Perhaps due to its extraordinary location perched above the sea, it is considered one of the most beautiful churches in Italy.
On a rocky promontory overlooking the sea, one of the most fascinating monumental churches of the Sorrento Coast rises in the town of Vico Equense, in the province of Naples.
The structure dates back to the 14th century and, with its internal naves, represents one of the few examples of Gothic architecture in the region. The church served as the episcopal see and the cathedral of the diocese until 1818.
The Church of the Santissima Annunziata in Vico Equense is one of the few remaining examples of Gothic churches on the Sorrento Coast (although its facade is Baroque). It is further enhanced and made even more dramatic by the beautiful square in front of it, which is a true seaside view terrace. If the exteriors, therefore, take one’s breath away with their beauty, the interiors are equally impressive: three naves, a central one and two lateral ones, house numerous frescoes by painters such as Giuseppe Bonito, Jacopo Cestaro, Armando De Stefano, and Francesco Palumbo, the latter being the author of the 34 frescoes in the sacristy representing the bishops of Vico Equense.
The many artworks housed within make the Church of Vico Equense a small, authentic art gallery, but they are not its only treasures. The church also houses the remains of the 18th-century economist, jurist, and philosopher Gaetano Filangieri, who died in Vico Equense in 1788 and lived in the Giusso Castle, another important historical monument in the town located just a stone’s throw away from the sanctuary.
Also known as the Church of Punta a Mare due to the spectacular setting in which it is nestled, it is one of the most popular choices for young couples on their wedding day. Its beauty is indeed widely recognized: in 2014, the church secured the top position in Marco Polo’s ranking of the most beautiful sanctuaries in Italy.