The Amalfi Coast, Capri, and Naples Sights

Santa Maria a Cetrella

  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine
  • Fodor's Choice

Published 10/14/2015

Fodor's Review

Scenically perched on the slopes of Monte Solaro, this small sanctuary in late-Gothic style—with its older parts dating to the late 14th century—offers a truly picturesque frame for a panorama that takes in much of the island. It also marks the top of the second access route (Il Passetiello) used in ancient times, which linked Capri Town with Anacapri. Steep, slippery, and in spots still dangerous, this is the pathway that the Carthusian monks of San Giacomo would have used to reach their properties in the upper part of the island. Congregants were mainly fisherfolk whose boats were moored in the Marina Piccola directly below; they also used this cliff-top aerie as a lookout against Saracen pirates. The church was substantially rebuilt by Franciscan monks in the early 17th century, when a sacristy was added. To reach Santa Maria, you can climb a path leading off Viale Axel Munthe (an hour-long walk); an alternative is to descend a path leading from the Monte Solaro chairlift. The church has erratic opening times; ask at the chairlift for further information. Mass is celebrated at dawn every Sunday in September, but the site remains unforgettable year-round.

Sight Information


Monte Solaro, Anacapri, Campania, 80071, Italy

Published 10/14/2015


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