|Comune di Minori|
|Frazioni||Montecita, Torre Paradiso, Via Monte, Via Pioppi, Via Torre, Villa Amena|
|• Mayor||Andrea Reale (PD)|
|• Total||2 km2 (0.8 sq mi)|
|Elevation||635 m (2,083 ft)|
(30 July 2018)
|• Density||1,400/km2 (3,500/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+1 (CET)|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC+2 (CEST)|
|Patron saint||Saint Trofimena|
|Saint day||13 July|
Minori (Campanian: Minure) is a town and a comune in the province of Salerno, in the Campania region of south-western Italy. In 1997, as a part of the Amalfi Coast, it was declared by UNESCO as a World Heritage site.
Anciently among the preferred vacation spots of the imperial Roman aristocracy – as evidenced by the discovery of a sumptuous villa dating back to the 1st century AD – the town is nowadays a popular tourist destination for its Tyrrhenian waters, natural landscapes, as well as tasty pastry products, which attract many tourists looking for the authentic flavors of the Amalfi Coast. For this same reason, it is known as the Città del Gusto (City of Taste), or the Eden della Costiera Amalfitana (Eden of the Amalfi Coast) due to its mild and pleasant Mediterranean climate.
The origin of the name, Minori (meaning 'small'), comes from its association with the river flowing through it, namely La Rheggina. The ancient Latin name for the town was indeed Rheggina Minor, and the neighboring town of Maiori – meaning 'large' – was once known as Rheggina Maior because of the same association. Eventually, the names of both towns were abbreviated, Rheggina Minor turning into Minori.
As shown by archaeological research, Minori was the oldest inhabited site on the Amalfi Coast. Below the flat area of the present urban center is a two-floor maritime Roman villa (of which only the lower part is preserved), dating back to the 1st century AD, and decorated with frescoes and mosaics. The villa, likely belonging to an exponent of the senatorial or equestrian patriciate, was active throughout the Julio-Claudian age until the 4th century AD. It was later abandoned and, therefore, inexorably covered by heaps of lava material erupted from Mount Vesuvius, eventually precipitating downstream due to heavy torrential rains. According to an ancient local tradition, the first inhabited nucleus of Minori had developed in the northeastern hilly area of Forcella, which was abandoned at the time of the miraculous discovery of the body of Saint Trofimena on the underlying shores, in the 7th century.
Throughout the Middle Ages, the history of Minori closely followed that of neighboring Amalfi. The whole Amalfi Coast was indeed one of the many areas of southern Italy under Byzantine influence. The town was originally included in the autonomous Duchy of Naples (not directly subjected to the Eastern Roman Empire), extending along the coastal strip of Campania up to lower Lazio. Following the Lombard raids of the 9th century, the Amalfi Coast formed an autonomous duchy, firstly ruled by elected magistrates, but shortly later by hereditary ducal dynasties.
The urban structure of Minori underwent various transformations in the Modern Age, at the time of the Spanish viceroyalty. Sea defenses were strengthened in the 16th century in order to resist incursions of Barbary pirates, whereas places of worship were considerably diminished. This period turned to be somewhat negative for Minori and its inhabitants, as the town was plagued by a profound economic crisis, due to political and administrative uncertainty as well as multiple natural disasters (mainly because of storm surges). In 1799, in the context of the French and Neapolitan revolutionary movements, Minori was "municipalized and democratized" by the bourgeoisie and the local clergy. However, after the Congress of Vienna, the town returned under Spanish domination, within the newly formed Kingdom of the Two Sicilies. Begun in 1811 and completed in 1852, a new and more practical road was built to break the centuries-old isolation in which the people of the Amalfi Coast were forced to live. In 1860, like the rest of southern Italy, Minori was conquered by Giuseppe Garibaldi and his troops in the process of Italian unification advanced by the House of Savoy.
In September 1943, after Armistice with which Italy exited from the alliance with Nazi Germany in World War II, Minori was one of the locations involved in the so-called "Salerno landing", thanks to which the Allied forces entered the Tyrrhenian coast of the Italian peninsula in order to advance toward Rome.
- Basilica di Santa Trofimena. Saint Trofimena is venerated by the Roman Catholic Church as a young Sicilian martyr. She is known by several names, and may possibly be related to a myth about the siren Parthenope. According to a popular legend, at a very early age she had been killed by her father for refusing to marry a pagan, and was crammed into an urn, thrown into the sea. The urn was dragged by the marine currents until it washed onto the beach at Minori. The people who found it used small white heifers to carry it to the place where locals would later build a temple in her honor.
- Roman Maritime Archeological Villa, most likely built in the first century BC at sea level. One of the best preserved elements of the villa is its large hall with tunnel vaults, stucco, and remains of frescos.
- Saint Nicola Convent. Positioned halfway between Minori and Maiori, this religious site might date back to the end of the 11th century or the beginning of the 12th century.
Media related to Minori at Wikimedia Commons