According to tradition, Maiori was founded in an imprecise era by the Etruscan king Reghinna, who, struck by the beauty of the place, would have placed his home on a rock overlooking the wide beach and today is the headquarters of the Insigne Collegiata dedicated to Santa Maria a Mare. The village was first called Rheginna Major, because it is located in the largest valley of the Amalfi Coast, and therefore, in the course of time, only Maiori. Yesterday as today, the Collegiata overlooks Maiori and can be defined as the symbol of its religious and civil history; in it is venerated a valuable statue of the Madonna with Child, of oriental invoice, miraculously found among the fishermen’s nets in 1200, and admire various artistic works, the most important of which are kept in a special and frequented Museum.
The old center obviously has many other churches as well as noble palaces, among which we must remember first of all the Mezzacapo palace, belonging to a noble family and now owned by the Municipality, rich in frescoed rooms and embellished by a garden shaped like a Maltese cross, in memory of the Mezzacapo belonging to the Equestrian Order of the Knights of Malta. Maiori also still preserves intact part of the medieval walls and a medieval castle built on the hill of San Nicola de Thoro Plano. In fact Maiori played an important role at the time of the Maritime Republic of Amalfi and kept it even in the following centuries.
To the right and left of the beach, which in summer is populated by bathing establishments and beach umbrellas, there are two towers of the sixteenth century, of which the largest, on the eastern side, is improperly called Torre Normanna. The modern Lungomare, overlooked by palaces of recent epoch, is the ideal place to walk and to contemplate the unique landscape of the Amalfi Coast, made typical by the many terraced lemon groves, which you can visit along the many pedestrian narrow streets.
The main occurrences of Maiori are the patron saints of the Assumption (15th August) and the third Sunday of November, the feast on the Sanctuary of the Avvocata (on the Monday after Pentecost), located in a panoramic position about a thousand meters high, and the Great Carnival, with the parade of groups and allegorical floats, as well as various recreational and cultural events that take place in the other months, especially in summer, when the country is filled with tourists, welcomed in many hotels and facilities.
Rich and tasty are Maiori’s dishes, on whose table the lemon can never be missing, and its sweets are very appreciated, among which the “melenzane(aubergine) alla cioccolata”, which can be tasted in mid-August on the occasion of the patronal feast.