A Maritime Republic

Located on the Gulf of Salerno in the Tyrrhenian Sea, this powerful town was once one of the four Maritime Republics, along with Venice, Genoa and Pisa.  It has a long and rich history of Dukes that ruled, sea traders that brought the first eggplant and spices to its port, and the Arabs who introduced papermaking.

Upon arriving, you’re welcomed by a statue of Flavio Gioia.  Legend says that Gioia invented the compass in Amalfi, but most disagree, saying he never existed!  Still, his statue stands tall at the entrance.  You’ll also find remains of an ancient stone wall that once protected the town from invasions and high seas.

Palazzos from eras past pepper the landscape, while two arched walkways welcome you to the piazza, as does the campanile, bell tower, in a blushing melon hue, that once kept watch over the Mediterranean Sea.  The Duomo Sant’Andrea, Amalfi’s Cathedral, looms over the piazza.  It’s dedicated to the Apostle, Saint Andrew, whose relics are kept there, and dates back to the eleventh century.  Built adjacent to the Cathedral are the Cloister of Paradise, a Moorish-style open-air courtyard, and the Basilica of the Crucifix which houses the museum and Crypt of Sant’Andrea, the town’s patron saint.

After visiting all these timeless churches and landmarks, our favorite things to do here are delight in a late afternoon lunch at Lido Azzurro, browse the paper shops which have the most extraordinary collections of hand-made Amatruda paper, and sip an espresso at the Pasticceria Pansa.

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