An important fishing port since Roman times -- Cetara actually derives its name from the Latin cetaria (tuna fishery) -- this still is the main fishing port in the area and very authentic. The town's tonnare (tuna-fishing facilities) were big complexes built mostly over the sea: the Tuna were trapped in huge netting channels out at sea and brought to underwater cages. From there, the fish were pushed into a seawater pool, where they were processed. Today, most catches happen at sea, with massive trawlers and often with the help of planes that scour the Mediterranean for the red tuna.
This is definitely an industry, not a sport, and we don't endorse unsustainable practices, no matter how traditional. Recent research shows that the tuna collected are actually young tuna that have not yet reached full maturity, which in turn contributes to the depletion of the species. Yet locals proudly defend their traditional fleet, the only one left in the Tyrrenian Sea, as well as their traditional cuisine.
Locals celebrate in July with the Sagra del Tonno (Tuna Festival), when preserved tuna and other local delicacies are sold in town; the festival also features music and other scheduled events. Contact the Proloco tourist office for more information.
The rest of the year, the key attraction is the San Pietro church, with its bright majolica cupola and 13th-century bell tower. We recommend a stroll around the back streets of the village, rarely visited by tourists.
The best beach in the area is Marina di Erchie, technically in Maiori. It's past the next village, only 2km (1 1/4 miles) west of Cetara. If you don't want to venture that far, check out the small beaches by Cetara's harbor.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.