Lying between Piano di Sorrento and Sorrento, the town of Sant’Agnello has a surface of almost 4 sq. km, stretching on splendid tuff terraces steep on the sea with sights of the Gulf of Naples and the Gulf of Salerno and the hills of Sorrento Coast. It has almost 8,421 inhabitants and is nearly 75 metres above sea level. It takes its name from its Patron Saint, Sant’Agnello, celebrated on December 14th and venerated in the homonymous baroque church.
Its historical origins go back, according to some historians, to two centuries before the foundation of Rome (721 B.C.). It was probably dominated by Oscans and Phenicians at first, then it became a favourite destination of Roman emperors and nobles. Finally it was dominated by the Aragoneses, Angevins and Bourbons. In 1866 Sant’Agnello became independent and was divided into the quarters of Angri, Trasaella, Colli di Fontanelle, Maiano, San Giovanni e Paolo, and the present quarter of Cappuccini.
Its economy is based on the production of citrus fruits and tourism. The landscape beauties of Sant’Agnello were immortalized in 1800 by the American writer Francis Marion Crawford, who stayed here for many years. Among its most beautiful sites worth being visited there are Villa Crawford, steep on the sea, the town centre, PIazza Matteotti where the town hall is together with the War Memorial, by the sculptor Giovanni Niccolini.
Sant’Agnello is divided into five quarters: Rione Angri, the most ancient one, where there are 18th century buildings including the Church of Ss. Annunziata, in neoclasscal style and the famous wax industry Sessa. There is also Rione Maiano, where archaeological finds of Greek and Roman times were found and which is also famous for brick workmanship. Very important is Rione Cappuccini where we can find the homonymous Church and convent, built in 1586 and steep on the sea. Here there is also the complex of the Hotel Cocumella close to the Panoramic viewpoint Marinella, overlooking the Gulf of Naples and the homonymous beach. Based on agriculture is the ancient Rione Fontanelle, on the homonymous hills with its panoramic peak Picco Sant’Angelo overlooking the Gulf of Naples and that of Salerno. Finally, the rione Tordara-Trasaella, rich in oilve groves and watercourses. Famous, here, is the baroque church of Madonna delle Grazie.
In Sant’Agnello the events linked to the Holy Week are much felt, including the blessing of sugar-almond palms and the Processions organized by the varoius confraternities. There are also a lot of festivals, such as that of Fontanelle. For nine years, by now, also the Sea Festival has become very important, dedicated to culture, gastronomy, shows and nature.