The history of Tramonti
The history of Tramonti is indissolubly interwoven with that of the Ancient Maritime Republic of Amalfi, of which it was an integral part.
It is a fabulous history, rich in extraordinary events, not so much from the war point of view, as for the incredible inventions that the Republic of Amalfi gave to the world, particularly the compass, the wind rose and the first code of maritime navigation.
According to some historical evidences, the first nucleus established in the area would have been of picentine origin. The ancient Italic people chose to take refuge in the mountains of the area to escape from the Romans.
Splendid Roman villas found in the subsoil of the Amalfi Coast in Minori, Positano, Amalfi and in Tramonti itself, clearly tell us that in Rome, already in the first century BC, it was very fashionable for patricians to stay in the Amalfi Coast.
Unfortunately, this idyll between Rome and the Amalfi Coast was abruptly interrupted by the well-known eruption of 79 A.D., which sowed death and destruction in the whole area at the foot of Vesuvius and in particular in Pompeii and Herculaneum, up to the opposite Sorrentine Peninsula.
The indigenous peoples, however, continued to occupy their lands and to practice the art of navigation and maritime trade with the techniques and rules inherited from the Romans.
Fortunately, the Amalfi Coast was saved from the most disastrous effects of the eruption because it was protected by the imposing mountain chain of the Lattari Mountains and only suffered material damage due to the violent earthquakes and the rain of ashes and lapilli of small dimensions.
The Maritime Republic of Amalfi had its period of maximum splendour between 839 A.D. and 1139, a short but very intense period which greatly influenced the history of Tramonti as an integral part of it. Afterwards, they built the first structures such as castles and farmhouses, from which the present village of Tramonti extended. At that time, the small village was part of one of the eight Lands included in the "Amalfitan Republic" and the sailors coming from the area of Tramonti were called "amalfitani" in a rather generic way.
Following the fall of the "Amalfitan Republic" due to the attacks of the Normans, a dark period began for the whole area and the village of Tramonti was also affected. The history, from this point, followed the developments and the events linked to the dukedom of Amalfi, passed first under the dominion of the Swabians and then under Angevins and Aragoneses. In the last clash between Angevins and Aragonese, however, Tramonti's destiny changed because Amalfi chose to be on the Angevins' side, while the small village of Tramonti decided to support the Aragonese. This move allowed the village to obtain several privileges, as well as the noble titles reserved to the inhabitants of the village.
And so it was that the deep transformation of the Amalfi Coast began, aimed at reconverting the economy of the territory from maritime to agricultural and industrial through the use of local resources and, therefore, in full respect of the environment and the territory.
Today Tramonti lives of tourism but in particular of agriculture rich of excellences such as dyer wine, chestnuts, Re Fiascone tomato, cheeses (in particular fior di latte) and Pizza.
What to see
In Tramonti there is no lack of historical and architectural references that testify a past made of encounters between different populations and elements that show a great richness. The Castle of Santa Maria La Nova, for example, is a fortified structure finished in 1457 by order of the Prince of Salerno of that time, Raimondo Orsini. The building consists of 10 towers and 7 bastions and inside it were included apartments and stables, as well as the church of "Santa Maria La Nova".
Today, where the ancient and majestic castle stood, its ruins are visible with the structure of the protective wall belt clearly evident. Unfortunately it has been converted into a cemetery and therefore cannot be visited.
In the hamlet of Figline you can visit the church of San Pietro Apostolo, where you can admire a floor of the school of Capodimonte. The Majolica tiles represent scenes of peacocks, symbol of eternity, and lemons, symbol of belonging to the territory of the Amalfi Coast.
In the village of Sant'Elia there is the homonymous church, inside which there is a wonderful portal made of carved lava stone and a baptismal font dating back to 1458 and bearing the coat of arms of the village of Tramonti.
The Rocky Chapel of Gete, another of the 13 hamlets of Tramonti, is another noteworthy element and absolutely to be seen. It is a structure built inside a rock cavity and it was realized around the XIII century. Near the little church there are several tombs, also naturally excavated in the rock.
Finally, the Conservatory dedicated to Saints Joseph and Teresa in Pucara is a building of historical and cultural interest that today has become a convent but was built in the eighteenth century in order to accommodate the daughters of the nobles and offer them a good education and proper training.
It was here that Concerto was born, an aromatic rosolio with a dark color and which releases an intense and pleasant smell to the palate, it was invented in the ancient Conservatory of Pucara in Tramonti. The nuns, having at their disposal every variety of herbs and spices (licorice, fennel, cloves, nutmeg, edelweiss, mint) created this infusion, which is still handed down in many families, thanks also to the recipe jealously guarded by local pharmacies.
Tramonti and its typicalities
One of the products of excellence of the tradition of the village is the limoncello, famous all over the Coast. It is a rather famous liqueur, with a very ancient origin, made at home with very few ingredients: sugar, alcohol, water and the inimitable lemons of the Amalfi Coast.
Besides limoncello, Tramonti is also famous for Concerto, a liqueur considered as a real elixir to live long, and another one prepared using wild fennel, to be served at the end of a meal to help digestion.
Tramonti and the surrounding area is pretty well known for the presence of many vineyards which allowed the village to receive the "DOC" certification for the wine produced with local grapes. Pizza, famous all over Campania, deserves a special mention in the area of Tramonti as well. In the village, in fact, doughs were produced since the medieval period. In 2010, the pizza of Tramonti obtained the "De. Co." certification, becoming to this day the only presidium at a national level to have received this recognition.
Finally, as far as cheeses are concerned, it is absolutely necessary to mention the prestigious role played by the fior di latte, so precious to have allowed Tramonti to become the homeland of this product.
What to do in Tramonti
In April, instead, the "Literary Prize City of Tramonti" is organized. It is an appointment dedicated to culture organized to celebrate the poet Pietro Tagliafierro, a citizen of Tramonti who died prematurely. The competition is divided into two parts, one for art and one for literature and every year sees the participation of several competitors from all over Italy.
In July, Tramonti is rich in events and historical commemorations such as the "Palio" and the "Corteo", inspired by the times of the Aragonese. Ferdinand of Aragon, in the 15th century, took refuge in the village to escape from the battle of Sarno. Here, the King found protection and welcome, so as to define the population of the place as "noble", so much so as to give the citizens several noble titles. The whole week dedicated to the event will be rich in theatrical representations, cultural moments, good food, dance shows and sport competitions.
On August 10, instead, it is the moment of "Calici di Stelle" (Goblets of Stars), a national event dedicated to wine and to the Greek god Bacchus. The evening is characterized by music and poetry, with tastings which illustrate the matching of wines and typical dishes of the territory. Moreover, during the event, it will be possible to get to know the local production reality, by booking one of the many guided tours in the wineries and by admiring the vineyards made of historical plants, with some specimens even centenarian.
Municipality of Tramonti
Province of Salerno
Inhabitants: 4.119 Tramontani
Altitude center: 321 m.s.l.
The municipality is part of:
Authentic Villages of Italy
Piazza Treviso 1 - Tel. 089856811