Amalfi is located about 35 kilometers south of Naples, in the Region of Campania, and in the Province of Salerno.
Located on the Amalfi Coast, the town of Amalfi is a town of local people, and provides one of the more "real" experiences of the Amalfi Coast. Don't get me wrong, there are tourists in Amalfi alright, but compared to other locations like Positano, there is a real local feel to the place.
For the majority of our many visits, we make Amalfi our base town to visit the area. Amalfi has good transportation with the buses being right in the town, and good boat options. By car or bus you can travel to Salerno and from there take a train to other locations.
The two anchor towns of the Amalfi Coast are Sorrento to the north and Salerno to the south. If we travel by train, we would take the train to Sorrento or Salerno, and then hire a driver or take a bus to Amalfi. If we are visiting the region and we have a car we recommend you ask your hotel about parking as parking is a scarce commodity in the little towns.
Spend some time in Amalfi, and each morning you will enjoy the start of the day.
While Positano is stunning in its own way, Amalfi has an authentic feel. This is one of the relgious festivals where sacred pieces are carried from the church and throug the streets of the town. Young and old participate.
Walk through the gate into Piazza Duomo and the cathedral is the dominant structure setting a mood for the town.
The Cloisters of St Andrews Cathedral are peaceful and distinctly different from the European style.
Amalfi, from the water.
Not only does Amalfi have a good transporation centre, it also has a great feel. There are tourists, to be sure, but It has less of a tourist feeling than Positano. There is very much a regular working life going on in the town.
Amalfi has a rich history. Between 800 to 1200 it was the capital of the powerful Maritime Republic of Amalfi. It lost its power base to other republics in Italy. Then in 1343 a tsunami wiped out the port and the lower part of the town, washing much of the town away into the sea. Today, Amalfi has the appearance of a relatively small town and this makes it hard to picture that at one time the population of Amalfi was over 70,000.
Walk through the porte froom the waterfront into the town centre and you are at the heart of Amalfi, the Piazza Duomo. Pictured above is the Pasticceria Andrea Pansa. It has been in operation since 1830. Sitting here, enjoy a drink and treat and just watch the endless view of people coming and going into the Piazza.
From the Piazza you can walk up the Via Lorenzo d'Amalfi towards the smaller Piazza dei Dogi. There are really only a few streets to walk and a network of smaller alleyways.
There are 57 steps that lead up grand stairway to the Duomo, Saint Andrew's Cathedral. The Duomo dates back to the 11th century. The facade has been rebuilt a couple of times, most recently at the end of the 19th Century. The two-tone masonry and bell tower of typical of what could be called Arabic-Normal style found in Sicily.
The interior of the Duomo is impressive with a baroque style. Starting in 2009 a ticket is required to enter the catherdral, cyrpt and cloisters. Worth it.
The crypt as in 1208 Cardinal Pietro Capuano who brought the remains of Saint Andrew's from Constaniople to Amalfi. This all made the Duomo an important church, and it was a pupil of Michelangelo, Michelangelo Naccherino, who sculpted the bronze statue of Saint Andrew which is found inside the church. The tomb in the crypt holds portions of the relics of Stain Andrew.
Beside the Duomo is the Chiostro del Paradiso built between 1266 and 1268. The cloisters were used as a place of burial for the noble families Amalfi. The cloisters are unique in appearance and have white columns and pointed arches showing the influence of Arabic culture.
There is a very small, one room, museum, the Museo Civico located on Piazza Municipio. Free admission and it contacts some historical documents of Amalfi.
We have walked way up into the back area of the town along Valle die Mulini to reach the Il Museo della Carta. This is the paper museum and it is an interesting visit to an actual 13th century paper mill.
We've eaten at the Ristorante La Caravella, one of the top restaurants in Amalfi. Great meal, but don't go there expecting a bargain. It is really when you want to treat yourself.