Annunziata Church in Minori
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For centuries Minori has been one of the most important locations for the production of sfusato d'Amalfi which is also known as Costa d'Amalfi lemon. There are documents dating back to the XVII century which describe the huge export of local lemons to Rome and to the rest of Italy on boast filled with the yellow fruit, that would sail from the Minori's harbour. The commerce was run by local families' who had a some or many lemon trees and made their wealth thanks to the global fame of their very special product.
Nowadays Minori's lemons are still widely exported fresh and in limoncello, in Italy and worldwide.
The largest lemon orchards of Minori are found in the Torre locality on the East part of town. Here on the hill road that leads to Maiori there are lots of small houses each with a lemon orchard around.
The hill of Torre has been terraced to allow a wider cultivation of the Sfusato Amalfitano, and it has given a very peculiar look to this small village, with low drywalls and artificial irrigation canals.
The name Torre “tower” derives from the fortifications and watchtowers that use to surround the village during the time of the Independent Duchy of Minori 839-1131. Unfortunately there are no visible ruins of the former towers and lemon trees really take up most of the space. And still today account for the fame of Torre.
From the main road of Torre there is a maze of smaller roads which lead to S.Nicola a Forcelle and then to Annunziata steeple through a flight of steps along the hill.
Annunziata church was built in the XI century and used to be the most important religious site in Torre. In 1950 it had to be taken down due to land stability problems, caused by the seismic threat in the area. Nonetheless the remaining two apses and the steeple should are absolutely worth a walk by. The former still show traces of a beautiful fresco painting of Saint Michele.
The steeple built in the XII century really dominates the landscape of Torre, having almost replaced the ancient towers.
Although the structure of the steeple is squared the belfry is round with a small dome, and the mullioned and single windows are decorated with impressive bicolour tuff inlays, in grey and in yellow. The patterns are very varied, lozenges, rhombi, and star patterns. Unfortunately the colour has faded on some of the inlays and the vibrant effect, that the steeple must have had at its origin, is slightly dimmed down.
The steeple is lit with very well studied lights, creating a very evocative atmosphere when walking in Torre at night.
The Annunziata steeple is still very important for locals, as the former church was home of the Annunziata coven, whose members were local pastai, pasta makers. This goes to show how much dedication and care, locals have always had for their traditional products, which allowed Minori to develop and to be famous worldwide for top quality lemons and pasta.