Amalfi, Italy

Our final stop in Italy was Amalfi, where we spent another four days after leaving Capri. Amalfi is a small town on the southern coast of the Sorrentine Peninsula, and this entire coastline, la Costiera Amalfitana, bears its name.

We traveled to Amalfi from Capri by way of ferry and bus. The ferry took us from the island to the marina in Sorrento, where we walked to the bus station and took one of the buses that runs along the Amalfi coast. We could have gone by ferry straight to Amalfi, but we read that this long, winding coastal drive is amazing, so we opted for the slower bus.

Spiral staircase in the Hotel Residence, Amalfi Spiral staircase in our hotel

Our hotel was gorgeous, located on the main road that runs along the waterfront, and our room overlooked the sea. The weather was nice and warm during the day but two out of our four nights there we had violent thunderstorms. It rained a little one day but most days cleared up by morning.

The campanile at Duomo Sant' Andrea, Amalfi The campanile at Duomo Sant’ Andrea, Amalfi

I’ll admit that we didn’t know much of the history of this area before coming here, but something about Amalfi sparked my interest so I did a little research after we returned home. It seems that this sleepy little resort town was quite an important independent republic for a few hundred years until the 11th century when it began to fall. Alternately sacked and taken over by the Normans and Sicilians, the final blow came from a tsunami in 1343. Like Sarai said, just about anywhere on the Mediterranean is bound to have some interesting history.

One interesting thing I noticed about the Amalfi is that there are Maltese crosses everywhere (following that link, you’ll see one on the Amalfi coat of arms). Building facades, posts along the jetties, signs, everywhere. I even saw a small Maltese cross tattoo on the neck of the proprietor of a jewelry store on the piazza at the center of town. Reading the Wikipedia article on Maltese crosses reveals that the design actually originated here as the symbol of the republic, and was later adopted by others before acquiring it’s name in Malta.

Atrani Atrani, seen from the coastal road leading into town

One thing we learned on this trip is that these little resort towns, as nice as they might be, are not really for us. We certainly had a great time relaxing and exploring but by the time we neared the end of our stay in Amalfi we had had about enough. There just isn’t much to do once you’ve explored the town, and when you’re in a town this small you’ve seen everything there is to see by the second day. By our last day here we kind of just wanted to leave. Next time we visit a place like this I think we’ll follow it with some time in a bigger city, somewhere with a little more going on.

More pictures from Sorrento

More pictures from Amalfi

More pictures from Atrani