Hotel Lidomare, Amalfi ***
Close to the sea front, the Hotel Lidomare is a small hotel with huge rooms located in a traditional 14th century building on one of Amalfi's historic squares, the Plaza Duomo. View hotel
Double rooms from €60
Hotel Residence, Amalfi ****
Residence Hotel Amalfi at the heart of Amalfi on Europe's most beautiful stretch of coast. Amalfi Coast hotels book easily and safely online at ahotelinitaly.com. View hotel
Double rooms from €57
Il Saraceno Grand Hotel, Amalfi *****
Set on a cliff overlooking the sparkling blue sea, surrounded by citrus groves and terraces, the luxurious Oriental-style Il Saraceno Grand Hotel Amalfi Coast is situated on the stunningly beautiful Amalfi coastline that has inspired writers and musicians from all over the world. View hotel
Double rooms from €0
It's hard to picture little Amalfi as a town of 70,000 souls, yet this little seaside town was, from the 7th to 11th centuries, one of the great Mediterranean empires, rivalling mighty Venice, Pisa and Genoa. Amalfi merchants set up trading posts throughout the Mediterranean, establishing the Order of the Knights of St John. The town fell with raids by the Saracens, invasion by the Normans in 1131 and a devastating earthquake in 1343. Today the town has a population of 8000, gazing down upon the Bay of Salerno from its cleft in the coastal hills of Campania. Much remains to suggest the former power of the city.
The Duomo sits atop a steep flight of steps on the towns main square. With some parts dating back to the sixth century, the cathedral is a mix of Romanesque and Saracen style, with massive bronze doors from Constantinople, dating from 1066. The body of St Andrew, who gives his name to the cathedral, lies in the crypt. The cloister, or Chiostro del Paradiso here has a marvellously Arab feel, with palms and whitewashed arches. Check out the cathedral museum next door, and the Museo Civico, which has the 'Tavoliere Amalfitana', the book of laws which governed the old republic. Head to the waterfront to see the Arsenal, which now hosts art exhibitions. The main street is the Via Genova, which leads up to the Valle dei Mulini, once home to Amalfi's successful paper mills.
The seafront has market stalls (and there's a good open air market on Wedensdays on the Via delle Cartiere). There are good cafes and restaurants, and bars where you can sample the local liqueur, the intensely citrus 'limoncello'.