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(côte sud de Salerno)
Route Lago Trasimeno
SALERNO - Italie
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Minori derives its name from the torrent Reginna Minor (or Reginuolo) that crosses it. It has been inhabited since Roman times, as some remains of the splendid Villa Romana testify. In the Middle Ages it had a more than adequate economic development, in fact, Minori had been a Diocese since 987, due to Pope Giovanni XV’s will and shared the histoiy and fate of the near Amalfi, with which it was often in competition. lt is a small but very nice town with a beautiful promenade, enriched by a splendid Ilth-century fountain (Lions'Fountain) and a net of picturesque and lively lanes.
Minori has often been devastated by natural catastrophes and plagues: a tempest in 1597 was particularly terrible, it destroyed the walls and the main square. The Cathedral deserves a visit: it preserves S. Trofimena's relics , a saint venerated all along the Coast. A 17th-century marble pulpit is very remarkable. A wooden Baroque altar is interesting too, it is in the Church of S. Lucia at Benedictine Convent.
However, above all , Minori offers the possibilità of visiting the remains of a Roman Villa of the Augustean Age (i st century), built on a 2500-square-metre arca. Excavations began in 1932 and were continued after the flood of 1954 buried it under a blanket of mud. The building had two storeys originally, but the top floor has been lost.
The ground floor is still intact and is surrounded by three archways and a nymphaeum and is decorated by frescoes and mosaies.
In the inside a swimming-pool of Roman times was discovered.
The Roman Villa is of a great archacological interest: it is the only evidence of this type on the Coast. lt permits historians to verify their theorics about the importance of the Villa (and in particular of Minori) during Roman dominion.
On the other hand, even its toponym, that is its country name, is of Latin origin, like that of the near Maiori.
Besides, perhaps it will be necessary to explain that the augmentative (maior that is bigger) and the diminutive (minor, that is smaller) do not refer to the importance or size of the respective towns, but to the torrents' flow crossing their centres and having the same name, Reginna Maior the former and Reginna Minor the latter. These torrents are both terrible when they fall headlong into the sca during the winter. As a matter of fact both towns have often been devastated by terrible floods. Fortunately, today, this danger is only a memory of the past thanks to the progress of civil engincering.