Amalfi is the principal jewel of the famous Amalfi Coast in Campania, Italy. The largest and most popular resort on this mountainous stretch of coastline, Amalfi is a popular holiday base for tourists wanting to explore the area. The Republic of Amalfi was once a major seafaring power, and the town’s traditions and historical buildings bear witness to Amalfi’s glorious past.
Amalfi tourist information
The main holiday season in Amalfi runs from Spring until Autumn, with the peak times being from June until September. The area is still very pleasant – and hotels will be cheaper – outside these months, but bear in mind that some attractions and accommodation may be closed, and boat trips will be fewer.
Things to see
Amalfi’s ninth-century Duomo is one of the town’s greatest attractions. It dominates the town’s central piazza, sitting atop a wide flight of steps. The cloister (Chiostro del Paradiso) and museum close by (joint admission ticket) house sculptures, mosaics and other relics of the town’s wealthy past. The Arsenal by the sea is a monument to the maritime past of Amalfi.
The town is small, but you can easily while away an afternoon exploring the narrow white alleyways and browsing in the shops for souvenirs – including every variation on the famous local lemon products. You can sample the Amalfitana specialities, such as the strong limoncello. There are plenty of nice cafes where you can rest with a drink, eating pastries and watching the world go by.
A stroll along the sea front is another pleasant diversion. The town’s harbour is to the right as you face the sea, and past the public ferry ports there is a marina where luxury yachts rub shoulders with working fishing vessels laden with nets. Walking out along one of the breakwaters provides good photo opportunities back towards the town centre.
When you’re tired of admiring Amalfi’s charms, you can take a stroll up the valley through lemon groves and old paper mills. For keen walkers, the steep mountainsides offer many challenging walks. A good guidebook such as the Sunflower guide will help you when planning hikes in the area.
Amalfi has a not-very-large beach, which gets very busy on summer weekends. There are several bathing establishments where you can hire beds and towels, and there is also a stretch of free beach. Walking around the headland to Atrani gives you the option of a second beach, which you may find less crowded.
Amalfi excursions and day trips
Since Amalfi is well-connected by public transport (see below), it’s fairly easy to see more of the area. Naples, Pompei and Herculaneum are all long days out for those with an interest in archeology and plenty of energy.
Up in the hills above Amalfi is beautiful Ravello, a town which has inspired artists including Boccaccio, Wagner and current resident Gore Vidal. A bus runs up from Amalfi, and you can enjoy the fabulous views from the famous gardens of the Villa Cimbroneand Villa Rufolo. During the summer season, classical music concerts are staged in the gardens of Villa Rufolo, on stages suspended against a backdrop of sky and sea.
Buses or boats will allow you to explore the other towns of the coast at your own pace, and you’ll probably want to spend some time in Positano and perhaps Minori, Maiori and Praiano. The Isle of Capri also makes a good day trip, and ferries run from Amalfi to Capri most days (check timetables by the docks).
Amalfi travel information
Get to Amalfi
The Amalfi Coast page provides general travel information for Amalfi and other parts of the coastline. Direct buses run between Amalfi and Sorrento along the winding coast road. The blue SITA buses run approximately twice an hour (less often on Sundays), and the journey takes an hour and twenty-five minutes. Remember to buy your tickets in a bar or newsagents first, and validate them in the machine provided onboard the bus. There is also a direct bus service to Salerno, where there is a main line railway station.
Amalfi is also accessible by sea; an alternative option is to take a water taxi or ferry (although many will not run out of season).
For more information on transport options, including buses direct from Rome, visit the Amalfi Coast page.
The three-star Hotel Floridiana (pictured left) is one of the best hotels on the Amalfi Coast, according to past guests. There are several other popular hotels and B&Bs in Amalfi with prices which are reasonable for the (expensive) area. Many are huddled into the historic lanes, though, so don’t have sea views.
> See Italy Heaven’s selection of hotels in Amalfi, along with links for easy online booking
Guide to the Amalfi Coast
Sorrento, Amalfi Coast and Capri
This popular book, published by Sunflower Books, is probably the best specialist guidebook you’ll find for the area. Especially good for walkers, it includes recommended walks (and strolls) in the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento area, including practical information about public transport.
> Sorrento, Amalfi Coast and Capri (Landscapes) (Amazon.co.uk)
On this site