When exploring Naples' surroundings, the first thing that comes to mind is definitely the beautiful coastal towns along the renowned Amalfi Coast, which are part of the most touristy itineraries. However, not many know that it is possible to explore worth-seeing villages within easy reach on the hills and mountains too.
Located less than one hour driving from Naples, Sant’Agata de’ Goti is absolutely one of these. This is an off the beaten track area between Caserta and Benevento, built in ancient times over tuff hills at the bottom of Mount Taburno. This special location gives Sant'agata de’ Goti a fairytale atmosphere where time seems to stand still.
Its foundation dates back to the IV Century a.C., when there was the ancient Saticula, whose ruins and Samnite necropolis have been found during archaeological excavations.
Later in the Middle Ages, Sant’Agata de’ Goti became part of Normans and Suevian belongings: they brought monumental architectural pieces which still characterized this town. What it is possible to visit and see today is a mix of details of different populations who inhabited this place.
Check out below and discover the medieval town of Sant'Agata de' Goti.
What to see in Sant’Agata de’ Goti
The old town of Sant’Agata de’ Goti is all built on sinuous tuff hills and it has a semi-circular shape. Most of its must-sees have Lombards origins, like the fascinating Castle. Restored by Normas in XI Century, this Castle is built in tuff and it preserves its ancient shape and four big towers. Unlike many other famous castles, this one is not located on the highest level of the town because Sant’Agata already benefits from a strategic position too.
Proceed to the beautiful Chiesa dell’Annunziata, a building which dates back to the Middle Ages. To enter this Church, it is necessary to walk through an impressive marble door from the XIII Century adorned with a low relief that recounts the history of Annunciation. Inside, you can find well-preserved stunning frescoes.
Another unmissable location is the local Cathedral in the old town. Founded in the X Century, it has been restored several times throughout the centuries and after earthquakes. The outside part of the building is characterized by a marvelous door in Romanesque style and a colonnade with 12 columns and corinthian capitals. Baroque decorations have been added later.
The Cathedral’s interiors are adorned with baroque elements, black and white marbles, gold and beautiful paintings. It is possible to visit the fascinating crypt underground too.
If you want to experience the magical atmosphere and feel like a local, then take your time for a pleasant walk along Via Roma, the central street of the town. This is a pedestrian road which is 1 kilometer long: while strolling there you can see local shops and reach the Cathedral.
How to arrange your visit and when
The best way to reach Sant’Agata dei Goti is by car. Being at a short distance from Naples, it is perfect for Naples Day Trips. From there, take the highway towards Caserta and take the exit “Caserta Sud”, then follow the directions to SP 335, which will lead you to Sant’Agata de’ Goti.
If you have the chance to visit the town in late Spring, then you will be able to experience the lovely Infiorata, a flower festival arranged to celebrate the Feast of Corpus Christi. Every year on this day, the main streets of the city center are embellished with breathtaking flower decorations which makes this place unique.