A place that has inspired great poets
At the highest point of Sant’Agata sui due Golfi , the largest hamlet of Massa Lubrense, right in the middle between the Sorrento Peninsula and the Amalfi Coast there is an ancient hill town called “Desert.”
From here it is possible to admire the vast and poignant panorama that opens to the viewer’s eyes: on one side the city of Sorrento seen from above with the Gulf of Naples in all its splendor and on the other the Amalfi Coast.
A landscape that enchants, inspires and makes the visitor feel at one with Nature and its beauty.
Suggestions, these, that women and men of culture such as Stendhal, Nietsche, Goethe and many others who, during the years of the Grand Tour, found peace and the perfect inspiration for the writing of their works in this place of strong spiritual connotation.
The monastery "St. Paul's"
At the top of the hill, a long avenue leads to a large monastic complex now belonging to the Benedictine cloistered nuns.
The Monastery was built in 1679 by papal concession by the Discalced Carmelites of St. Teresa in a place called (from ancient topography) “Vadabillo.”
The necropolis of historical and archaeological significance.
From 1810 the monastery was abandoned following a campaign of suppression by Murat until 1867 when it was finally decided to restore and rebuild it.
During the work commissioned by Father Ludovico da Casorio, a necropolis was found dating back to the 4th century B.C.: evidence, therefore, of Greek colonization, also confirmed by the discovery of an amphora with a representation of a winged siren.
It is speculated that this place of mysterious charm was an area of mermaid worship.
This thesis is also supported by the fact that the monastery of the Carmelites apparently was erected on the ruins of a pagan place of worship.
The monastery of the Benedictine Sisters today
Today, the Benedictine nuns’ monastery is a place that offers the opportunity to experience recollection and prayer, as well as pleasant contact with the surrounding nature.
The enveloping silence of this place helps to regain calmness of mind and soul, perhaps by taking a walk or simply sitting back, letting the beauty of the surrounding landscape flood your eyes and heart.
The monastery can generally be visited at all times, however, it should be kept in mind that at certain times of the year the nuns observe an even stricter enclosure during which they cannot receive visitors or contact.
However, one should not be discouraged or intimidated by this fact: through a simple phone contact, in fact, it is possible to schedule a stay or even a simple visit to the monastery.
To get to the Monastery of St. Charles in the locality “Il Deserto” in Massa Lubrense, you have to arrive at the square in the hamlet of Sant’Agata sui due Golfi, continue on Corso Sant’Agata and then continue on Via Deserto for about 500 meters