Welcome to the Amalfi Coast
The seaside resort of Amalfi lies on the south coast of the Sorrento Peninsula at the northern edge of the Gulf of Salerno, in the region of Campania 24 miles southeast of Naples. It lies at the mouth of a deep ravine, at the foot of Monte Cerreto (1,315 meters, 4,314 feet), surrounded by dramatic cliffs and coastal scenery. The largest and most popular resort on this mountainous stretch of coastline, Amalfi is a popular holiday base for tourists wanting to explore the area. The Republic of Amalfi was once a major seafaring power, and the town's traditions and historical buildings bear witness to Amalfi's glorious past. Amalfi Coast Boat Excursion - book here
According to legend Amalfi was founded by Constantine the Great, but Amalfi is first mentioned in the 6th century CE, and soon acquired importance as a maritime power, trading its grain, salt and slaves from the interior, and even timber, for the gold dinars minted in Egypt and Syria, in order to buy the silks of the Byzantine empire that it resold in the West. Merchants of Amalfi were using gold coins to purchase land in the 9th century, while most of Italy worked in a barter economy. Later, the whole coastline, along with Amalfi, became property of the Duchy of Naples, until 839, when the city declared its independence and became an autonomous republic.
During the Middle Ages it was an independent state with a population of some 70,000, ruled by self-appointed dukes who later became hereditary. In 1077 the town was incorporated by Robert Guiscard in the Norman kingdom; through its active trade with the Orient it rose to influence and wealth. As a sea power Amalfi came into conflict with Pisa and Genoa. Amalfi's code of maritime law (Tavole Amalfitane) prevailed throughout the whole of the Italian Mediterranean until 1570.
Soon, Amalfi's wealth not only attracted the attention of pirates, who were promptly driven back by the city's army, it also became the target of neighbouring states. In 1131, after a long succession of attacks, Amalfi was annexed to the Kingdom of Sicily, although still retaining a certain degree of autonomy in the management of maritime commercial affairs. Gradually, commercial relations with the East began to dwindle, checked by the policies of the Normans and Pisans, who landed on the coast in 1135, to plunder and destroy whatever they found there.
Over the following centuries, Amalfi's population dropped considerably, mainly due to the continuing attacks on the zone by pirates. In 1343 a large part of the lower town was destroyed by a tsunami, and its harbor is now of little importance. But the greatest disaster hit the region in 1643, when the plague took the lives of a third of the coastal population. One of the results of this tragedy was the progressive impoverishment of the area, aggravated by the interruption in maritime trade. The economy began to converge on the cultivation of olives, vines, and citrus fruits and on the crafts industry. Around the second half of the 19th century the Amalfi coast began its revival thanks to tourism, and artists such as Ibsen and Wagner drew inspiration from the region for some of their famous works, further fanning the curiosity of travellers to the coast.
The Amalfi Coast is a wonderful coastline which can only be appreciated by sea you will discover places of interest and natural beauties such as : Positano, Arienzo, Nerano, Recommone, Crapolla, Bay of Ieranto, Li Galli, Fornillo, Tordigliano, Laurito, Praiano
Capitanoago connect all these towns of the Amalfi Coast area, and is much quicker, exclusive, cheap and relaxing than the public transportation service.
Read more about our Boat Excursion on the Amalfi Coast - here.
The Duomo Sant'Andrea at the center of the town, originally built in the ninth century to honour the St. Andrew the Apostle, was remodelled in Sicilian Lombard-Normanesque style in 1203; the campanile dates from 1180 to 1276. The magnificent portico, with pointed arches, was completely rebuilt in 1865. The front which was restored in 1890 is decorated with modern mosaic; the fine bronze door were the first in Italy, made from bronze brought back from Constantinople by a local nobleman, Pantaleone di Mauro Comite. Inside there are ancient columns of Paestum, supporting the choir. The crypt contains the remains of the Apostle St Andrew, brought here in the 13th century. To the left, in the portico, is the entrance to the cloister (Chiostro del Paradiso, 1266-68), which contains ancient sarcophagi, marble and mosaics.
Duomo Sant'Andrea Guided Excursion - book here.
Museo Civico (Civic Museum)
From the harbor it is a short distance by way of Piazza Flavio Gioia to the Town Hall; the facade is decorated with modern mosaic. The municipal museum (Museo Civico) is housed in the Town Hall; its major attraction is the Tavole amalfitane, a medieval document with the maritime law of ancient times.
Museo Civico (Civic Museum) Guided Excursion - book here.
Museo della Carta (Paper Mill Museum)
Housed inside an old paper mill, the museum exhibits ancient machinery for production of Bambagina paper, which is still in working order. Museo della Carta (Paper Mill Museum)Guided Excursion - book here.
Grotta dello Smeraldo
This is an attractive trip by motorboat (15 minutes) to a stalactitic cave, the Grotta di Amalfi, also known as the Grotta dello Smeraldo or Grotta Verde, west of the Capo Conca. Emerald Cave became a marine cave as a result of changing ground levels due to the influence of vocanoes in the region. The water is so clear that it is possible to see through to the bottom (10m below), and is colored a beautiful emerald. Grotta dello Smeraldo Excursion - book here.