Campania is renowned for its points of enormous archaeological and historical interest, for the fascinating naturalistic wonders that represent a priceless jewel of the national territory, for the spectacular and uncontaminated crystalline sea and for the most scenic and romantic views of the whole south.
One of the places present in the Campania region, which certainly deserves to be included among the places that cannot be missed in the travel itinerary of anyone who passes by here is precisely the Crapolla Fjord .
This magnificent fjord is a small inlet located on the coast of Massa Lubrense , a small town not far from the capital of Naples .
It is one of the most magical and suggestive coves present on the entire coast of the Gulf of Naples and the Sorrento Peninsula , which is already saying something. In fact, the Crapolla Fjord is not only a natural rock inlet that opens the eyes on a small pristine beach touched by a turquoise sea, but it is also a point of enormous naturalistic and historical importance, with evident traces of a glorious past.
In fact, just before starting the descent that leads to the slopes of the inlet, in the small beach, there is the Chapel of San Pietro , built on the remains of a building dating back to Roman times, of which evident traces are still visible.
Between history, culture and religion
This small cove on the coast of Massa Lubrense is characterized by an enormous history that has seen it as a protagonist for many years, in addition of course to its priceless scenic beauty.
In fact, history affirms that the F iord of Crapolla was one of the stages of St. Peter’s during his journey to the city of Rome , a stage that had enormous historical importance, so much so that a chapel was built in honor of the saint, which today is the destination of pilgrimage of thousands of people.
Precisely for this reason on June 29 of each year, a date that represents the feast of St. Peter, a large number of faithful leave for the chapel, where Mass is specially celebrated.
Once the commemoration in San Pietro is over, how not to take advantage of the wonder of the place where you are, continuing the celebrations on the small beach below.
The current chapel of S. Pietro has an ancient origin and is built on ancient ruins that date back to the origins of Torca. It is hypothesized that a Greek temple dedicated to Apollo was built in the Crapolla fjord , this clarifies the mystery surrounding the toponym “Torca”. In fact, it is assumed that processions ( Theorie ) made up of embassies from Greece departed from Sorrento and along the “Theorica Via”went to pay homage to the said Temple. The name Torca in this case would derive from “Theorica” Via. Certainly the place of the marina was colonized by the ancient Romans as the remains of villas and columns from the Augustan era are still visible today. On the remains of this temple a beautiful and very rich abbey was built around 1100 and it was run by the Benedictine Neri monks. Over time, however, as the coasts became unsafe due to pirate raids, the fishermen who lived there had to move to the hills for greater safety. The abbey was abandoned and destroyed and the current Chapel of St. Peter was built on its remains.
In addition to being a place of great historical and religious value, the Chapel of San Pietro is able to offer a breathtaking observation point that looks directly on the island of Isca and on the Crapolla Tower located on Monte di Torca .
In short, a perfect mix of naturalistic beauty, history, culture and religion.
The Crapolla Fjord: wild nature
The Crapolla Fjord is located just below the Chapel of San Pietro, and can be reached via a path that allows you to descend until you reach the small beach.
This cove is morphologically very particular, as it is characterized by a very narrow and deep shape, just like a crack between the rocky walls.
The small beach has a length of only 160 meters, and as it expands its size decreases more and more, until it merges with the waters.
The beach is dominated by the high and imposing rocky wall of the cliff and is characterized by small pebbles present throughout its length.
Furthermore, the entire strip of pebbles remains in the shade for most of the day, except for those two hours when the sun is quite high in the sky.
Although the beach is small in size, there is a concentration of history that is difficult to find in other places. In fact, precisely in the western part of the inlet, the remains of the ancient Roman villa are still perfectly preserved, with marvelous parts of the walls in opus reticulatum.
The beauty, however, is not limited to the beach itself, but, before reaching the sea, you come across a splendid scenery characterized by the ancient Roman village, where you can still admire the old cisterns dating back to that era, which still today they are used by fishermen as a shelter for their boats and equipment.
How to get to the Crapolla Fjord
To get to the small beach of the inlet, or even just to the Chapel of San Pietro, the only solution is to proceed on foot through a beautiful panoramic path that plunges into the Mediterranean scrub, in such a heterogeneous mix of nature and breathtaking landscapes that alone is worth the trip.
The path to reach the Crapolla Fjord begins in the small hamlet of Torca , more precisely in Via Casalvecchio , right where the path begins.
The entire path follows an ancient mule track that presents a first part immersed in the green of the surrounding nature, and then runs along the La Guardia viewpoint , where a stop is a must. In fact, from here it is possible to admire, perhaps sitting on the beautiful natural stone bench, the entire Gulf of Salerno, Praiano and Punta Penna.
From the La Guardia viewpoint there is a branch of the route, a road that goes towards Recommone Beach , while the other leads right to the Crapolla Fjord .
Taking the path in which there are stone steps, precisely 700 , which will lead to the magnificent inlet of the Crapolla Fjord. The path is medium difficulty, nor too demanding if you walk calmly and with stops along the way. Surely the ending is worth the effort.
It is advisable to start the trail early in the morning, before the sun begins to beat strongly, as there is not even a shadow area along its entire length. The same goes for the return, recommended in the late afternoon, when the sun and temperatures begin to become more bearable.