During the Middle Ages, Amalfi was an important maritime republic. Its Amalfi Tables are the oldest maritime code in the world; they were observed throughout the Mediterranean until the late 16th century. Today it is one of the most popular resorts and stopovers along the famed Amalfi Drive between Salerno and Sorrento. Italy's celebrated corniche hugs the mountainous coast and carves its way through sheer rock. Opulent villas cloaked in purple bougainvillea hide behind high walls and wrought-iron gates. Waves pound against the steep shoreline and tortuous bends challenge a steady stream of tourist vehicles. Around every hairpin turn spectacular scenery awaits.
Amalfi itself boasts a superb setting and plenty of charm. The small, inviting town with reminiscent links to Wagner and Ibsen has some important historical sites such as the Cathedral Sant'Andrea, a marvel of ancient Arab-Moorish architecture. The church crowns the lively piazza, full of shops and throngs of people at any time of day.
This ruggedly beautiful town will guarantee you a lovely introduction to the beauty of the famed Amalfi coast.