The small village of Annunziata is a mix of history and art, and, due to its location, boasts remarkable scenic beauty.
Located in the hills of Massa Lubrense, the fraction of Annunziata is the richest in history: it is here that the Normans founded the first settlement of the town of Massa.
Once the old town of Massa, the fraction of Annunziata is one of the most characteristic villages of the town: a handful of houses, with typical vaulted roofs, about 200 meters above sea level, perched between the Aragonese Castle and the old Cathedral. A maze of alleys and stairs connects the old houses of the village, almost all built between the fourteenth and sixteenth centuries.
Destroyed by the Angevins, and again by the Aragonese, Annunziata was partially rebuilt in the sixteenth century. Even the walls were rebuilt after the catastrophe of 1558: you can still see part of the ancient walls that stood around the Aragonese Castle. In the place where the castle was, on top of the hill, was later built a cylindrical defense tower. Recently, after some renovations, the old tower was opened to the public: you can reach it by taking the steep flight of steps, from the square outside the Church of SS. Annunziata, meandering between the houses of the village, all made in the characteristic Sorrento gray tuff. The view that you can enjoy from the castle is the most evocative of the Sorrento Peninsula: in a glance you can admire the Gulf of Naples, the hills of the Desert, the Tore, and the island of Capri is almost palpable.
The Church of Annunziata, in the square of the small village, was the cathedral until 1465, when the episcopal see was finally moved to the church of Santa Maria della Grazie in Massa Center, and it remained here until the final abolition of the diocese in 1801; the adjoining conservatory is now a convent of the Friars Minims of San Francesco di Paola.
Nearby, Torre Turbolo (built between 1607 and 1614 as home to the Pawnshop) and the more recent belvedere, equipped with message boards, benches, flower beds and a gazebo. The belvedere of Annunziata is the vantage point par excellence to admire Capri and the coast of Massa Lubrense.
Further downstream, where the carriage road ends, the eighteenth-century Villa Murat (or Villa Rossi), where in 1808 the King of Naples, Joachim Murat, hosted by writer Andrea Rossi, directed the siege against the British for the reconquest of Capri. Always in a room of the same villa Murat signed the capitulation of the island.
How to reach Annunziata
To reach Annunziata by car, from Massa Centro take Via Rotabile Massa Turro and proceed for about 2 km, then take the left fork towards S. Maria – Annunziata, cross the village of Santa Maria and turn right towards Annunziata. There are parking places along the road, in the blue lines.
SITA buses stop at S. Maria – Annunziata fork, they leave from Sorrento or Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi. Please check the timetable.
Excursion Massa Centro – Santa Maria – Annunziata – Marina Lobra
The circular route starts and ends in Massa Centro, through the ancient hamlets of Santa Maria and Annunziata, the spectacular vantage point of San Liberatore and the charming fishing village of Marina Lobra.
From Viale Filangieri, in Massa Centro, the path starts from via Rachione. Here we recommend a quick visit to the nymphaeum Cerriglio, located in the building that since the fifteenth century is the residence of the family De Martino. Walking along the long avenue leading to the nymphaeum, you can not but be attracted to the colonnade in tuff with marble busts. The path continues by Via Mortella, at the corner of Via Pozzillo, following the red marks.
You are now between walls of tufa stone, in Via Sant’Aniello Vecchio, heading to the ancient church of Sant’Agnello Abbate. The path goes uphill to a staircase that leads to the village of Santa Maria. The panorama from this path is almost a telescope on the port of Marina Lobra. When the stairs end you are in the small square of Santa Maria. The church entitled to Santa Maria della Misericordia is on the left. You are now in one of the oldest hamlets of Massa Lubrense. It was formerly called Belvedere, the name changed in the current Santa Maria della Misericordia, for special protection to those convicted in the Court of Justice that was here.
Walking on the road, following the blue trail, cross the square of Annunziata, with its church, and, soon after, the majestic Torre Turbolo, built in 1614 and home to the Pawnshop. You can stop for a moment, to rest on the benches of the belvedere, on the western bastion of the castle: the view on Capri is wonderful. Continue the path always on the road, downhill, to reach the top of a staircase adjacent to Villa Murat.
The walk continues with the blue trail up to go out for a short while, on the drive way via IV Novembre. Turning right you reach the Cemetery of San Liberatore, great vantage point, hence the blue trail takes you to the village of Marina Lobra.
Having reached the small fishing village, it is worth pausing to savor the feeling of a crystallized time, before rising in Massa Centro along Via Colombo.