The Church of the Santissima Annunziata is one of the most beautiful churches in the entire Sorrento peninsula and the entire coast. It is located in Vico Equense, located on a rocky spur overlooking the sea for which it is also called the Punta a Mare church overlooking a panoramic terrace whose view embraces the Gulf of Naples and Sorrento.
It was built at the beginning of the fourteenth century at the behest of Bishop Giovanni Cimino to replace the first, original cathedral of Vico Equense which was located in the lower area of the city almost on the beach, but to avoid pirate raids, the church and all the ancient center it was moved to this much higher area.
The church has undergone numerous alterations over time and therefore the original Gothic style is now partially altered, although the church of the Santissima Annunziata remains one of the few examples of Gothic architecture on the Sorrento coast. Today its façade is in Baroque style and was in fact rebuilt around the end of the 18th century. The entrance is flanked by two pairs of pilasters surmounted by an entablature that divides the facade in two. In the upper part, in the center, there is a large window surmounted by a skylight, it ends in a barrel vault and on the top there is an iron cross. At the entrance, in the churchyard, there are two bronze doors depicting a hieratic Christ, made by the sculptor Michele Attanasio who dedicated his work to Pope John Paul II, but the doors were never placed. The church is flanked by an imposing quadrangular bell tower, dating back to the sixteenth century, divided into three floors and ending with a panoramic terrace.
Inside the church has a three-nave layout, decorated with numerous frescoes by painters including Giuseppe Bonito, Jacopo Cestaro, Armando De Stefano and Francesco Palumbo, the latter was also the author of the frescoes that decorate the sacristy depicting the bishops of Vico Equense.
The apse of the Church of the Santissima Annunziata is pentagonal in shape, with a ribbed vault, it was once decorated with frescoes of which only a few fragments remain today preserved in a side chapel representing the Crucifixion. The main altar is not original, above it is placed the canvas by Giuseppe Bonito, which represents the Annunciation painted in 1733. In one of the chapel of the right aisle you can admire a wooden crucifix decorated with Giotto school painting.
Inside the church are the remains of the jurist and philosopher Gaetano Filangieri, who died in Vico Equense in 1788 and of the founding bishop Giovanni Cimino whose urn is decorated with a Romanesque pluteus, with a winged horse and a white marble slab, with depictions of the Madonna with Child and Saints Paul and Luke. The dome of the church is also very interesting, in which there are eight windows and is decorated in the central part by a tempera representing the Dove of the Holy Spirit.
The Church of the Santissima Annunziata suffered extensive damage from the 1980 earthquake, and was the subject of major restoration work for which it was closed for a period of almost twenty years, and was reopened to the public on August 26, 1995.