Massa Centro

Massa Lubrense Cattedrale  - Philip Chicop

Photo by Philip Chircop

Massa Centro is the chief town of the municipality of Massa Lubrense, here are public offices, including the tourist information office of Pro Loco Massa Lubrense.

At one end of Largo Vescovado, the main square with the Town Hall and the Cathedral of Santa Maria delle Grazie, the lookout said “Pennino” allows you to admire the enchanting island of Capri and the island of Ischia.

Not to be missed, in Massa Centro, the “Cerriglio”, former palace De Martino, ancient aristocratic house, with a characteristic avenue of tuff pillars and marble busts; down the avenue the beautiful “Nymphaeum”.

Going through via Palma, in the area Villarca there is the “Torrione”, a typical military architecture of the early seventeenth century, raised in defense of the Jesuit College.

Massa Centro consists of the aggregation of various ancient hamlets (Morta or Mortora, Sirignano, Quarazzano, Palma, Campo); Maldacea in 1840 wrote: “This modern city of Massa Lubrense is made up of more Casali, close to each other … the air is pure and the atmosphere has a great advantage over the surrounding hamlets, because it is not subject to the fog that hurts terribly to the vegetation of these campaigns above. The City is situated above a irregular floor and is very high from the sea level, enjoys the view of the crater, is sheltered by north winds. Its climate is hotter than the other hamlets, so the fruit will ripen much earlier; it has many gardens of Citrus trees in Casali, while in the villages these trees vegetate badly because of the cold winds.”

Church Former Cathedral of Santa Maria delle Grazie

Mons. Andrea Belloni wanted the church in Palma area, contiguous to the Estaurita of St. Erasmus. The solemn ceremony of laying the first stone, took place in March 25, 1512, in the evening, because the inhabitants of the villages of the upper area of Massa, did not like the choice of the site. The building ended towards 1542 and the temple was consecrated by the successor of Belloni, Mons. Peter Marchesi, on July 7, 1543 and dedicated to Santa Maria delle Grazie.

To the right of the facade is the bell. It was a truncated tower, in the early ‘900 was completed by a dome. A large clock with bells marks the hours. Three bells of different sizes reassembled at the time of Bellotti, who sanctified them, and bear his coat of arms.

The Cathedral has a basilica shape with three naves, the central wider; the transept is higher than the naves and originally had a dome, which was removed in the remake. The grandstand is impressive; the basin was frescoed, like the dome, from biblical depictions by the hand of Andrea da Salerno, now disappeared, and an oval opening at the top gives light inside.

In the tympanum, in the center, framed in stucco, is the picture of Our Lady of Grace and Child ulnis sitting in the clouds in a glory of angels and below are the souls in Purgatory. This framework replaced another painter Marco Cardisco from Massa, commissioned in 1527 by the city authorities. The Madonna was depicted with Child between SS. John the Apostle and Sebastian. At the top the Resurrection with the Archangel St. Gabriel and the Annunciation, below the Apostles.

Among the stalls of the canons, removed, stood an organ of the eighteenth century, which still exists on site, before it was placed on the main door to the time of Bishop Centino, and replaced by a very modern one by a few decades. It is supported by a platform held by two Roman columns found in Sorrento. Three arches, the central very wide, supported by massive pillars, divide the transept.


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.


Excursion map

How to reach Massa Centro

By car

Mass Centro is easily accessible by car, from Sorrento or Sant’Agata sui Due Golfi. You can find a place for the car in the parking lots or in the blue lines.

Public transport

From Massa Centro to Meta di Sorrento and vice versa the EAV Bus Line A run every 20 minutes, from 6:00 to 22:00 (with extended service hours during the summer). SITA Buses connect Massa Centro to Sorrento, to the hamlets, and to the Amalfi Coast. We recommend you consult the schedule.

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