NAME: Church of St. Gennaro
LOCATION: P.zza di S. Gennaro Vettica Maggiore
DESCRIPTION: There are records of a primitive church dedicated to S. Gennaro from 1300, when the noble Amalfi families Corsario and D’Alagno enjoyed patronage until 1859, when the place of worship passed to the people of Praiano. It was after this cession that the church was torn down and finished only in 1602, with the architectural features that can still be admired. The structure is Latin cross, with three naves, with the central one covered by a barrel vault with side lunettes, while on the smaller naves cross vaults with graft at the height of the five side chapels complete the elevations. The barrel vault features a bas-relief of St. Gennaro in stucco with floral decoration of the lunettes arches. The coverage of the central area of the transept is entrusted to a dome decorated externally with a covering of majolica tiles and internally with stucco; completing the structure is an octagonal sacristy that serves as the chapel of the patron saint, the 1700 bell tower and an interesting majolica floor (the original from 1771 has been replaced by a copy from 1966) reproducing polychrome geometries and floral elements in very strong colors.
In the area before the transept a wooden pulpit, a gift from Amalfi Cathedral in 1907, displays lion’s paw pedestals; an organ of 19th-century Neapolitan workmanship covers the rose window of the central apse.
Among the most artistically significant canvases are the one with the Martyrdom of St. Gennaro in the fifth chapel of the left nave, the one with the Martyrdom of St. Bartholomew by G. B. Lama, again the 16th-century panel painting of the Madonna del Carmine in the sixth chapel, and the Last Supper by Francesco Saverio Corbelli from 1761 in the sacristy.
The 17th-century statue of the patron saint is missing the hands and head assembled on a silver bust.
The facade was rebuilt only in 1931 based on a project by engineer Parlato.
SEE, VISIT, FIND: The church is open in the afternoon and on Sundays (all day)
FRUITION DATA: None
OPPORTUNITIES: More information should be given to visitors about the architectural and artistic features of the complex, including the placement of signage. The church could also be contextualized through cross-references to other evidence, for example, to the other episodes of tiled floors on the Coast.
SCALA G., I sentieri sacri, Praiano e Vettica Maggiore, Salerno 2001.
FUSCO G., La chiesa di S. Gennaro in Vettica Maggiore. Profilo storico – ambientale, Atrani 1989.