The town of Amalfi gives its name to one of the most beautiful coasts in the Mediterranean – the Amalfi Coast. The historic city was once one among the four powerful Maritime Republics, which was an important trading power in the Mediterranean between 839 and 1200, and has rivaled Venice in its glory over the centuries. It is located southeast of Naples between the towns of Salerno and Positano.
It is set in a wide cleft in the cliffs, at the foot of Monte Cerreto and it is the largest town on the coast.
The town has narrow alleyways that wind up into the slopes, excellent buildings of medieval architecture and good beaches.
It has been established as a seaside resort since the Edwardian times, when the upper class British travelers came to this pleasant town to spend the winter season.
The Coastal Cliffs of Amalfi
Today it is a major tourist destination and it is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
A Little Bit Of History
Amalfi was one among the Italian cities that emerged first from the dark ages and became the most important port in southern Italy, by the 9th century.
It was the capital of the oldest of the four great Maritime Republics, which included Genoa, Pisa and Venice.
Main town beach, Amalfi
The town became popular through its military and trading power, and its architecture was greatly influenced by this.
It was an independent republic from the 7th century and it rivaled Genoa and Pisa in domestic prosperity and maritime importance before the rise of Venice.
It fell into the hands of the Normans in 1073 and became one of their major posts.
Cathedral of Amalfi
The Pisans took the city in 1135 and 1137, and soon it lost its importance. The 1343 tsunami destroyed the port and the lower town, and the town has never fully recovered from it.
The population was high in the olden days but natural disasters of 1343, that caused the old town to slide into the sea, and several sackings by Pisa have diminished the population considerably.
This place is well known for its Limoncello, a lemon liquor, and high quality handmade paper. Even Vatican uses the handmade paper from here.
Amatruda, a paper manufacturer located here, is the oldest paper manufacturer in the whole of Europe. You can shop for handcrafted fine jewels and cameo brooches.
The Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics with historic vessels is held here, once every four years. Christmas and Byzantine New Year’s Eve is also celebrated with great enthusiasm.
The Famous View from the Cliff Town of Ravello
The celebration of the Feast Days of Saint Andrew, the patron saint of the city, draws numerous visitors to this place.
Flavio Gioia, a native of Amalfi, was the first to introduce the mariner’s compass to Europe.
Where is Amalfi?
- 16.1 miles/ 26 km from Salerno, Italy
- 19.8 miles/ 32 km from Sorrento, Italy
- 44.7 miles/ 72 km from Naples, Italy
- 329.3 miles/ 530 km from Florence, Italy
- 172.7 miles/ 278 km from Rome, Italy
- 27.9 miles/ 45 km from Salerno Costa d’Amalfi Airport, Italy
- 47.8 miles/ 77 km from Naples International Airport, Italy
- 181.4 miles/ 292 km from Rome Fiumicino Airport, Italy
- 170.8 miles/ 275 km from Rome Ciampino Airport, Italy
Things to See
- Duomo di Sant’ Andrea
- The Cloister of Paradise
- Palazzo Morelli
- The Arsenal of the Maritime Republic
- Paper Museum
- Duoglio Beach
- Marina Grande Beach
- Santa Croce Beach
- Walking Tour
- Boat Excursion
- Valley of the Mills
- Grotta dello Smeraldo
- Villa Rufolo
Even though Amalfi was devastated by the 1343 earthquake, it still retains some odd remnants of past glories.
The winding alleys are fun to walk through and the whitewashed courtyards offer a crumbly attractiveness to the town.
We wish you a fantastic Mediterranean cruise!