Massa Lubrense is located on the extreme tip of the Sorrento Peninsula, opposite to the island of Capri, overlooking both the Bays of Naples and Salerno. The territory extends over a large area and is composed of 18 villages, connected between each other by a network of well developed trails (about 100km), which offer the possibility of relaxing walks and excursions along scenic routes, away from noise and traffic.
According to the most accepted theory, the town's name derives from the Lombard word "Mansa" (fertile terrain), to which was added the word "lubrensis" (from "delubrum") or "pagan temple". Here was built one of the most famous sites of the Antiquity, "Promontorium Minervae", of which few traces remain as the Church of Our Lady of Lobra was built in its place.
Annexed to the Duchy of Sorrento, during the XVI century, under the Spanish Viceroy, it became necessary to built numerous towers to defend the population against Saracen incursions. With the Bourbons the town recorded a strong increase in agricultural, commercial and merchant activites, and during the French decade (1806-1815) it had a strategic role in the defense of the realm. In fact, in 1808, Joachim Murat embarked here his troops , directed to conquer Capri, then occupied by the British.
Besides a rich artistic heritage, Massa Lubrense boasts one of the World's most beautiful natural and fascinating landscapes.
Not to miss, the following places of interest:
- the Cathedral of Santa Maria delle Grazie, originally built in the XVI century and restored in the XVIII, it preserves a charming tiled floor of the Neapolitan school, and paintings by Andrea of Salerno;
- the Church of Santa Maria della Lobra which features a coffered ceiling, a tiled floor and a wooden crucifix of the XVIII century and a painting depicting the Virgin Mary dating from the XVI century;
- the Convent and Church of San Francesco. The church was built by the family Liparulo in 1582 and inside are preserved a precious majolica floor of the XVIII century and a wooden statue of the Virgin of the XV century;
- the Church of the Annunciation, originally built in the XIV century and features a fine marble inlay;
- the Church of St. Teresa of the XVII century, with fine stucco decorations and a tiled floor of the XVIII century;
- the Academy of the Holy Rosary, dating to the early XVIII century with a superb ceramic tiled floor attributed to the artist Chiaiese;
- the Church of Our Lady of Mercy of the XVI century, with tiled floor, fine plaster and a depiction of the Holy Family by Guido Reni;
- the Church of Sant'Agata, which features an altar of the Florentine school of the XVII century decorated with mother of pearl and lapis lazuli;
- Marina della Lobra, a characteristic and picturesque fishing village with traditional houses built close to the beach and the small port;
- Marina del Cantone, the picturesque beach of Nerano, famous for its renowned restaurants;
- Marina di Puolo, where it is still possible to admire the remains of columns of the temples of Hercules and Neptune;
- the rock of Vervece, located within walking distance from the beach of Marina of Lobra, where each year, the local divers place a wreath of flowers over a bronze statue of the Madonna, which lies at fifteen meters below the surface;
- the Marine Reserve of Punta Campanella, a beautiful and unspoiled stretch of land between the gulfs of Naples and Salerno, guarded by the Tower of Punta Campanella, built by the Anjou to defend the population from Saracen raids on the ruins of a Roman villa of the Imperial era, property the family of Augustus;
- the Bay of Jeranto, part of the Italian Marine Park, protected and cared for by the FAI, an environment famous for its ancient mythological history.