Amalfi, Queen of the Coast
A landscape of outstanding beauty has made Amalfi famous throughout the world.
The imposing mountains that surround it tumble into the turquoise sea, with a powerful scenic effect.
This is the queen of the Amalfi Coast, which bears her name: the stretch of Tyrrhenian coastline recognised by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
Here, in addition to a fabulous sea, you will find treasured historical remains, a charming village, and enchanting nature.
Choose your beach
Amalfi offers relaxing days by the sea, always immersed in a splendid landscape.
The most accessible beach is Marina Grande, in the town itself. It is made up of sand and pebbles, fully equipped and full of lidos, bars and restaurants. It is very convenient, and therefore often crowded in peak season. It is suitable for families and children, and also easily reachable for the elderly.
In contrast, the Spiaggia del Duoglio is ideal for those who prefer more secluded situations. Reaching it is already an experience, taking a green path and a flight of 400 steps leading to a cove with perfect water. You can also reach this area on small boats departing from the pier in Amalfi, and if you want to go sunbathing, start early in the morning, because in the afternoon the cove is shaded.
If you are travelling by boat, don't miss the Santa Croce Beach, which can only be reached by sea.
A break in the greenery
After relaxing by the sea, you can explore the inland by heading up into the mountains. The recommended itinerary is in the Valle delle Ferriere Nature Reserve, an easy walk that takes about three hours.
You pass through woods and alongside streams, encountering the ruins of the ironworks that supplied the Maritime Republic of Amalfi with iron and that gives the valley its name.
This is a peaceful spot, away from the crowds, among waterfalls and the ancient mills once used to manufacture the famous Amalfi paper. On this excursion, visit the sleepy town of Pogerola, on the Monte Falconello hill, and enjoy the view from up there.
In the heart of the town
Amalfi was a flourishing Maritime Republic from the 9th to the 11th century, a trade centre in the Tyrrhenian Sea towards eastern markets.Its history is told by the very structure of the town perched on the ridge, which will remind travellers very much of a souk. Houses are concentrated in clusters, very close to each other and connected by a maze of alleys and stairways.
Explore the labyrinth, and then head for the main architectural wonder: the Cathedral of St Andrew the Apostle, the central cathedral dominating Piazza Duomo with its imposing staircase. Romanesque in layout and rebuilt several times over the centuries, today it is impressive for its neo-Moorish or Arab-Sicilian style façade, of which it is a superb example. The interior leads to the Cloister of Paradise, a peaceful place surrounded by a portico of decorated arches, also of Moorish influence.
Some people even get married here
Because of its unrivalled location and fairytale setting, Amalfi attracts more and more couples, also from abroad, who choose it for their wedding celebration.
The Town Hall provides 3 locations for civil ceremonies. The Salone Morelli located in the Casa Comunale, the Arsenale della Repubblica with its majestic mediaeval structure, and the former Capuchin Convent.
Non-residents are also allowed to celebrate the rite in the Cathedral of St Andrew the Apostle. Elegant hotels, gardens and excellent food provide the perfect finishing touches to a memorable reception.
5 experiences in Amalfi amidst views and flavours
The Emerald Grotto can be reached either by lift or on small boats. The karstic cavity has stalactites and stalagmites, but it is the colour of the sea that steals the show: an emerald that plays on the reflections of the rays filtering through the entrance crevice, in a thousand shades. On the seabed is an underwater nativity scene, which divers pay homage to on major religious festivals.
In the evening, once the day is over, climb up to the highest point of the town of Amalfi, coinciding with the Cemetery. You can only get there on foot by walking up the steps and through the alleys of the old town. The panorama of lights, reflections of the sea and old houses is truly incomparable.
When the Marina Grande beach empties out at sunset, indulge in an aperitif on the terraces of the bars, delightful lounges right by the sea.
Sfusato Amalfinato is the typical Amalfi lemon, with its tapered shape and juicy, fragrant flesh. Have a limoncello at the end of a meal, sample one of the many pastry delights of which it is the basic ingredient, and a lemon and chocolate ice cream from one of the street kiosks.
A plate of pasta is the best way to appreciate the flavours of Amalfi: Scialatielli ai frutti di mare, Paccheri al limone or a simple Scarpariello, because tomato and basil have a unique taste here.