The beaches in the Castellabate area are also among the things to see. Facing the sea are the beaches of Santa Maria di Castellabate and that of the small village of San Marco, which have obtained the Blue Flag and Quattro Vele awards for the clarity of their waters, but not only that: there is also the beach of Pozzillo, the beach of Marina Piccola, the lake area and the beach of Grotta – San Marco.
Places of interest
Santa Maria di Castellabate beyond its wonderful beaches offers:
- Sanctuary of Santa Maria a Mare, located in Santa Maria di Castellabate and composed of three large naves and a bell tower with a hexagonal base, was built in 1836 on a chapel that already existed in the 12th century near the beach of Marina Piccola. The decision to dedicate the cult temple to Santa Maria a Mare is due to the numerous families who arrived from Maiori with the emigration of the 18th century, very devoted to the Madonna of their native country. In 1911 the Church was recognized as an independent parish with respect to that of Castellabate. In 1985, due to the damage of the 1980 earthquake to the already dilapidated structure, the church was closed for worship for restoration reasons until 4 June 1990. In 2007 the church of Santa Maria a Mare was elevated to a sanctuary.
- Villa Matarazzo, the nineteenth-century Villa Matarazzo was the summer residence of Count Francesco Matarazzo, who emigrated to Brazil (in Sorocaba) in 1881 to Santa Maria di Castellabate, where he became one of the most important industrialists in the world. The villa, which extends between Corso Matarazzo, Piazza Matarazzo and the seafront, is full of greenery and fields which once housed the extensive family vineyard. The Matarazzos went there punctually every summer, for a period of rest. Its large terrace offers a view of the sea and the entire estate. Inside there is the half-bust bronze statue depicting Costabile Matarazzo, son of Count Francesco, the numerous geographical maps used by the latter in his many travels, as well as the halls and the old horse stables. When the Matarazzos came to the town in the first days of August, the citizens went to receive them with due honours. As soon as the car arrived in the town, the local band attacked the greeting hymn (royal march) that the Castellabate navy offered to its benefactor. Villa Matarazzo is a venue owned by the Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni national park and houses the permanent exhibition “Mare Antico” and the Andrea Fortunato football library. In the summer months it transforms into a veritable living room of culture, hosting initiatives such as “Southern Books, Southern Publishing Showcase” and the Leucosia prize, as well as various musical and theatrical performances.
- Palazzo Belmonte is a noble structure with a large park located in Santa Maria that the Granito marquises had built in 1733 by merging pre-existing buildings. This palace, initially born as a hunting lodge in the style of the Spanish architects at the service of the Bourbons of Naples, is home to the Granito Pignataro di Belmonte princes.
- Porto delle Gatte, the small port “Travierso” also called “port of the Gatte” (transmutation from “porticoes”, even if, according to some, the origin of the name is due to the fishermen, as the porticoes lit by candles, seen from the sea during at night, they look like cat’s eyes) is a 12th century port structure which includes an arched building commissioned by Abbot Simeone. Inside the arches there were a sort of warehouses useful for storing the numerous Cilento goods (cereals, wine and olive oil) which were exchanged especially with Cava de’ Tirreni and Naples. Over the years, the rooms inside the arches have changed their intended use several times: from places where the fishermen of the area kept their nets and fishing equipment, they have moved on to rooms for commercial use. The small body of water, sheltered by natural rocks and concrete boulders, welcomes small pleasure boats, especially in the summer, and goiters used for fishing. It is a very characteristic and well-preserved port structure
- Torre Pagliarola, there are several coastal towers located throughout the territory that are part of the defensive system set up in Castellabate to spot the Saracen boats that approached the coast with the intention of plundering or conquering it and thus offering the local populations a first defense from possible invaders. The best preserved tower is the Norman-Aragonese one of the Pagliarola (or as better known locally, the Perrotti tower), which, merged with the palace of the Perrotti barons, dominates the Marina Piccola of S.Maria. The origin is traced back to medieval times, but it was further strengthened in the years 1570-71. This work also had the important task of defending the flourishing commercial exchanges that took place in via Pagliarola thanks to the presence of the small port “Travierso”, better known as “Porto delle Gatte”.
- Monument to the fallen: a statue of a soldier, created by Michele Guerrisi in 1926 in Piazza Lucia, which dominates the list of citizens of the municipality who died in the war during the two world conflicts. At the base of this is a restored battle cannon used in the conflicts.
- Monument to the fallen of the sea: placed in the square at Punta dell’Inferno in memory of the fallen of the Italian submarine sunk off Licosa by the British after the signing of the armistice during the Second World War.
- Statue of Santa Maria a Mare: a bronze statue placed on the seabed in front of the hamlet of Santa Maria on the initiative of divers to protect their diving.
- Statue of the Madonna placed in the Marina Piccola.
- Statue of the Madonna at Punta dell’Inferno.
- Statue of the Madonna at the Sant’Andrea crossroads.