The Magazine about Sorrento Peninsula
Categories Itineraries

Meta, the sea and history

Beaches, caves and rocks. Even lanes, squares and portals. Everything in Meta is perfumed and nourished by history and the beauty of the sea – a perfect symbiosis that cannot be missed when walking from the historical town centre to the Alimuri beach. The old town gave birth to great captains and shipowners, while the beach hosts tens of accommodation facilities that have risen near the ancient shipyards.
We follow our guide Nino Aversa, starting from the Casina dei Capitani (Captain’s Little House) hosting the mutual support association established in 1890 to offer moral and economic support to captains in hardship. Located in the historical centre of Meta, it keeps documents, nautical charts, onboard devices, antiques, ship models and works of art, apart from hosting events dedicated to seafarers.
The old town lanes also bear an indelible trace of the sea vocation of Meta. It is shown by the names of the streets, often deriving from prestigious shipowners’ families or habits linked to navigation. It is also shown by the Museum of the Sea, located in a XVIII century residency where Mario Maresca collected votive offerings, pilot books, models, volumes, charts and nautical devices dating back to the second half of the XIX century, the golden age of Meta shipyards.
At that time, indeed, the construction of the Alimuri shipyard was completed: an area of 900 sqm, with six yards for the construction of schooners, sailing ships and brigs that often crossed the Atlantic Ocean on the same routes opened by Christopher Columbus. The Cafiero family shipyard still remains from that past age. It is a cave excavated in tuff rock along Via dei Naviganti Metesi, where master carpenters build traditional boats on demand for aficionados. Right here, the “Santa Maria del Lauro” was built in 2010: a traditional fishing boat built with techniques dating back to the beginning of the XX century, whose launch caught the attention of national and international press.