Excavations in the ancient town of Vico Equense have revealed remains dating from the 6th century B.C., proving the existence of Oscan, Etruscan, and Greek occupants (evidenced by the Necropolis of Via Nicotera). Named Aequa during Roman times, the town survived the eruption of A.D. 79 and flourished until it was destroyed by the Goths in 553. It was then reestablished as "Vico Equense" by the Angevins in the 12th century. To discover Vico's delightful medieval buildings, start in the main square, Piazza Umberto I, take Via Filangieri, and turn right onto Via Monsignor Natale.

This street is the heart of the medieval town, and its palazzi shelter delightful courtyards, such as the splendid one at no. 3. Continuing on, you can enjoy the great view from Largo dei Tigli, and, retracing your steps to Via Vescovado, visit the Chiesa dell'Annunziata, Via Vescovada (Sun and holidays 10am-noon, other days open by request only; tel. 081-8798004), a 14th-century church partially rebuilt after the 1688 earthquake. In the upper town is the privately owned 13th century Castello Giusso (renovated and enlarged in later centuries), and thermal springs that feed the local spas.

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