Terra Furoris, or “Land of Fury,” is the ancient name of the village, inspired by the fury of the sea within the fjord.
• Roman Age: in the late Roman Empire, the Romans were being chased by the barbarians and took refuge in these mountains and founded the first settlements, including Furore. Because of its conformation, this handful of houses escaped being conquered even during the raids of the Saracens.
• 1319: a notarial deed mentions for the first time the Church of San Giacomo, dating from the 11th century. It is around this church that the first settlement is formed on the Furore upland plain, whose history will later be included in the history of the Amalfi Republic.
• 1348: a number of “Sacconi,” i.e. heretics, take refuge among the tortuous gorges of the Furore area. Followers of Meco del Sacco from Ascoli Piceno, they are fleeing from the Holy Inquisition after being accused of practicing free love.
• 15th cent.: after the mid-1400s, the village belongs to the noble Summonte family, whose members include the illustrious Pietro, a priest and friend of the humanists Iacopo Sannazaro and Giovanni Pontano, with whom he founds the famous Accademia Pontaniana in Naples, one of the most important cultural centers under the Aragonese. Two other Summontes, both named Giovanni Antonio, were eminent historians: one in the 1500s and the other in the 1700s. The latter published a weighty history of the Kingdom of Naples in 1748.
• 17th cent.: construction of the proto-industrial structures annexed to the old marine village, which have been recently restored.
• 1950: Furore, a place always dear to the gods, is the scene of the love story between Roberto Rossellini and Anna Magnani.
A Hanging Garden Between the Mountains and the Sea
Following the hairpin curves of the hill road cut into the green along the coast between Amalfi and Agerola, one comes to Furore, “the town that isn’t”. In fact, rather than being a town with buildings close together, it is a loose group of houses sprinkled across the rocky cliffs.
These houses served to protect the fields and the country. The village of Fiordo, instead, is at the foot of the cliff, along the Amalfitana state road between Amalfi and Positano.
The “Terra Furoris” is the other face of the coast, where “noises are none other / than a slight flaw in the silence.” Katia Salvini defined it as “a place dear to the gods, a hanging garden clinging to the mountain and stretching out into the blue of the sea and the sky”.
Its houses seems to have sprung up from a deck of cards scattered by the wind. A sleeping divinity could be hiding on the steep walls of the canyon or on some huge, rugged cliff: a naked faun, evoked once again by the free love heretics, or a siren, glimpsed from a stairway, from a boat on the sea, or from the path with flowering agaves. This is Furore: a well of mythic desires, the breath of a civilization on the edge of cliff poised above the sea.
Precious historical buildings in the valley around the village include the two flour mills and the two paper mills, interesting examples of industrial architecture that made use of the motive power of water.
Next to this area are the fishermen’s monazzeni, old storage sheds for tools. The wedge-shaped stretch of sand in this narrow inlet has been a landing place for boats for centuries. After years of neglect and deterioration, this fishermen’s village is now entirely restored.
here is also a unique open-air art gallery, composed of over 100 “artist’s walls,” murals and sculptures that make Furore a “painted village” that tells its story in this manner as well.
The churches are the only other important buildings: the four churches of San Giacomo, Sant’Elia, San Michele and Santa Maria, with the majolica-tiled domes of their bell towers and the recently discovered frescoes (an interesting cycle by the school of Giotto in San Giacomo).
But the most attractive thing about this village-non-village is its beautiful setting: the olive trees, the grapevines on terraces going up the mountainside, the bowers of lemons with nets stretched between poles, the red roofs and colorful majolicas on the small bell towers, the brilliantly colored flowers of the wild blackberry brambles, and the sea: blue, down below, in the corner of your eye, ever present.
Completing the panorama are the flaking, sun-baked walls, the high grass of the uncultivated fields, the boats pulled up onto the beach, the tortuous curves of the road: other elements in a landscape rescued from abandonment, which can return to life by virtue of its own legend.
The piennolo, a kind of small tomato, and the grapes (Costa d’Amalfi DOC, subzone Furore, which is a Wine City) growing on the steep hillsides are the fruits of this generous land that has “its feet in the water, its face kissed by the sun, and the sinuous hips of a beautiful woman”.
The classic dish is totani e patate, squid and potatoes, created by the farmer-fisherman to feed his large family (if necessary, just add more potatoes).
The local cuisine captures and mixes together the aromas and flavors of the land and the sea: blood pudding, minestra maritata (“married soup”), and caponata are other traditional dishes served at the many restaurants in the area.