Myth and Archeology
The territory of Massa Lubrense has been inhabited since prehistoric times, as documented by the archaeological remains of the Neolithic period found in the cave of the Noglie a leranto. The vast archaic necropolis of the “Vadabillo” on the hill of the desert dates back to the following period, in which tombs of tuff were found, with rich funerary equipment, of clear Etruscan influence.
Myth of the Sirens
A long tradition places in the territory of Massa Lubrense the myth of the sirens: these lived in the lubrensi coasts and enchanted the sailors who passed by.
In the Homeric tale the Sirens, half-woman and half-bird, did not succeed in captivating Ulysses, who transited here with his ships.
The Necropolis of the “Vadabillo”
It is the largest of the three necropolis of the hill of the “Desert” and extends on the northern side overlooking Sorrento.
Sepulchs of various kinds have been found, with a prevalence of those with a tuff box. In them were found funerary objects ranging from the seventh century. B.C. to the II d.C.
The Calcidese amphora with representation of winged Sirens is certainly the most valuable find found in the area and is currently exhibited at the Georges Vallet Museum in Piano di Sorrento.
According to the mythical narration it was Ulysses who founded a temple in the area dedicated to Athena: the discovery of a rock incision, written in the Oscan language, in Punta Campanella, formerly Promontorium Minervae, attests the location of this temple, in whose proximity the sailors paid tribute to propitiate navigation.
The temple dedicated to Athena
The terminal stretch of the “via minervia”, brought to light in the same area, is further evidence of the existence of this place of worship so renowned in antiquity.
Along the coast of Marina Lobra has been brought to light a monumental nymphaeum, belonging to another maritime villa, currently preserved in the museum of Villa Fondi in Piano di Sorrento.
It is the largest mosaic surface of colored glass paste, returned from the past, which fascinates visitors to the countless exhibitions set up in the largest museums in the world.
Marina di Puolo and Capo di Massa
Marina di Puolo has a very ancient past that has its roots since the time of the Roman Empire. The name Puolo derives from Pollio Felice, the first resident of the place, who here elevated the temples of Hercules and Neptune, divinity to which they were dedicated gymnastic games that took place on the beach.
On the Capo di Massa rose one of the largest seaside villas on the Sorrento coast, with domus, xistus (monumental garden) and maritime structures that occupied the entire promontory. Remarkable are the bas-reliefs brought to light in 1911 and currently exhibited at Villa Fondi. Among these the most important is the one with the “sacrifice to Diana”.
Fiord of Crapolla and Isca Island
Legend has it that the abbey had been built on the ruins of a Roman temple dedicated to Apollo, from which the toponym Crapolla derives.
According to the legend, St. Peter landed in Crapolla on his journey to Rome to found the Christian church.
Of great importance is the hydraulic system built in Roman times to regulate the waters of the river Iarito, still visible at the foot of the rocky part to the left of the beach.
On the small Isca is still visible remains belonging to a maritime villa characterized by a series of nymphaeums carved in the rocky gorges.