THE ANCIENT CATHEDRALS

Museo Diffuso

THE ANCIENT CATHEDRALS

Length: 5 km
Altitude: 155 m
Departure: Massa centro

Attractions along the way

CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA DELLE GRAZIE

Location: Massa centro

The ancient cathedral of Santa Maria delle Grazie and the adjoining bishop’s palace characterize, with their elegant eighteenth-century lines, the square of Massa Lubrense, a city that was the bishop’s seat since the eleventh century. Only with the Concordat of 16 February 1818 between the King of Naples and the Roman Court, together with the dioceses of Vico and Capri, it was incorporated into the Sorrentine Archdiocese. Read more

ORATORY OF THE ARCHCONFRATERNITY OF DEATH AND ORATION

Location: Massa centro

Until 1746, the Archconfraternity of Death and Oration of Massa Lubrense met in a room adjacent to the bell tower of the Cathedral, after moving from the sacristy of the former cathedral. Read more

CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA

Location: Santa Maria

Recently restored, this sixteenth-century church has a beautiful tiled floor with decorations of the eighteenth century, stucco work and paintings from the same era. Remarkable is a painting by Guido Reni, a true masterpiece of the Bolognese painter, depicting the Holy Family, donated by the painter to the De Curtis family that hosted him. Read more

CHURCH OF ANNUNZIATA

Location: Annunziata

The square of the Annunziata village is dominated by a very simple, almost anonymous facade of the church dedicated to the Virgin and by the imposing bulk of the convent attached to it: a structure whose extension is only partially understood from the street, but which is fully grasped only by the high, from the top of the “Castle”. Read more

CHURCH OF MADONNA DELLA LOBRA

Location: Marina della Lobra

CHURCH OF SANTA TERESA

Location: Massa centro

In Massa Centro, going down from Piazza Vescovado to via Palma, you will find, on the left, the convent and the adjoining church of Santa Teresa: the complex was founded, at the behest of the University and of the Bishop Francesco Maria Neri, in 1673, on a soil given by a local girl, Augusta Maldacea, who became a nun of the same convent with the name of Sister Anna del Bene. Read more

Description of the route

A journey back in time to retrace the tormented vicissitudes that led to the construction and reconstruction of the Cathedral in different places before settling, in the sixteenth century, in the current one: the main square of Massa Centro, Largo Vescovado, where the hike begins.

Here you can admire the former cathedral Santa Maria delle Grazie and the annexed former bishop’s palace. After visiting the church, follow the rolling road Viale Filangieri and then Via IV Novembre.

After about 200 meters, on the left, there is the small chapel of Sant’Antonio, with a tiled floor. To the left of the chapel starts the narrow Via Sant’Antonio which gradually climbs towards the village of Santa Maria.

Here there is a small fifteenth-century church dedicated to Santa Maria della Misericordia, or rather S. Maria Fustigatium, for the protection that the Virgin offered to those who underwent the trial in the judicial offices located in the same square.

To the right of the church is the road leading to the village of Annunziata which, with Santa Maria, formed the ancient civitas of Massa Lubrense. The church of Annunziata was the cathedral of Massa Lubrense until 1465, when the entire city was razed to the ground by King Ferrante I of Aragon.

Continue towards the belvedere, with a spectacular view of Capri. From here the path goes among olive and oak trees and ends into the carriageway, below which stands the church dedicated to San Liberatore. Initially this was a small chapel, built in 1420 after an effigy painted on stone was found in that place. Local people attributed thaumaturgical powers to the effigy and the Saint depicted was considered San Liberato, called San Liberatore for freeding Massa from several epidemics; at every escaped calamity the chapel was enlarged up to its actual shape.

The route continues following the path which, gently degrading, leads towards Marina Lobra. In this delightful village, the “Major Ecclesia” had two locations over the centuries. The first shortly after the advent of Christianity, when this place was called Delubrum, and the second when, after the destruction by Ferrante I, the bishop of the time Msgr. Scannapeco decided to transfer it over the pier, to Fontanelle. But the spring there present, with its erosion activity, was the cause of the ruin of the sacred building which, after just fifty years, was moved to its present location.

At the top of the fishing village, in the place called Capitello, a new church was built in the 16th century and was dedicated to the Madonna della Lobra. Walking back along Via Cristoforo Colombo the route leads to the Villarca district, so called because of the presence of a small arch that connects the ancient college of the Jesuit fathers to the high tower (Torrione) built just to defend the college. From here, following Via Roma, you will arrive again in Piazza Vescovado.

More routes of Museo Diffuso

The “riggiole”
The hills
On the tracks of the Benedictins
Towards the sea
Between sacred and profane