What to see and what to do in Amalfi
Amalfi is the main city to see in the Amalfi Coast. In its moment of greatest splendor it was the first of the four Italian Maritime Republics, the other three being: Venice, Genova and Pisa. We can sense the strength and importance of this small town of the Amalfi Coast. Because of its importance, it gives its name to the Coast and it is, without a doubt, a must-see town in the Amalfi Coast.
What to see and do in Amalfi:
1.- Duomo di Amalfi – Cathedral of Saint Andrew
The Duomo of Saint Andrew, in Italian Duomo di Sant’Andrea, is the quintessential symbol of Amalfi and the whole Amalfi Coast. The Duomo of Amalfi is actually an architectural complex containing two communication churches, an underground crypt, a staircase that leads to an atrium entrance, a Bell Tower and the Cloister of Paradise (Chiostro del Paradiso). For its vast history, and a large number of changes that it has undergone over the centuries, it feels like a live history book.
One of the most peculiar hobbies tourists have is to shoot a full picture of the Duomo, its staircase and the plaza. For its rise and the few spaces to use, I assure you, that’s not an easy endeavor. Try it if you wish and send us a picture with the result!.
2.- Basilica del Crocifisso – Basilica of the Crucifix
The Basilica of the Crucifix, in Italian la Basilica del Crocifisso, is the oldest Cathedral in the city of Amalfi, dating back to the 9th century, and dedicated to the Assumption of Virgin Mary, and Saints Cosme and Damian.
The Basilica was built, most likely, over the remains of a Paleochristian church, from which some columns and column heads are preserved in the Cloister. The Basilica has been modified and rebuilt several times; currently, it has three naves, a large, central one, and two to the sides of smaller size. Special are its frescos and the marble sarcophagus of the Imperial Age, reused in 1449 to receive the remains of Monsignor Andrea de Palearea, whose heraldic emblem is evident just in the middle of the urn.
3.- Chiostro del Paradiso – Cloister of Paradise
The Cloister of Paradise, in Italian Il Chiostro del Paradiso, can be visited in the same complex of the Duomo of Amalfi. With a breathtaking architecture with marble columns and Arabic arches, it shelters the graves of famous Amalfi figures. It was built between 1266 and 1268 at the behest of Archbishop Filippo Augustariccio, to a serve as cemetery to illustrious and important citizens. Inside the Cloister, of the sarcophagus belonging to noble Amalfi families, only 5 sarcophagus remain nowadays, among them, one representing “Romulus and Remus with the famous wolf”, a roman sarcophagus from the 4th century d.C., among others.
In the center of the Cloister of Paradise you can enjoy a beautiful palm tree garden, created around 1908.
Opening Hours & Admission Prices
To enter the Duomo, the Cloister of Paradise, the Cathedral Museum and the Crypt, you need to buy a 3€ entry ticket per person.
Children under 18 years old only pay 1€.
In the summer: from March to June, open hours are from 9.00 to 18.45,
In the summer: from July to September, open hours are from 9.00 to 19.45.
In the winter: from October to February, open hours are 10.00 – 13.00 and 14.30 – 16.30.
The Cathedral always closes its doors at 17.00; so, if you visit the complex in the afternoon, start by the Cathedral.
4.- The Paper Museum
The Paper Museum is one of the most important museums you can visit in all of the Amalfi Coast. Paper production was instrumental to forge the richness and power that Amalfi could reach in its peak period. Paper production was key in the Amalfi Kingdom, since most of the paper at the time was imported from the Middle East, the paper local production in Amalfi conferred it great power and economic strength.
The Paper Museum, in Italian, Museo della Carta, is located in via Delle Cartiere n° 24.
Excurtions and tours in Amalfi
From the Amalfi Port you can board private and public ships to tour the Amalfi Coast. Public ships (line ships), will take you to Positano, Capri, Maiori, Sorrento, and Salerno. You can also rent private torus in smaller boats with fewer people, visiting different places of the Coast. Another option is to rent a boat that doesn’t require a drive permit, to ride to your liking. This last option costs around 150€ per day, and can carry up to 6 people. Please remember you have to pay harbor dues (in addition to the cost of renting the boat).
Enjoy the beach of Amalfi
The Beach of Amalfi, as most of the Beaches of the Amalfi Coast, is quite small, and it offers little free space. If you want to bathe just in front of the town, the best option is to rent a beach umbrella and chairs. If, on the contrary, you want to enjoy the beach for free, it’s best to walk away from downtown. In the Port zone, near the main parking lot, there’s more beach space, although in summer it’s still pretty hard to find a free spot.
Where to stay in Amalfi
The city of Amalfi offers broad lodging options: hotels, hostels, B&B, houses, apartments, etc. The most important thing is to reserve well in advance, since the city can run out of available rooms pretty fast. Amalfi, being one of the most important cities to visit in the Amalfi Coast, often has steeper prices with respect to other town in the same Amalfi Coast).
Taste a delicious Limoncello
Limoncello – You can taste this emblematic liqueur of the Amalfi Coast in Amalfi. Better if it’s “artisanal”. Many locals have their own recipes, and they will proudly try to show you why theirs is the best in the whole Coast and all of Italy. You can also taste a softer version, Cream of Limoncello, always artisanal, and manufactured with lemons from the Amalfi Coast.
Best Amalfi’s Legends
1.- Legend of the creation of Amalfi
According to the legend, the foundation of Amalfi was a love tribute that Hercules, son of Zeus, wanted to dedicate to his lover. Amalfi was the name of his lover, who had blue eyes like the sea. Thus, when Amalfi died, Hercules buried her in the most beautiful place on Earth, a special place where the waters could caress his lover body. This is the reason why, since its foundation, Amalfi has had the strength of Hercules, protecting it for love.
2.- Legend for lovesick and couples
According to an old legend, if two people in love climb the stairs of the Duomo of Amalfi hand in hand, ¡they will never get married! So, remember, not climbing holding hands with your lover! Unless you want to leave them.
3.- Amalfi and Paradise
“Per gli amalfitani il giorno in cui andranno in Paradiso sarà un giorno come tutti gli altri: perchè il paradiso ce l’hanno già qui, a casa loro.”
According to an inscription, it is said that “For the citizens of Amalfi, the day they go to Paradise, will be a day like any other, because Paradise is already here, and it’s their home”.