The first mention of the city comes from the 6th century, when it began to turn into a maritime power, trading all manners of things in exchange for gold dinars often used to buy Byzantine silks, which people would also trade. It was an independent republic until 1075, and it was extremely prosperous, rivaling cities like Pisa. The Normans took over in 1073, but the city was still granted many rights, becoming one of the principal posts for the Normans. The 12th century saw it under Pisan rule, and while it wasn't as important as an economic center, its maritime code survived until the end of the 16th century. Now the town is known for catering to visitors, making it a huge tourist destination for centuries, and its flourishing schools keep locals well educated.
Location: In the Province of Salerno
This comune is located in the province of Salerno in Campania, Italy. This also puts it on the Gulf of Salerno on the south-western coast of the country. It is situated at the mouth of a deep ravine at the foot of Monte Cerreto, rising over 1,000 meters up. The city is surrounded by coastal scenery, including dramatic cliffs of all sizes. It shares this popular tourist coast with the towns of Positano and Ravello.
Culture: Festivals and Special Products
There are seven annual festivals that take place in Amalfi, making it hard to get bored. Sagra del Tonno is celebrated near the end of summer, celebrating tuna and anchovies with festivities, including music and tastings. Settimana Santa is a spiritual celebration famous all over the world for its beautiful processions. In December, you can enjoy hundreds of sausages grilled over a bonfire as well as local wine, when you attend the Sagra della Salsiccia e Ceppone. Beyond knowing how to throw a party, the locals also know how to make great products. Limoncello liqueur is produced here, and the area is a known cultivator of some of the best lemons in the world.
Activities: Cathedrals, Museums, and Arsenal
Some of the most beautiful sites to see on the Coast of Amalfi are the many historical cathedrals. The Cattedrale di Sant’Andrea is mostly from the early 10th century, but its façade has been rebuilt twice to keep it looking pristine. It has a bell tower dating back from the 13th century, and the bronze doors were the first of their type in Italy, commissioned by a local noble. The church Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta is one of the most famous churches in the world, popular for weddings with its 13th century altar and pillars topped with winged cherubs. The Museum of Handmade Paper is also a unique attraction, celebrating the paper making tradition in the town, a skill the locals acquired from the Arabs. It contains, among many things, restored machinery and equipment. If you're looking for something really different, try the Arsenal of the Maritime Republic, originally used to repair war ships.