The Basilica of Sant'Antonino
The Patron Saint of the town of Sorrento is Saint Antonino, who is told to have performed numerous miracles in favour of people from Sorrento. The most famous one is that of the boy swallowed by a whale whilst playing on the beach of Sorrento, who thanks to Saint Antonino, was saved from the venter of the cetacean.
At the saint's death, on February 14th 635, the inhabitants of Sorrento built the crypt and the basilica on the place of his burial which, 13 centuries ago, corresponded to the town walls. Inside the basilica several paintings are kept, which portray miracles and enterprises performed by the Saint for the town of Sorrento and for people from Sorrento: the victory on the Saracens, the siege by General Grillo, the salvation from the plague, the liberation from cholera and from people possessed.
The basilica in honour of the Saint was founded in the 11thcentury, it is rich in elements of ejection probably found in the numerous Roman villas of the area. On the right side of the church it is possible to distinguish Corinthian capitals and a piece of trabeation. Elements of ejection are also the marbles, all different from one another, of the thirteen columns which are inside three aisles of the basilica. The imposing high altar comes, instead, from the ancient monastery of Santissima Trinità.
The crypt has a vault supported by columns of ejection, in the altar the remains of the saint are kept, as well as an ancient wooden crucifix which accompanied the most important processions, and a fresco, going back to the 15th century, and portraying the Madonna of Graces. In the church, also the silver statue of 1564 portraying the saint is kept.
The basilica keeps in its inside one of the most suggestive cribs in Sorrento and in the Sorrento Coast. A masterpiece of the Neapolitan crib art is the crib called Il Piccolo Sammartino set in the old Sorrento, with shepherds of the 18th century given by the poet Saltovar. In 1982 a lot of small statues were stolen and then replaced with time pieces.
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