Santa Maria di Castellabate is the major hamlet of the municipality of Castellabate. Extremely popular tourist destination, it is home to the marine protected area of Santa Maria di Castellabate.
Hamlet “Lago” has always been among the favorite destinations of Castellabate. White sand, cliffs overlooking the sea (Punta Tresino), crystal clear waters and wonderful sea beds make this area a little spot of paradise. Lago is particularly suitable for families, due to excellent facilities, equipped beaches and parks for children.
We recommend you to visit the spectacular Punta Tresino: an area rich in Mediterranean vegetation still uncontaminated, excellent for trekking. In addition Lago is full of bars, restaurants, apartments for rent; it also has an outdoor cinema for summer evenings.
Shrine of Santa Maria in Mare
Built in 1836 on an existing chapel near the beach of Marina Piccola , the church has hexagonal base, three large naves and a Bell Tower. The choice to dedicate the Church to Santa Maria a Mare is due to the traditions of the families that came here from Maiori in the 18th-century. In 1985 after the earthquake of 1980, the Church was closed for restoration until June 4th, 1990. In 2007 the Church of Santa Maria a Mare became a Shrine.
Pagliarola Tower and Perrotti Palace
Coastal towers spread across Cilento coast: they are parts of the defensive system designed, in Castellabate, to observe Saracen ships that approached the coast and they also offer local population a first defense against possible invaders. The best preserved is the Norman-aragonese Pagliarola Tower (also known as Perrotti tower), which is part of the Palace of Barons Perrotti. This building had the important task of defending the flourishing trade occurring in Pagliarola Street, thanks to the proximity to Marina "Travierso", better known as "Port delle Gatte".
The nineteenth-century Villa Matarazzo was the summer residence of count Francesco Matarazzo, emigrated to Brazil (Sorocaba) in 1881, where he became one of the world's most important industrialist. The villa is rich in greenery and fields that once housed the extended family vineyard. The Matarazzo went regularly there every summer for their holidays. A large terrace offers a view of the sea and the entire estate. Inside there is a bronze bust of Costabile Matarazzo, son of count Francesco. Numerous maps, used by the count in his travels, are still kept. When the Matarazzo arrived (in early August), people went to welcome them in style: as soon as the car arrived in the town, the local band started playing the Royal March. Villa Matarazzo is today property of the Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni National Park and houses the permanent exhibition "Mare Antico" and the “Andrea Fortunato” Football library. During summer are promoted several initiatives such as " Libri meridionali, Vetrina dell'editoria del Sud " (showcase of Southern Italy publishing) and the “Leucosia Prize” in addition to a variety of music and theatre performances.
Noble structure with a large park, located in Santa Maria, that the Marquis Granito built in 1733 amalgamating existing buildings. This Palace, initially born as a hunting lodge in Spanish style in the service of the House of Bourbon-Naples, today is home to the Granito Pignatelli di Belmonte Princes.
Port Delle Gatte
Marina "Travierso" also known as "port delle Gatte" is a structure of the 12th century formed by an arched building commissioned by Abbot Simeon. Inside the arches there was a lot of useful warehouses for storing goods (cereals, wine and olive oil) which were exchanged particularly with Cava de ' Tirreni and Naples. The use of those warehouses changed several times during years: from places where local fishermen kept their nets and fishing equipment to commercial premises to restaurants. Curiosity: there are four movies that have the small port of Santa Maria as protagonist: "Cavalli si nasce"(1989) by Sergio Staino, "Noi credevamo" (2009) by Mario Martone, "Benvenuti al Sud" (2009) and "Benvenuti al Nord" (2012) by Luca Miniero.
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