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.

According to legend Amalfi was founded by Constantine the Great, but Amalfi is first mentioned in the 6th century, 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.

Duomo Sant'Andrea
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.

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 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.

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.

Amalfi Coast Attractions

Positano seems to be standing, leaning against the jagged mountain rock face, with many multicoloured houses that seem to be built in a single cluster, all on top of each other. The town is very unique and incredibly attractive, capable of attracting attention from many visitors. It is the kingdom of many flights of little steps, of narrow passageways enlivened and coloured by wonderful shops, lively bars and cafes, and restaurants that specialise in seafood. However Positano preserves many artistic and archaeological treasures, for example, the ruins of a Roman villa, or the three defence towers that were built by the Viceroy of Spain - Peter from Toledo in the 16th century. The cathedral of St. Maria Assunta dates back to more recent times, as its original structure was almost completely rebuilt in 1700. The impressive inside wall painting in the dome dictates the church, which is divided by pillars, into three separate aisles. The beaches of Positano are formed from volcanic sand and small stones, which lend to the background. Many small semi-handicraft firms in clothing originated, and from there, Positano fashion (a typical and unique style) became famous. John Steinbeck wrote a famous report of Positano in May 1953 and the town now remains to be one of the major national tourist resort. Many old tales are remembered; in particular, one captivating tale of the transportation of Virgin Mary''s picture across the stormy sea. Opposite the beach of Positano, shocked mariners clearly heard a voice repeating telling put down, put down. The boat docked and as soon as they put the picture down on the beach, the storm began to disappear. There are many versions of how Positano adopted its original name. However, the name Positano probably derived from Roman freedmen, the Posdii. Positano was really a Roman colony and a well-known holiday resort. Until 1000, St. Vito was in possession of Positano. From the dominance, it was later liberated, by its people. Positano was economically wealthy in the 17th century and only at the end of 1700 was Positano again a royal town.

The main beach of Positano is large and located at the foot of the town, rocky mountains separate the main beach from smaller seashores: Fornillo beach, situated just to the left and La Porta and Arienzo beaches just to the right of the main beach. There is a large cave of La Porta, where the remains of Palaeolithic Era (utensils and hunting weapons) have once been found. Positano was discovered by the Germans and, primarily by the English and Americans, during the first years of the 20th century. At that time, the town was quite uninhabited. However, it significantly developed in our century, also from an economic point of view.

is a splendid bathing locality of the Amalfitan and Sorrentina Coast, famous for its atmosphere of great tranquillity and for the deep fascination that emanates from every angle.Is extended gently towards the sea, offering a very special landscape, situated between a small agglomerate of characteristics houses that in a labyrinth of curves extend till marina of the Cantone, the most important beach in Nerano with breathtaking view on Capri, Sorrento and Amalfi. The tranquillity of this place, sunlight, the beauty of the sea and landscape of great suggestion guarantee Nerano the ideal locality in order to pass an unforgettable stay. The beaches of Nerano are for sure the best point for ideal start in order to visit the charming neighbouring beaches, some of which reachable mostly via sea. Besides famous Marina del Cantone, that encloses various beaches, all cobblestone and famous for the crystalline water, Nerano is very close to the landings place of Crapolla and Recommone

This is the successive beach after Marina del Cantone. Recommone is reachable by walk in 10 minuti from a path through a characteristic panoramic way from the beach of Cantone, along which you can admire a tower of coastguard build in XV Century. This area offers one of the most renowned restaurants of the coast

This is an ancient landing place of fisherman, where are still visible the signs of the fishing activity. The cobblestone fjord and limpid and transparent water is reachable through a path that starts from the small village names Torca or more comfortably via sea, in boat

Bay of Ieranto
Here you have various naturalistic paths along the coast of Nerano, offering a unique show between the Mediterranean vegetation, on the most beautiful points of the Bay. The more famous path is that one which leads to the Bay of Ieranto, and starts right from the public square of Nerano. The Bay of Jeranto, was donated in 1986 to the F.A.I, (fund of Italian environment ) this is the only intact bay of the peninsula sorrentina and represents one of the most beautiful pedestrian walks in all territory Lubrense. The course, marked in yellow, is extended along great rocks undulations covered with trees of the Mediterranean vegetation as the olive trees and lentils and offers a marvellous view on the Faraglioni, on the Punta Campanella, Amalfi on Galli Islands and Punta Licosa. On the beach attends you the crystalline sea and an interesting marine landscape that deserves an underwater immersion. The ideal tour includes the famous Capri Island with Faraglioni, the beach of Ieranto, Positano and its magnificent colours and many coves strewn along the coast

Li Galli
Li Galli are three small islands called Gallo Lungo, Rotonda and Castelletto. According to the legend told by the Greek Home, in this blue sea the sirens tempted Ulysses on his way back home. It is the Greek figurative art which identifies the sirens in the rocks. The 3 islands have always stood as a point of reference for sailors. But around them there are sea currents and sea whirlpools which crashed the sailor boats on the islands. These victims should have been the siren''s victims and Ulysses did not die because Circe the witch warned him of the danger. Another legend tells that the sirens were tranformed when they tried to catch Ulysses but failed and died. Since 1131 the islands have been known as Guallo, that is Gallo. And in 1225 Federico II gave them to the parish of Positano calling them tre sirenas que dicitur gallus, three sirens called gallus, that is why today Li Galli. Il Gallo Lungo is the biggest island and it was the only one who had been inhabited since Roman times. In the following centuries the ruins were used by the Saracens to start their incursions on the main land. In 1924 the American choreographer Leonide Massine had a majestic villa built on those ruins, which later on the architect Le Corbusier made even more charming (here is a beautiful documentary). Among the last owners of the island there was also the Russian ballet dancer Rudolf Nureyev who bought the island for the price of more than 3 billions of Italian lira. Some of the most famous guests of this corner of Paradise are Greta Garbo, Princess Margharet of England, Roberto Rossellini, Ingrid Bergman, Anna Magnani, Sofia Loren, Jacqueline Kennedy, Onassin, Franco Zeffirelli and a lot more.

Fornillo beach
Fornillo beach is always quieter. The sea is often in turmoil or libeccio winds blow strongly tinging the water a deep blue. Coming from Positano to Fornillo Beach you will admire, from the top of a rocky staircase, an outstanding small piece of paradise held into a shell, with the splendid Clavel Tower just behind! Famous for its beauty all over the world, Fornillo has also been immortalized by great painters, like Peter Ruta and Depero; loved by Cocteu and Pablo Picasso; favourite shelter of dozens of VIPs. Fornillo Beach offers a fully equipped bathing establishment with beach umbrellas and sun loungers, into an incredibly suggestive, unforgettable environment, characterized by crystalline sea and luxuriant vegetation

Tordigliano beach
The beach is in Tordigliano, it''s reachable from the road that leads to Positano.The path to the beach is ideal for trekking-lovers.You can also reach the beach by boatLaurito beach
Rural beach with sand and pebbles. Laurito''s beach is about 2/3 kms after the crossroads with the way that leads to Positano. We recommend you not to miss this exhilarating excursion this summer

Praiano, once an ancient fishing village, known for its fine climate and excellent facilities, presents itself to the sea as a cascade of white houses upon a verdant and flowering slope. Praiano is set like a diamond in an enchanting location, nestled among the beautiful inlets of the breathtaking Amalfi coast, a mere seven kilometers from Positano and six kilometers from Amalfi. Praiano''s beach is a tiny but charming stretch of sand, where visitors can relax, suntan, and watch the bobbing white boats float by.