After Capri and Sorrento our travel to the discovery of the coast resort continues. This time I’ll tell you about Amalfi. One of the most important Maritime Republics of the Middle Age. Did you know that the foundation of this small city of the Gulf of Naples pivots around a legend? A love fact, actually. It’s told that it was Ercole who gave the name to the city.
He fell in love with a girl called Amalfi. The woman died prematurely and the God wanted to bury her in a place where the sea would have always embraced her remains. Very romantic, don’t you think? In any case Amalfi is the “cape-town” of the Amalfi Coast, Unesco world heritage site, famous for its beach and colorful houses. In this article you will discover what to see in Amalfi. It’s loved by tourists and it’s very easy to get here from Pompeii.
A bit of history
The history of Amalfi is strictly connected to the roman empire and to the fightings against the barbarians. But the reason of its reputation is linked to its geographic position, the city has made the sea its more profitable activity. Its marine commerce arrived to Egypt, Byzantium and to all the countries of the Mediterranean Sea. It was the first Maritime republic to obtain independence and to write a legal code: the Tables of Amalfi.
This was a gold period for Amalfi, subsequently it fell in decline because of the continuous pillages from part of the Maritime republic of Pisa and it also continued to weaken for the continuous floodings. It returned to new life between 1700 and 1800 with the Romantism. Exactly: Amalfi was a destination loved by travelers for its natural beauties.
Monuments and curiosities, let’s take a walk in Amalfi
What to see in Amalfi, but above all, how to visit it? Amalfi is not very large, you can calmly cover it on foot in a short time. Your route to visit the city can begin from the low part of the city, which goes along the sea side. You will find an arc that leads to the historical centre, after you will arrive in the main public square, Piazza Duomo, where you’ll see the impressive Dome of Amalfi.
In this zone there is a light climb that will carry you to the high part of the city. Along the characteristic narrow lanes stop in one of the many restaurants in order to taste the specialties of the place: fresh clams with the famous scialatielli of Amalfi, rigorously handmade.
The Minestra the Maritata is another typical dish; the “Delizie al limone” are great too: it’s a dessert that you will not forget easy. I want give you a little advice if you’re looking for some gift to bring to your relatives: stop in one of the several little shops dedicated to the working of the ceramics. Amalfi is famous for these nice colorful creations. You can choose between vases, plates and centerpieces.
What to see in Amalfi? Let’s start by this monument. The Dome of Amalfi is known also as cathedral of S. Andrea, patron of this place. It joins two churches that previously were separated, in 1861 it was completely restructured as a result of the collapse of the of the façade.
The restructuring of the building has cancelled the several stratifications realized by various sculptural schools in order to embellish the cathedral. Experts think that the jobs have ruined the unique style of the monument, a kind of rich mosaic of various infuences. So, the current imagine of the actual Dome is very different from the original one.
In any case, the facade has mosaics in Byzantine style that will leave you breathless, your look will get lost in thousand colors. The inside instead is in baroque style with the ceiling made of gold. To enter the main income you will have to go up a long scale, but don’t worry about the hard work, you’ll be paid back by the wonderful sight from above the entire city. A photo memory is a must in these cases.
Museum of the paper
Another place to visit in Amalfi is the Museum of the paper, once reached it you will want to discover of all its secrets. The paper of Amalfi is famous in all the world for the materials with which it is produced: cellulose and filaments of linen and hemp. Particularly valuable, in past it was used for important banns.
The museum of the paper is a former paper mill turned into a museum in 1969 by Nicola Milano. He was owner of the place and he was also an expert of the techniques used to hand manufacture the famous paper of Amalfi. The structure is situated in the inner zone of the city, in the Valle dei Mulini.
Inside there are old machines that once were used to realize the paper of Amalfi. You can also visit the library were all the secrets of the production of the paper are kept. Here there’s also a photo gallery.
Regatta of the Maritime Republics
If you have decided to visit Amalfi between the end of May and the beginning of July you could have the occasion to participate to the historical regatta where all the former maritime republics play. It’s a traveling manifestation that carries out every year, alternately, in the cities of Amalfi, Venice, Genoa and Pisa.
For this occasion typical situations of the age with actors in custom are recalled. It will be like making a dive in the past. One last thing: Amalfi is rich of beaches, many of them are equipped with parking, the free beaches are very few. You’d better to start on the first lights of the dawn, you will be stunned by the limpid and blue water.
How to reach Amalfi
In train from Naples: take the Circumvesuviana, stop inSorrento and catch up Amalfi with the directed buses of the SITA directed to Positano. If you’re arriving by car, instead, take the A3 and follow the street indications. The Amalfi Coast is served from the Travelmar by sea: 089 872050.
What to see in Amalfi:Your opinion:
Amalfi is a little gem of sophisticated elegance in the rocks of the Coast. Have you ever been to Amalfi? Tell us your experience in the comments below and for your travels in Campania and to Pompei don’t forget our tourist kit, keep it always with you.