It is the heir of a cathedral which stood directly on the beach, in front of the magnificent Gulf of Naples, and which made it possible to contemplate and experience, in the same place, a religious spirituality as well as a sort of natural, panoramic and environmental spirituality. However, because of this exceptional position, it was prey to pirates who ransacked it regularly. This is why, in the 14th century, the cathedral of Vico Equense was moved and built on a rocky cliff, about ninety meters overhanging the sea, on the ruins of an ancient Roman temple dedicated to the goddess Cybele. Here, even today, you can still see the fishing village called Marina d’Equa with, in the background, the unmistakable silhouette of Vesuvius. Severely damaged by the Irpinia earthquake in 1980, the church of Santissima Annunziata – as it was renamed after the suppression of the diocese of Vico Equense – was closed to the public for several years and reopened on 26 August 1995 after a long and arduous restoration.

The church of the Santissima Annunziata in Vico Equense with its unbelievable history of pirates, cliffs, primordial gods and earthquakes, as well as its artistic appearance and uniqueness always astonishes visitors.

The Santissima Annunziata Church is in fact one of the very few examples of Gothic architecture along the Sorrento coast. The fa├žade, which was renovated at the end of the 18th century, was built in a Baroque style. Inside are three naves, one central and two on the sides, divided by six tuff pillars, while the area of the high altar is shaped like a pentagonal apse complete with a sort of “ribbed” or ogival vault. Visitors can find paintings by Giuseppe Bonito, Jacopo Cestaro and Francesco Palumbo and the funeral urn by Gaetano Filangieri, a Neapolitan philosopher and jurisconsult. Next to the church stands the bell tower which was built like the one completed in 1585, and includes three tapered floors with carved stone battlements crowning the third order, and is the work of local craftsmen. Outside the structure there is a square overlooking the seaside village and offers a stunning view of the Gulf of Naples and the coast all in one glance.

The Santissima Annunziata church is also known as the “di Punta a Mare” and, as can be easily imagined, it is very popular with couples wishing to celebrate their wedding in this spectacular setting.

Thanks to its particular beauty and position which guarantees one of the most glorious views of the gulf, to the chance of taking exclusive photographs and its unique and fascinating history, in 2014 the seat of former bishop was awarded first place among the most beautiful sanctuaries in Italy.

The Santissima Annunziata Church is about a 20-minute drive from Laqua.