History of Maiori
Maiori was founded by Etrurians as the root “inna” testifies (it was of clear Etrurian origin) in the name “Reghinna Major”. Maiori belonged to Amalfi and was the seat of Shipyards, of Admiralty, of the Customs and of the salt warehouse.
In 1268 it was sacked by Pisani, rivals of Amalfi: they destroyed the town and sacked it all. Maiori soon developed a very good mercantile marine and was able to build very strong ships.
In 1343 there was a sea-quake that destroyed many parts of the coast and almost all the town. Maiori returned to life and almost all the most important economic activities were set along the valley of Reginna Major river.
Then, in 1348 there was a terrible plague that killed many people. This period unfortunately was also a moment of poverty and brigandage. Maiori returned to life thanks to Queen Giovanna I and her successor Carlo III di Durazzo and his son, Ladislao. In the XVI and XVII centuries the first paper factories were created.
In 1502 there were the first hostilities between Spanish and French armies and in 1528 there was a terrible battle along the coast, in front of Capo d’Orso between Angevin and Spanish fleets (the French fleet was led by the admiral Filippino Doria, the Spanish one by the Spanish viceroy Don Ugo di Moncada): more than 1000 men of the Spanish fleet died.
The following years were made of plagues and famine, pirates’ invasions and sacks, many inhabitants were made slaves.
In 1662 Maiori became a Royal Town thanks to Philip IV.
In 1735 and in 1773 there were two violent floods. The inhabitants found a consolation in their religious faith thanks to a wood statue portraying Our Lady which was found after the shipwreck of the boat that brought it. After the Unity of Italy there were many rebellions because of the new taxes and the difficult economical situation. Falerzio Mount that dominates Maiori became a place where brigands and robbers took refuge.
In 1910 there was another terrible flood. After that episode there was the visit of king Vittorio Emanuele III. At the end of the Second World War, after the armistice of September, the 8th, 1943, the allied forces landed in Maiori because there was a very large beach and its location was strategic. Mezzacapo Palace (today the town hall) became the American headquarter; San Domenico Church became a hospital.