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The Amalfi Coast


If it's history and the arts that you are more interested in, then you can have your fill in the town of Amalfi. Once a powerful maritime power in the Mediterranean during the time of the Republic in the 10th and 11th centuries, Amalfi now maintains a more laid-back and serene existence. Remnants of the town's magnificent and powerful past can still be seen although only two galleries separated by 10 pillars now remain of the ancient stone arsenal where the hulls of the splendid battle fleets were constructed. The rest were destroyed along with the rest of the ancient Amalfi port by tidal waves brought about by a violent earthquake in 1343.

Romantically situated at the mouth of a deep gorge, the center of modern-day Amalfi partly rests on the slopes of the Lattari Hills overlooking the Bay of Salerno and easily recognisable through partly terraced rows of white houses. Several good-quality hotels, pensiones, and restaurants can be found in the periphery of the town center that serves as the perfect base for trips to Capri. The most important piece of architecture in the town of Amalfi is the cathedral or Duomo which was built in the 6th century in honor of St. Andrew the Apostle whose remains are housed in a crypt within. Reconstructed in 1203, this Duomo boasts of a remarkable bell tower and the Cloister of Paradise (Chiosto del Paradiso), which was done in Arabian style of architecture. The Duomo's bronze doors were the first of its kind in Italy.

Amalfi also has a number of museums and art galleries you can visit. However, if you find yourself wanting a little downtime from all the trekking up and down the scenic hillsides, there are private beach clubs along the coastal areas of Amalfi where you can spend time just eating, drinking and being merry while you enjoy your holiday at the Amalfi Coast.

Other lovely and interesting towns you can visit within the Amalfi Coast are Vietri sul Mare, Cetara, Maiori, Minori, Atrani, Praiano and Scala.

Vietri sul Mare is a quiet little town in the province of Salerno located high up at the entrance to a valley carved out by the Bonea stream. A popular seaside resort, Vietri sul Mare is home to the magnificent parish church of San Giovanni Battista known for its tall bell tower and the beautiful Marina di Vietri beach guarded by the Torre Crestarella.

The picturesque fishing village of Cetara is located in a deep ravine and is admired for its brilliant summers and winter fishing. By virtue of its hidden location, Cetara has remained a tranquil yet highly industrious village.

In the deepest inlet of the Amalfi Coast lie the two towns of Maiori and Minori. Bound together by a common past, both towns played a part in the history of the Maritime Republic of Amalfi. Today, Maiori is a lively and dynamic sea-resort located at the tip of the Valle dei Tramonti. Offering the largest beach resort in the Amalfi Coast, the town of Maiori is also home to the historical Collegiate Sanctuary of Sta. Maria a Mare, The Castle of San Nicola de Thoro-Plano, and the Monastic Complex of Santa Maria de Olearia.

The tiny but lovely town of Minori, on the other hand, which derives its name from the torrent Reginna Minor that runs across it, has been in existence since the Roman times as shown by the remains of the magnificent Villa Romana. It has a beautiful promenade, enhanced by an 11th-century fountain called the Lion’s Fountain and a bevy of breathtakingly beautiful narrow paths. Easily accessible by train from Naples and Salerno, Minori was once an important center for the production of “paper” and “pasta”.

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