Amalfi is located in the province of Salerno and the Campania region, some 50 kilometers south of Naples. The town is included in the UNESCO list of World Heritage.
Amalfi has a rich history. The oldest traces date from the 6th century. There was a thriving trading port which was driven around the Mediterranean Sea. The "Amalfi Tavole", a code that describes the rules for maritime law, remained in use until 1570 AD.
In the 9th century AD, Amalfi became the first of four maritime republics of Italy (The other republics were Pisa, Genoa and Venice.) Around 1000 A.D. the city had a population of not less than 70,000 inhabitants.
In 1073 the Vikings invaded from Apulia. The city retained a number of rights, until in 1135 it was occupied by Pisa and then it lost its economic interests. .
Most traces of this ancient past, have been swept away in 1343 by a tsunami, caused by an earthquake.
Worth to see ...
The main memory of the rich trading history of Amalfi are some remnants of the old Arsenal.
A steep staircase with 62 steps leading from the Piazza del Duomo to the San Andrea Duomo was built around 1200 in Lombard Romanesque style, but there are also clear Arabic influences. The church was restored many times, so that there is probably not much left from the original
Note especially :
- the colorful facade (late 19th century), with pointed arches and a colorful mosaic in the tympanum
- the bronze door in the vestibule (cast in 1066 in Constantinople).
- the Campanile (bell tower) from the 12th century;
- the baroque interior. Some of the pillars are recovered from the site of Paestum.
In the crypt of the church are preserved the relics of St. Andrew.
To the left of the cathedral is the Chiostro del Paradiso, a small cloister, which is now the archaeological museum. Here Moorish influences are clearly recognizable. It is an oasis of peace, on condition that you can avoid the peak hours of the tourists.
The monument on the Piazza Flavio Gioia, located at the port, refers to Flavio Gioia, who is presented as the inventor of compass.
Museo della Carta
Grotta dello Smeraldo is located about 5 miles west of Amalfi in Concai dei Marini. From there it can be only reached by sea with a boat in calm weather (15 minutes). Originally the cave was above sea water, but by the volcanic activity in the underground, it was flooded. It was only rediscovered in 1932.
The cave has an area of about 2,000 m² and is in some places 24 meters high. Many stalactites hang from the ceiling and provide a colorful spectacle of the incident light. From the water rise huge stalagmites, some about 10 meters high. .
Hikes from Amalfi
Valle dei Mulini
Through the Valley of the Canneto slowly upwards. Further up to Pontone. Loop to the Torre dello Ziro. Return via Atrani.
Valle delle Ferriere
By bus or walk to Pogerola. In the valley, at an altitude between 400 and 500 meter to Scala. Any further to Ravello and by bus back to Amalfi.