Afternoons and Amalfi

Buongiorno di Italia tutti!

A spell ago (as I’m just now getting to recording all of my adventures of the past ten weeks on my blog), my Mediterranean Culture and History class visited the maritime town of Amalfi, right next door to the honeymoon destination spot of Positano.

Our primary objective to the visit was to walk along the streets of the once-great Maritime power of the Mediterranean – Amalfi. Today, one could easily overlook the town, with its four levels of houses and compact hillside appearance. But that is precisely what made Amalfi such a stronghold. Set against the harsh mountainous terrain of the Sorrentine peninsula, the harbor of Amalfi was ideal for rich trading and was moderately impenetrable for invaders to conquest. The Amalfi Coast was a chain of trading ports and cities, each independent but each allied with the other, a truly powerful combination for the naval powers during the time of the Roman Empire.

Oh, and did I mention that the seafood is divine?

I stumbled upon a fish stand that fried your fish of choice right in front of you! So the calamari cravings were finally fulfilled.

The Duomo di Amalfi is an absolute MUST if you venture to the ancient streets of Amalfi, filled with lemon vendors with lemons the size of massive grapefruits and small watermelons!

The exterior is grand of course, with a magnificent staircase leading up to the entrance to the convent and white blanched outer rooms, gradually leading to the sanctum and sanctuaries.

There were very explicit “no photography” signs in the two main sanctuaries, but believe me when I say that the artifacts still on display and lit were breathtaking!

But…it was so terribly hot that day and the mid-June humidity was sweltering! I was most definitely using the little guide map and brochure as a fan. Liberally.

A mini note on transportation around Amalfi:

  • The bus system is affordable BUT the trip from Sorrento to Amalfi takes upward of two hours along twisting, winding, and nauseating roads…and there isn’t usually air conditioning or seating. I believe a roundtrip (or two bus tickets) is around 5 Euros.
  • Good idea: take the ferry. You’ll have a spot to sit in an air conditioned ferry – either regular or high speed – with gorgeous coastal views of the Amalfi Coast. AND it takes 30 – 45 minutes. This mode is approximately 15 Euros.

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