“£ Choose Vietri sul Mare as your travel destination if:

πŸ”Ή You’re interested in visiting its hidden villages and enjoying the tranquility and calm of unique locations such as Raito and Albori

πŸ”Ή You are traveling in a group or looking for a destination that allows you to have nightclubs and discos at your fingertips, without giving up the enchanting sea of the Amalfi Coast.

The best time to visit Vietri sul mare

Prefer spring and autumn, especially if your intention is to explore the hidden side of the city and other destinations on the Amalfi Coast.

In these seasons, in fact, you move more easily and are not affected by the heat, which characterizes the middle months of summer. In addition, you avoid traffic and crowded beaches: remember that since Vietri sul Mare is the first town on the coast, in the summer months its beaches are also taken by storm by the inhabitants of nearby towns.

Interesting facts about Vietri sul Mare

βœ… Vietri sul Mare’s donkeys were not invented by the people of Vietri sul Mare The iconic blue donkeys, which you will see everywhere and surely want to take home, were created by German ceramists, between the 1920s and 1940s. During this period, in fact, many Jewish ceramists took refuge in Vietri sul Mare: as skilled chemists, they invented certain colorings that still characterize Vietri’s famous ceramics today.

Many of these artists, struck by certain typical elements of local everyday life, began to reproduce them through ceramics. These certainly include the traditional donkey, which has always been a fundamental means of transportation along the ancient streets of the Coast.

βœ… A rock that tells the story of two brothers From the waterfront and the beach of Vieri sul Mare, it is impossible not to notice two huge rocks silhouetted against the horizon: this is the Scoglio dei due Fratelli, to which two very fascinating legends are linked.

πŸ”Ή The first originates from Greek culture and features two shepherds who, while leading their flocks to pasture, noticed a maiden in danger from an approaching blizzard. The two brothers rushed to the girl’s rescue, but she died in an attempt to save her life. The maiden was the daughter of Poseidon and asked her father to erect two rocks in eternal memory of the two generous brothers.

πŸ”Ή The second legend is related to the founding of the nearby city of Salerno.

With the second tale we enter the long war between Saracens and Salernitani, who exhausted by battles, in order to establish a winner, decided to have the two most valiant leaders of both armies challenge each other to a duel. Thus it was that Umfredo dei Landolfi, for the Salernitan army, and Prince Rajan, for the Saracen army, clashed.

The two contenders fought so long and so strenuously that they came, exhausted, to establish a truce on the beach of Vietri sul Mare. It was during this truce that the two realized that they were brothers, but their revelation was followed by a tragic fatality, for they were taken by surprise by the tide, which killed them.

The History of Vietri sul Mare: between legend and reality

The myth tells that Jason and fifty Argonauts in their wanderings in search of the Golden Fleece, were crashed on these shores by the angry force of Aeolus; having fallen in love with this coastline, the hero founded a city there and built a temple dedicated to Hera Argiva. Beyond the legend, Vietri’s origins can be traced back to ancient Marcina, an Etruscan city, located where the Marina di Vietri is today, mentioned in Strambone’s geography with a predominantly mercantile function as a territory serving Nuceria.

Renowned for wealth, elegance and luxury, Marcina, the classical ancestor of Vietri sul mare, was famous in antiquity for its worship of the arts and development of sea and land trade.

Destroyed and sacked in 456 by Genseric’s Vandal hordes, it was rebuilt in the 8th century by the surviving Marcinese who had found refuge in the nearby mountains, founding on the ruins of the destroyed city a new center to which they gave the name Vietri (from the Latin vetus, meaning old, ancient), thus giving birth to the community that later clustered and developed around the church of St. John the Baptist: the present town of Vietri sul mare.

At the turn of the millennium the territory, occupied by scattered settlements between Vietri, Marina di Vietri and Molina, was administratively on the outskirts of Salerno; in the Middle Ages it was entrusted to the Benedictine monastery of the Holy Trinity of Cava. From the Renaissance to the last century it was part of the city of Cava de’ Tirreni, and only in 1806 did it become an autonomous municipality.

In addition to being an important tourist center, today Vietri sul Mare is above all an important center for the production of artistic ceramics and wall tiles, and from this activity it derives its major income. Faithful to their ancient handicraft tradition, Vietri’s potters forge with deep passion and mastery the beautiful ceramics with bright and vivid colors, original in design and shapes, well known in the national territory and appreciated and sought after abroad as well.

Where to sleep in Vietri sul Mare

Apartments
Casa Vacanze

Starhost – CASA ADA

Vietri sul Mare – Via scavata 50
9.4
Superb –
33 reviews
B&B

Ambrosea Amalfi Coast B&B

Vietri sul Mare – Corso Umberto Iα΅’ 178
9.7
Exceptional –
49 reviews
Hotel

Relais Paradiso

Vietri sul Mare – Via Nuova Raito 10
8.3
Very good –
154 reviews

NEI DINTORNI

Pompeii


If you are on holiday on the Amalfi Coast, don’t miss the opportunity to visit Pompeii. This incredible archaeological city will offer you a truly unique experience, a journey back…

Maiori


A splendid seaside resort, it boasts the most important hotel tourist accommodation assets on the Coast

Tramonti

Tramonti


Small enchanted village, spread among several hamlets, offering an alternative setting to the typical seascape of the Coastal