In one of the widest valleys of the Amalfi Coast rises the city of Maiori. It, of very remote and splendid origin, was a very important part of the ancient and glorious Amalfi Republic.
… in Majori were the shipyards, the arsenals, the fleet station; here the maritime representatives, piazza d’arme, …, the most imposing fortresses (F.Cerasuoli)
Maiori is located in the southern part of the Monti Lattari massif, between Cetara and Vietri sul Mare to the east, of Cava dei Tirreni and Tramonti to the north, of Ravello and Minori to west, and half day with the sea.
8 km from the center of the city, set in a pleasant valley, is the hamlet of Erchie, very famous for its enchanting position on the sea. The road axes that cross the territory of Maiori are the SS 163 that runs along the coastal stretch that from Vietri sul Mare leads to Maiori and, winding then for Minori, Atrani, Amalfi, Conca dei Marini, reaches up to Praiano and Positano and immediately after Amalfi, diverting for Agerola, up to Castellamare di Stabia. Currently Maiori has a main core between the coastal strip to the south until the beginning of Borgo San Pietro.
Just beyond this village there are the villages of Santa Maria delle Grazie, Vecite and Ponte Primario. At the end of Borgo San Pietro two major main routes start: the Corso Reginna crossed by the homonymous torrent and on either side of which there are two rows of sumptuous ancient palaces, and the Via Nuova Chiunzi, all made of new buildings built with the reconstruction of the city after the terrible flood of 1954.
The dense inhabited nucleus of houses with the characteristic Arab-Mediterranean Lazarus and Lama in the east, Campo, Vena and Paie in the west, testify to the presence of the old city, historically and panoramically of great value and respect.
The remains of the Baluardo di San Sebastiano, the ancient city walls, which were built in the ninth century. d.C., represent in the current urban form, the margin between the ancient city and the modern one. The new buildings, built in the 1960s and 1970s, occupied the entire coastal strip of vegetable gardens and gardens; instead on the hills resist the urban nucleus of the ancient Reghinna, as it took its name until the tenth century.
Maiori, as happens in other cities, has its origins in the myth. Pliny makes it descend from the goddess Maja, others would like the Greeks to have raised a temple to Maiori to the Goddess BoxsturaI, which even Hercules had stopped at the foot of Falerzio (at the current fraction of Erchie there was a temple dedicated to him).
After the Second World War, in the period of neo-realism, Maiori was chosen by Roberto Rossellini as a set for some of his films: Paisà, Viaggio in Italia, Miracolo, La macchina ammazzacattivi.
The local historian Filippo Cerasuoli makes sure that the name of the ancient city was Reghinna, from the name of the Etruscan lucumone that founded it, and from which the small stream that crossed it took its name. It is therefore to be considered that in the later Roman period, the adjective Major was added to the name Reghinna to distinguish the torrent from that of the neighboring municipality (Minor). Later the name Reghinna disappeared and the adjectives Major became the current name of the city: Maiori.
Over the centuries Maiori has enjoyed numerous certificates and privileges from the King and Pontiffs of the period among which we must mention: the title of “Città Regia”, of which it was awarded by King Philip IV of Spain in 1662 and the title of “Insigne Collegiata”, still recognized, with which the Pontifical Julius II was awarded in 1505 by the then Basilica, seat of Rettoria, of S. Maria a Mare.
Many Maiorese have participated as actors, according to the dictates of neorealism, to Rossellini’s films, certainly not least the famous scugnizzo of the film Paisà.