The folk tradition sees Meta divided into two distinct parts: Meta “above”; and Meta “below”; the first includes Alberi and the internal area of the town; the second includes the geographical part in front of the coast.
This last one, thanks to the strong maritime identity, composed of anglers and sailors, become so characteristics during the Byzantine period, now a splendid historical centre of the town.
Historic Centre of Meta: what to see
Here, among the suggestive alleys and the intersection of narrow streets, the beauty of the eighteenth-century portals, villas and palaces of the Baroque era such as Villa Liguori, Palazzo Fienga, Villa Elisa, Palazzo Maresca and Villa Valletta Martini dominates.
Most of the houses in the historic centre have a small door decorated with Vesuvian stone ashlars and in some cases, they still present internal courtyards, framed by arches and vaults, where once sails were laid out.
Many buildings, built between the late 1700s and early 1800s, belonged to shipowners and long-term captains. Now, they are evidence of a glorious past due to the enormous development achieved by the famous merchant navy.
Walking through the heart of the historic centre, a place surrounded by a sense of quiet, the blue sea peeks out between one building and another.
Eventually, going up the road from the seaside to the Basilica della Madonna del Lauro, in via Caracciolo, you come across Palazzo Cosenza, also known as Villa Giuseppina, a magnificent building built in 1739, designed by the famous architect Luigi Vanvitelli. For his elegant and sober style, it was chosen by the director Dino Risinel 1955, as a movie set for his famous film «Pane, amore e…» with Sofia Loren and Vittorio De Sica.
The historic centre is located in the city below. It can be reached by taking the Circumvesuviana and heading towards the city centre.