This is the village that probably gave the name to malvasia. In this place there are still a lot of small local producers that with great sacrifices try to keep the product natural, fighting against indiscriminate industrial production that has made it unnatural.

When you look out on the sea you notice that all the coast, from Capo to Pollara, forms a sort of immense anphitheatre hewn out in the stone. As there is no commercial harbour, Malfa has the advantage, together with its two hamlets, of having the clearest sea on the island. The village, in sum, is a sort of uncut pearl, whose value increase if it is held in the hands of a person that can really appreciate it and loves tranquillity and contemplation. In the area called "Scario", there is a big pebble beach. You get to it along a very beautiful road, also a stne one, from which you can admire the sea and a large part of the Amalfi coast. Magnificent! Moreover on the beach just mentioned, you ca see the walls of the old warehouse of Malfa's fishermen. This has been made a protected area. At one time, when the beach was made up of fine sand, the sailing boats were drawn up here that traded with Naples and other places on the Campania Coast.

It was from one of these voyages that there began the tradition of the feast of St. Joseph, which is gloriously celebrated by the people of Malfa on 19 March and draws more and more people. Way back in 1835 a sailing boat was caught in a storm and the members of the crew vowed to St. Joseph that if they returned home safe and sound they would give what they had on board to the poor. And so it was. It was a story with a happy ending which has been constantly evoked since then. Every year local people prepare some dishes and typical sweetmeats, which are placed on a big table and distributed to peopte. At this table there sit some local people representing the Holy Family, dressed in the costumes of ancient Palestine.


At Malfa there are two churches: that of the patron saint, St Laurence (whose cult was brought there by the Amalfi settlers in 1100 and gave the name to the village) and the Immacolata church the latter, which is at the centre of the village, was begun in the 19th century. After a phase in which the church seemed to have been designed badly, it was completed in the early 1920s but was only opened to the public In 1928. The San Lorenzo church was first built in 1733 (but It seems that another one exited in the seventeenth century) and was enlarged in 1760. The work was completed in 1778. The nred to build two churches derived from the large number of people who lived al Matfa in about 1860: at least 5,000. In 1926 a tremendous earthquake seriously damaged the church, and indeed for some time mass was celebrated in a warehouse. While the Immacolata church was opened to the faithful, in 1929 reconstruction work began, to be completed in 1931.


The other hamlet of Malfi is Pollara, now famous in the world for Massimo Troisi's film "Il Postino". This place looks as if it had come into being preciscly for Troisi in his last years, when he was tired, and desirous of quiet and rest but still had a flame of life in the heart that was abandoning him and an irresistible joyous hilarity that never abandoned his Neapolitan soul. Pollara is like that, calm and silent but at the same time alive and magnetic. It too is a gigantic amphitheatre, where perhaps an eruption was last staged. Indeed, the village is inside a "half volcano", the other half having sunk into the sea. In this small place from the nature point of view there is everything: an immense stone arch (the "Perciato"), a rock stack where there lives a lizard that is unique in the world, breathtakingly high cliffs, caves hewm out in the rock by nature, seabeds that seem to belong to a dream world, and, far out a submarine volcano that has been inoffensive for thousands and thousands of years. Probably Pollara was settled by people from Calabria in the seventeenth century, who brought the cult of Santo Onofrio and built the church dedicated to him in the last decades of the same century, it must be added that on the first Sunday in June the Caper Festival is held, with oenological and gastronomic tasting that every year draws hundreds of visitors. You go to Potlara via a junction, called Barbanacola; one road leads to Pollara, while the other leads to one of the two hamlets of Leni, Val di Chiesa.


Capo Gramignazzi


isola-salina-capo-gramignazziAfter leaving the Santa Marina territory you come to the pretty little village of Capo Gramignazzi, one of the two hamlets of Malfa.

This is probabily the village in which there are the most votive churches (and at one time many more existed that have vanished). In addition to the official church dedicated to St Anne (the patrons saint of Capo), next to which there is a votive cross of the Passionist Fathers, there are othe older ones. One of these, again dedicated to st. Anne, dates from the 18th century and was used as a cemetery untill relatively recent times. As already mentioned, there are others, including a chapel known in the 19th century as the Vasquez Chapel, also dedicated to St.l Anne (bearing witness to a very heartfelt cult and faith); one exception is the San Pietro chuch (also from the eighteenthcentury) which gave the name to a district of Capo. This was once the fishermen's church, and indeed it is at the top of a charming stone road that once took fishermen to a little beach where they built warehouse, hewing them out in the tufa. The spectacular nature of this road is not second to those of pre-Columbian origin. The road almost winds in the air, taking the lucky visitor lower and lower, into a big valley where a luxuriant nature reigns and time seems to have stopped. All the churches are protected as ethno-anthropological heritage. At capo you can admire La Torricella, a very high rock that is actually the interior lava of a volcano. The outer cone crumbled a long time ago and the solidified magma was left. In this area there are also a lot of vineyards, from which excellent wine and malvasia (malmsey) is obtained.