How to get to Amalfi
Amalfi is situated right in the center of the Amalfi Coast and you can get here from both Salerno and Sorrento.
From either town, Amalfi is a 30/40 minute drive away. Sita buses run regularly to Amalfi and, in the summer, sea connections are available from both Naples and Salerno.
For more detailed information: How to get to the Amalfi Coast
Amalfi, coastal warrior queen
Italy's oldest maritime republic, symbol of the Amalfi Coast, continues to enchant visitors just like it did in the days of the Grand Tour.
Just over three square kilometers of devastatingly beautiful scenery at the mouth of the Valle dei Mulini: this is Amalfi, a town which opens like a fan towards the sea, sheltered from behind by the steep slopes of the Monti Lattari.
Amalfi's Ancient Roman origins are evident from a number of ruins, including those of a nymphaeum dating back to the reign of Emperor Tiberius.
Amalfi is the oldest of Italy's four major Maritime Republics and prospered for a full three centuries under the Normans, Longobards and even the Saracens.
Its decline began in 1137 when it was defeated and pillaged by the rival republic of Pisa.
"For the people of Amalfi the day they enter Paradise will be a day much like any other: because for them paradise is already here on earth, right on their doorstep."
(Inscription on the gates to the town)
Then there are the Tavole Amalfitane, which for centuries represented the maritime code in the Mediterranean.
When, in the mid 1800s, Prince Ferdinand of Bourbon constructed the coastal road between Vietri sul Mare and Positano, allowing easier access to this beautiufl stretch of Italian coast, the town's mild climate and beautiful architecture made Amalfi an obligatory stop on the Grand Tour.
Today, traveling to Amalfi over land or sea is still an unforgettable experience.
Quintessentially Mediterranean, Amalfi's townscape is comprised of a cluster of little white houses, interspersed with narrow alleyways and shady porticoes, and watch towers such as the Torre Saracena, close to the Convent of San Francesco.
- Things to see in Amalfi:
- The cathedral.
- The ancient arsenals.
- The paper museum.
The cathedral and the ancient arsenals
The multi-colored facade was completely rebuilt in the 19th century after the original collapsed. Work on the majolica faced bell tower was completed in 1276. The interior is a magnificent display of Italian baroque art and silver masonry.
A bronze statue of Sant Andrea dominates the altar and protects the reliquary urn associated with the miraculous appearance of the manna, which the people of Amalfi commemorate each November 27th.
From inside the cathedral, visitors gain access to the first Duomo of Amalfi, now called the Basilica del Crocifisso, and to the splendid Chiostro del Paradiso, built in the 13th century as a cemetery where the towns most illustrious citizens were laid to rest.
Beware: if you are superstitious, dont climb up the steps of Amalfi Cathedral hand-in-hand with your loved one: according to the local legend couples who do so will never get married.
Beyond the Piazza del Duomo, at the center of which the 18th century Fontana del Popolo takes pride of place, visitors reach what remains of the ancient arsenals where the marine republics war ships were constructed.
Just a few steps away there is the pretty little Piazzetta dei Dogi, lined with typical shops.
In the vicinity of what was once called the Vallenula, the old western gateway to the city, is the 10th century Church of San Biagio, which is famous for its precious late 18th century majolica floor.
- Walks in and around Amalfi:
- The Valle dei Mulini and the Vallone delle Ferriere.
- From Amalfi to Atrani, along the Via delle Signore footpath.
The production of hand-crafted paper, known as bambagina, is one of the oldest of Amalfi's traditions and today remains part of the town's culture and identity.
Those looking to purchase a few sheaves of the paper can do so in the 500 year old Cartiera Amatuda, close to the Canneto river in the Valle dei Mulini.
Where to Eat in Amalfi and Atrani
- For a lunch on the beach: Lido Azzurro, offering light and fresh fish and seafood dishes.
- For a gourmet dinner: Da Savor under the porticos of tiny Atrani or Da Gemma in the center of Amalfi.
- For traditional cooking: Da Ciccio cielo, mare e terra. Try their famous "spaghetti al cartoccio"!