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About META

Meta di Sorrento boasts the area`s longest stretch of sand, the spiaggia di Alimuri. Until a century ago, Meta’s marina moored one of Italy’s largest shipping tonnages, but is now another bustling modern suburb, with more Sorrento overflow hotels, and cafés with tables out in sunny piazze. In a square on the main road, the Madonna del Lauro basilica , with its low, tiled dome and neo-classical facade, was rebuilt in the 18th century but it is believed to stand on the site of a temple to Minerva. After Meta, there is a slight lull in the urban sprawl before the village of Seiano, where the 16th century chapel of Santa Maria delle Grazie (closed to the public) has a medieval fresco over its front door. You’ll also see the l8th century church of San Marco (opening times vary according to Mass), which has the highest dome on the peninsula. Both coast road and railway line then cross the breathtaking, and somewhat frightening, viaduct over the Murrano river to Vico Equense. From Vico Equense, the circular via Raffaele Bosco wends its way up (and back down) the slopes of the Sorrentine Peninsula, passing through woods and fields and the tiny villages, known as i casali, where the everyday, non tourist-trade life of the area goes placidly on, unnoticed by visitors to the coastal resorts. Setting out from Vico’s main square, piazza Umberto I, via Roma soon becomes via Bosco, and climbs through the outskirts of town. A well-marked turn-off (via Cimitero) to the left leads to the church of San Francesco (opening hours erratic), a scruffy baroque affair full of plaster saints with staring eyes. Opposite the church, a path leads past Stations of the Cross set into the wall, to a vine-clad belvedere with an extraordinary view along the peninsula to Capri. On the sharp bend by the cemetery before the final climb to the church, a verdant track leads off to the sorgente di Sperlonga (Sperlonga spring, 30 minutes easy walk). Until the coast road was built in the early 19th century, this was the only road from Castellammare di Stabia to the Sorrentine Peninsula. Back on via Bosco, the road climbs to Massaquano, the unlikely location of what is perhaps the peninsula's greatest artwork. Creating a bottleneck in the main road on the right as you drive through, the chapel of Santa Lucia was built in 1385 and frescoed by followers of Giotto soon after. (To visit the chapel, distract the denizens of the Circolo San Luigi Gonzaga pool hall across the road from their game, and get them to locate the foot long 14th century key).Saved from imminent ruin in a recent restoration, the chapel's haunting frescos (behind the altar) show scenes from an apocryphal gospel story in which Christ returns his dead mother's soul to her (in the shape of a baby) before taking her, body and soul into heaven.



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ITALIAN RECIPE OF THE DAY
ROAST LAMB - Speciality of Rome
ROAST LAMB - Speciality of Rome

Combine the garlic, bacon and thyme and rub this paste on the outside of the leg and then season the inside with salt and pepper. Tie the leg together with string. Place the lamb in a roast ... continue

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NATIONAL GALLERY OF UMBRIA - Perugia
NATIONAL GALLERY OF UMBRIA - Perugia

The National Gallery of Umbria is one of the richest museum collections in central Italy, with master pieces of international interest. It contains paintings, sculptures, ceramics, tapestries ... continue

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