Amalfi – the small town which the world famous coast has been named after – is the best known tourist destination at the Costiera Amalfitana besides Positano and Ravello. Characteristic of this cheerful coastal town are its bright houses scattered over the mountain slopes and its magnificent cathedral Sant’Andrea.
Probably founded in the 4th century AD by the Romans, it was from the 9th century on that Amalfi rose to become the powerful capital of Italy’s oldest maritime republic and it commanded a strong naval and merchant fleet. In the 10th century, the coastal town was the hub of commerce between Orient and Occident. This close contact with the Arab world is still reflected today in the characteristic architecture of the coastal towns at the Amalfitana and the lemon crop dominating the landscape.
From the 19th century on, Amalfi became a favourite tourist destination when mainly German and English travellers discovered this tourist town for themselves.
Amalfi’s townscape is marked by the cathedral’s golden façade with its magnificent majolica adorned campanile rising above the coastal town’s brick-red rooftops. From Piazza Duoma, there is an impressive, steeply rising stairway to Duomo Sant’Andrea dating from the 10th century and harbouring the relics of Saint Andrew. A tour of the cathedral should absolutely include a visit of the famous Chiostro del Paradiso. It is in this magnificent cloister that Amalfi’s nobility used to be buried.
The entrance to Amalfi’s Old Town is flanked by Porta Marina. There is lively hustle and bustle in the central Piazza Flavio Gioia with its monument of the man who supposedly invented the compasses and in the main street Via Lorenzo d’Amalfi, which is lined with stores, bars and restaurants. You will find more peace and quiet in the small terraced alleys where you can dive into original Amalfi.
In Valle dei Mulini, above the town, over a dozen paper mills used to be powered by the river Canneto. Amalfi was probably the first town in Italy where paper was skimmed in the Middle Ages. It is interesting to visit „Museo della Carta“, which is to be found in one of the medieval paper mills and where you can witness the various stages of paper production. Valle dei Mulini with its many creeks and small waterfalls is also very attractive for hikers.
District of Tovere
Tovere San Pietro belongs to the municipality of Amalfi, is located above the coast and opens upon a fantastic view of the sea.
At Tovere, a place rather unknown to tourism, vacationers enjoy relaxed holidays far from the usual hustle and bustle of the Amalfi coast, but, nevertheless, not far from world famous sights, for example, Positano, Amalfi or Ravello.
Tovere does not have a center and is made up of scattered houses hugging the green, terraced slope.