Welcome to Amalfi
From Jesse's Journeys in Italy
Official Site: n/a
See all of our Amalfi Coast Tours
Originally, Amalfi was a Roman town, but
achieved its independence as the
Republic of Amalfi through the 7th to
11th Centuries. By the end of the
republic, it rivalled Pisa, Genoa and
Venice as one of the great maritime
powers in the Mediterranean. At one time
it had a population of about 70,000
inhabitants. Ultimately, through
wars with the Saracens and a devastating
flood in the 14th Century, Amalfi
Today, the town of Amalfi with about
8000 citizens, located on the slopes of
the Lattari Hills overlooking the Bay of
Salerno, is quiet most of the
year, which bursts into activities with
the arrival of thousands of summer
tourists. The town featues
numerous hotels and pensiones,
the best of which tend to be on the
periphery of the town center.
Temperatures, as a rule are more
temperate than other places further
south or inland.
But, you needn't spend all your time
indolently (unless you want to).
Travelers who have a taste for
architecture will enjoy the Duomo at the
center of the town, which was built
during the 6th Century to honour the St.
Andrew the Apostle, whose remains are in
a crypt within. Take particular
note of the Duomo's Oriental style.
The bronze doors were the first in
Italy, made from bronze brought back
from Constantinople by a local nobleman,
Pantaleone di Mauro Comite.
Beside the Duomo, you may collect
yourself in the shade of the Cloister of
Paradise, which was done in the Arabian
If you enjoy museums and art galleries,
Amalfi will not disappoint. Take
time to visit to the Ancient Armories
of the Amalfi Republic to see
artifacts that witness the republic's
glory as a maritime power.
Interested in art? Then,
take time to visit the Salone Morelli
where 14 of Morelli's paintings are on
view (some of which are copied as
mosaics on the walls of the Duomo).
If you happen to be in Amalfi on a
Wednesday, there's a fantastic open air
market you should wander around and
through. It's at the upper end of
the Via delle Cartiere - named
for about 20 textile mills that used to
operate on or near the street.
Last words: you can eat, drink and be
merry in Amalfi, a place of many good
restaurants and cheery cafes. You
can take in lungs full of culture and
art, and, when your body and mind need
rest, you can lounge on the beaches
where you will find some publicly
accessible waterfron and quite a few
Lidi - or private beach clubs where
your wants will be tended to.
Paradise? Close enough!
By Jesse Andrews, August 2005