Church of Santa Maria Assunta
The Church of Santa Maria Assunta is beautifully nestled in the center of Positano, along the Flavio Gioia Square. Representing Italian art and architecture at its best, the church is a much-visit in your tours to Venice and takes you to a world of sheer exuberance and mystic old world charm. It features a spectacular colorful, decorative dome of Vietri maiolica, exuding unmatched beauty and elegance that is the prime charm of the church. It is a fantastic example of Medieval art, the history of which is deeply ingrained in the Benedictine Monastery of St. Maria. It is said that the monastery was built as a tribute to the Byzantine icon that represents the Virgin Mary.
After the last Benedictine abbot Antonio Acciappaccia di Sorrento and his monks left the monastery, the church as assigned to Nicola Miroballi. Restoration works were only being done to some extent at the beginning of the XVII century, in spite of which it gradually went to ruins. It was only during 1777 that real restoration work started under the last commendatory abbot, Liborio Marra, and it ended in 1783. It was during this period that the icon of the Virgin Mary was given a gold crown, the spectacular dome that stands upright as one of the prime attractions of the Church of Santa Maria Assunta.
The Church of Santa Maria Assunta features a stunning green and yellow dome that is topped by a cupola visible from any corner of the world. It was built on the site of the former Benedictine abbey of Saint Vito. Behind the altar, you can see the last piece of ancient mosaic floor under the glass. The exquisitely carved wooden Christ is a masterpiece of rich religious art that depicts bleeding knees and bathetic face before the altar. At the altar, there is a 13th century Byzantine wood painting of Madonna with her child, which is being carried to the beach on every August 15 to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption.
Across the tiny piazza embedded over the church’s doorway is a medieval bas-relief of a fox, fishes and a pistrice. This is among the rarest of relics of a medieval abbey of Saint Vito. The Oratorio Houses of the Church presents historic statues from the Sacristy, while the renovations to the Crypt have been initiated during the first century Roman columns. Explore the wonders of this religious masterpiece and go back to the history of the Benedictine abbots and the rich art and architecture of the city.
How to Reach the Church of Santa Maria Assunta
The Church of Santa Maria Assunta in Positano is easily accessible by bus or ferry from Salerno, Sorrento and Naples. However, the best way is to leave the A3 motorway in Salerno and then drive along the magnificent S163 or the Costiera Amalfitana to reach the church.
Tickets and Opening Hours
Visiting the Crypt takes €2 only. The church is open daily from 9am to noon. During the summers, it is open from 4 to 9. The crypt may or may not be open daily from 9 to 1 and then again from 4 to 7.