Conca dei Marini
A Roman colony since 481 BC, Conca Dei Marini was a staunch ally of Rome in the Second Punic War. The town has a long history of trade with all the countries of the Mediterranean. The area was popular in the 1960s, when it was the preferred holiday destination for the jet-set of the period, and had the pleasure of hosting Princess Margaret of England.
The Costiera Tower, built in 1563 to defend the town against Saracen raids, stands on the Capo di Conca promontory. Here is the beautiful Emerald Grotto, one of the Mediterranean’s most exemplary grottoes, full of peculiar stalactites and stalagmites, which can be visited by boat.
The deconsecrated Santa Rosa Monastery (1681), today a 5-star hotel, dominates the top of the town. It was here, in the 18th century, that a Dominican nun invented the tasty Sfogliatella di Santa Rosa, a sweet pastry filled with cream and cherry jam, in the past only available to a select few.
Worth visiting are the San Michele Arcangelo church, the Sant’Antonio da Padova church, the San Giovanni Battista church, and the San Pancrazio church, surrounded by a panoramic olive grove.