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Excursion in Amalfi

We offer a professional service to take you on an excursion to Amalfi, giving you the opportunity to discover the incomparable beauty of the landscapes Coast and the fantastic monuments that enrich Amalfi.

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Amalfi tourist information

Amalfi is first mentioned in the 6th century, and soon acquired importance as a maritime power, trading grain of its neighbors, salt from Sardinia and slaves from the interior, and even timber, for the gold dinars minted in Egypt and Syria, in order to buy the silks of the Byzantine empire that it resold in the West. Grain-bearing Amalfi traders enjoyed privileged positions in the Islamic ports, Fernand Braudel notes. The Amalfi tables (Tavole Amalfitane) provided a maritime code that was widely used by the Christian port cities. Merchants of Amalfi were using gold coins to purchase land in the 9th century, while most of Italy worked in a barter economy. In the 8th and 9th century, when Mediterranean trade revived it shared with Gaeta the Italian trade with the East, while Venice was in its infancy, and in 848 its fleet went to the assistance of Pope Leo IV against the Saracens.

An independent republic from the seventh century until 1075, it rivalled Pisa and Genoa in its domestic prosperity and maritime importance, before the rise of Venice. In spite of some devastating setbacks it had a population of some 70,000, reaching an apogee about the turn of the millennium, during the reign of Duke Manso (966–1004). Under his line of dukes, Amalfi remained independent, except for a brief period of Salernitan dependency under Guaimar IV.

In 1073 it fell to the Norman countship of Apulia, but was granted many rights. A prey to the Normans who encamped in the south of Italy, it became one of their principal posts. However, in 1131, it was reduced by King Roger II of Sicily, who had been refused the keys to its citadel. The Holy Roman Emperor Lothair, fighting in favour of Pope Innocent II against Roger, who sided with the Antipope Anacletus, took him prisoner in 1133, assisted by forty-six Pisan ships. The city was sacked by the Pisans, commercial rivals of the Amalfitani; Lothair claimed as part of the booty a copy of the Pandects of Justinian which was found there.

In 1135 and 1137, it was taken by the Pisans and rapidly declined in importance, though its maritime code, known as the Tavole Amalfitane, was recognized in the Mediterranean until 1570. A tsunami in 1343 destroyed the port and lower town, and Amalfi never recovered more than local importance.

In medieval culture Amalfi was famous for its flourishing schools of law and mathematics. Flavio Gioia, who is traditionally considered the first to introduce the mariner's compass to Europe, is said to be a native of Amalfi.

Amalfi occupied a high position in medieval architecture; its cathedral of Sant' Andrea, of the eleventh century, the campanile, the convent of the Capuccini, founded by Cardinal Capuano, richly represent the artistic movement prevailing in Southern Italy at the time of the Normans, with its tendency to blend the Byzantine style with the forms and sharp lines of the northern architecture.

 

Burial place of Saint Andrew

In 1206 Saint Andrew's relics were brought to Amalfi from Constantinople by the Amalfitan Pietro, cardinal of Capua, following the Sack of Constantinople by the Crusaders after the completion of the town's cathedral. The cathedral, dedicated to St. Andrew (as is the town itself), contains a tomb in its crypt that it maintains still holds a portion of the relics of the apostle. A golden reliquary which originally housed his skull and another one used for processions through Amalfi on holy days can also be seen.

During Mass on these holy days, St Andrew's relics are said to exude a liquid called "St. Andrew's Manna". The faithful are anointed with the liquid, and many believe it to be miraculous.

Now, Amalfi is the main town of the coast on which it is located, named Costiera Amalfitana, and is today an important tourist destination together with other towns on the same coast, such as Positano, Ravello and others. Amalfi is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site

Photogallery of Amalfi

What to see in Amalfi

To see:

  • Amalfi Cathedral and Cloister of Paradise
  • La Grotta dello Smeraldo
  • Paper Museum