Minori: A Pretty Town with a Long History
Minori is a small town located in the middle of the Amalfi Coast, less famous (and also a bit less expensive) than its famous neighbors of Amalfi, Ravello, and Positano. Its convenient location makes it the ideal base for exploring the entire coastline and Sorrento Peninsula, while its relaxed atmosphere and wide range of services from restaurants to beach clubs invite visitors to settle in and stay awhile.
Minori's history stretches back millennia. The town was once known as Rheginna Minor, while the next town over was known as Rheginna Maior, today Maiori. Minori's name is derived from the name of a nearby river and probably dates back to the Etruscan or Greek ages. Minori has a delightful atmosphere of a timeless coastal town bookended by the Mediterranean Sea to one side and the cliffs of the Amalfi Coast to the other. The picturesque center is thick with colorful lanes and historic fishermen's cottages.
Who Is Minori?
Contrary to popular belief, the Manga anime character Minori Kushieda from the Toradora! series is not inspired by the Italian town. Known for her flowing brown hair and cheery disposition, Minori's name is simply a happy coincidence and not tied to the Amalfi Coast.
How to Get to Minori
Minori, The Sweet Art of Doing Nothing
The most captivating experience in Minori is simply strolling the lanes of the historic center to soak in the fishing village atmosphere that has remained intact despite the influx of tourists over the past few years. Minori's cathedral, dedicated Santa Trofimena, was restored in the 19th century and has three light-filled aisles and art works like a 17th-century marble pulpit. The lower basilica houses the relics of the town's patron saint. Take time to visit the hamlet of Torre, which can be reached on foot by following the “sentiero dei limoni”, or Path of Lemons (the same fruit used to make the area's refreshing Limoncello liqueur). You can also take in the hamlet of Villa Amena, the oldest hamlet near Minori, with the historic Church of S.S. Gennaro e Giuliano.
Minori's Roman Villa
Minori is home to the splendid Villa Marittima Romana, an ancient Roman villa dating from the first century A.D., considered to be one of the most important monuments on the whole Amalfi Coast. Not much is known about the villa, but it is thought to have been the seaside residence of an influential member of the imperial court or a Roman Senator. The ruins of Villa Marittima hint at a large estate with grand architecture that centered around a traditional “viridarium”, or open-air atrium with a central pool, which was a common design feature in noble villas of ancient Rome. Today the villa is surrounded by other buildings, but when it was built it was set in an isolated spot on the beach and decorated by dozens of mosaics and frescoes, some of which are still visible.
Most of the Villa Marittima Romana was excavated in the 1950s, after a devastating flood formed what is now the beaches in Maiori and Vietri. The site is now located in the center of Minori and is open for visitors daily.
Il Sentiero dei Limoni (The Lemon Path)
One of the highlights of the small town of Minori is its famed sentiero dei limoni, or Path of Lemons, an ancient footpath that runs between Maiori and Minori (passing the hamlet of Torre) with breathtaking views of the Amalfi Coast. Lemon trees have blanketed this stretch of coastline since the 1600s and you will still come across locals working in their lemon grove in the summer, or even mules loaded with heavy cases of fruit being led along the trail.
Info for Taking the Path of Lemons
The Path of Lemons that runs between Minori and Maiori is an easy hike, though there are quite a few steps along the route (about 400). The path is 2.5 kilometers (3 miles) long and takes about an hour to walk one way. You can take the path in either direction: from Maiori, the path begins at Santa Maria a Mare, at the top of the steps to Via Vena. From Minori, the path sets off from the center of town and passes through the hamlet of Torre, famous for its heirloom lemons. Before you get to Torre be sure to stop at the Belvedere della Mortella, a panoramic terrace offering one of the most beautiful views of the Amalfi Coast.
The Cuisine in Minori
In the 18th century, Minori became famous for its watermills and pasta factories and to this very day, tourists come to taste the town's delicious pasta, served in the small restaurants nestled between the brightly painted houses. The traditional restaurants overlooking the water are an ideal spot to sample authentic local cuisine paired with an excellent regional wine while admiring the view. You won't want to leave Minori before paying at least one visit to Salvatore De Riso's (www.salderiso.it) pastry shop, where you can indulge in such exquisite concoctions as the heavenly ricotta and pear filled hazelnut crumb cake.
Where to Eat in Minori
To sample authentic local dishes in Minori, book a table at Giardiniello, a landmark restaurant that has been a local favorite for 60 years.
Where to Sleep in Minori
No matter what your taste and budget, you will find the ideal rental accommodation or hotel in Minori. If you enjoy the countryside, try the Villa Maria rural farm holiday with excellent service and even cooking classes. If you prefer to stay near the beach, Hotel Europa is an excellent 3-star with affordable prices. For an elegant and exclusive holiday, book a room at the luxury hotel Santa Lucia.