Cetara is on the road between Salerno and Amalfi on the Amalfi coast, at the foot of the Falario Mountain. This picturesque fishing village fans out across a deep valley along the coastline, surrounded by vineyards and lemon groves.
The village earns its living mainly from fishing and by processing anchovies and tuna fish. The anchovies are still dried as they used to be in the Middle Ages. Samples, reminiscent of Roman garum, can be tasted in the local restaurants. Unusually for this popular stretch of coastline, there is neither a tourist office nor any hotels in the town. The few foreign visitors tend to stay in apartments around the town. These tend to be very basic here and some are old and worn, so if you are looking for cosy well-furnished apartments then Cetara is not the place for you. However, if you are looking for a atmospheric streets, good restaurants and charming street life, and don't expect too much from the accommodation, then you will be fine.
It is as if time stopped many years ago in this town. There are no supermarkets so all shopping is done in the small shops, and the pace of life out in the many small streets is generally sedate The small squares and the harbour still function as the social hubs, and it is here you will find charming cafés, restaurants and bustling life on warm evenings.
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Ever since 1685 the town has been under the influence of the Franciscan monastery, which still provides the basis for ethics, education and culture in the town. The presence of the monks has created this monumental monastery with its adjoining church and laymen’s quarters where the local school and a restaurant are housed today. Despite the fact that there are very few tourists here, there is no shortage of good restaurants, something that the many guests who travel from near and far can bear witness to.
The town’s emblem is the impressive royal tower, which dominates the harbour and welcomes visitors. On the left of the harbour, on the other side of the pier, is a small beach, where you can enjoy the good weather and clear water in peace.