Cetara: A Classic Italian Fishing Village
Only a few kilometers away from the city of Salerno, Cetara is one of the least reliant on tourism of all the towns on Italy's UNESCO-listed Amalfi Coast and, perhaps, for this reason, also the most authentic fishing villages in the Campania region.
This timeless hamlet is exactly how you would imagine a fishing outpost from the past century, with a handful of cottages clustered around a historic church topped by a ceramic-tiled cupola and a tiny marina packed with bobbing fishing boats and colorful rowboats lined up on the beach.
In the year 879, Saracen pirates landed for the first time on the Amalfi coast and chose this spot to set up their base for raids further afield. Of this turbulent past, the only remaining indication is the watchtower that still rises above the town.
Today, this municipality in the Province of Salerno is lined by the Lattari mountains to one side, dotted with tiny inland villages like Albori and Raito, and the sparkling waters of the Mediterranean to the other, offering lovely sea views from the town. Top sights include the 16th-century Torre Vicereale, the Church of San Francesco with its dome frescoes, and the Church of St. Peter the Apostle.
If you're traveling from Salerno by car, Cetara is one of the first two towns you'll come across on the Amalfi Coast. From the A3 motorway, exit at Vietri Sul Mare and take the SS163 for a few additional kilometers to reach Cetara. Those traveling by public transport can catch Sita buses to Cetara from Naples or Salerno.
From the opposite direction (Sorrento or the towns along the Amalfi Drive including Positano, Amalfi, Atrani, Ravello, or Praiano), you'll pass first Minori and Maiori and then the tiny hamlet of Erchie before reaching Cetara
For more detailed information: How to get to the Amalfi Coast
Cetara is a quintessential Mediterranean fishing village and visitors come to Cetrara to eat what is widely considered to be the best fish on the Amalfi Coast, including the town's legendary Colatura di Alici, an anchovy syrup similar to the Ancient Roman "Garum", and fresh tuna caught using traditional nets.
Cetara's tuna is famous throughout the world and vast quantities are exported to Japan, where it is used in sushi dishes. In fact, the town's name is believed to come from the Latin word cetaria (tuna fishery) or cetari (fishermen of large fish).
You can also find excellent limoncello in Cetara, the tangy lemon liqueur common on the Amalfi Coast and Capri.
Cetara has three excellent restaurants in which to savor the town's unique cuisine: the informal "Il Convento", the classic "Il San Pietro" and the contemporary "L'Acqua Pazza"; all of which guarantee an dining experience to remember. You can also find pizzerias for a quick meal and even grocery stores to pick up picnic supplies.