Get a ferry to Amalfi and visit one of the most famous destinations for its history, its monuments and its natural beauty that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site!
Amalfi is a town and comune in the province of Salerno, in the region of Campania, Italy, on the Gulf of Salerno and lies at the mouth of a deep ravine, at the foot of Monte Cerreto (1,315 metres, 4,314 feet), surrounded by dramatic cliffs and coastal scenery that enchants the visitor at first glance, offering a colorful breathtaking and impressive view.It is one of the 13 towns of Amalfi Coast (Costiera Amalfitana) and is the city that gives its name to the coast, located at the entrance of the Valley of the Mills.
One of the most idyllic beautiful pieces in the coastline in Europe, the town looks like a cluster of white houses connected by alleys with brightly colored bougainvillea and carnations pergolas that give an obvious colorful touch clinging to the rock sloping down to the sea. The historical center has maintained its medieval appearance with the city gates (Porta Maria or De Sandala, Porta Occidentale, Porta Hospitalis), beautiful medieval buildings and small chapels, narrow cobbled streets, alleys, and stairs leading to picturesque squares.At the center of the main square, there is the beautiful Cathedral of St. Andrew, with its impressive staircase, the bell-tower in Arab-Norman style and the charming Cloister of Paradise (Chiostro del Paradiso, 1266), a luxurious Arabic-style courtyard.The imposing façade of the cathedral is decorated with Byzantine mosaics and the interior decoration is in Baroque style.
In the history of Italy of the IX-XIII centuries, there were four powerful maritime republics - Pisa, Genoa, Venice and Amalfi. Their role was expressed in the creation of new trade routes between Europe and the East, in new methods and rules of trade, as well as in the creation of the foundations of maritime law. The Republic of Amalfi is chronologically the first. At the beginning it was under the dominion of Byzantium, but in the middle of the ninth century, after the famous naval battle of Essia (849) and the complete defeat of the Saracen fleet, it obtained independence.There was the supremacy of Amalfi in maritime trade with the East and in the whole Mediterranean basin.The merchant ships of Amalfi, laden with timber, sailed off to the North-African, Syrian, Palestinian coasts and Byzantium, exchanging it with gold, spices, precious stones and fabrics.It was the oldest and, for two centuries, the most powerful of the maritime democracies and for a long time had the monopoly of trade with the East.
Nowadays, it is one of the most famous maritime republics and is present with its coat of arms today on the flag of the Italian Navy.In the coat of arms it is written "Descendit ex patribus Romanorum" which in latin means "Came down from the fathers of the Romans", certifying that the origins of Amalfi date back to the Roman time.
There are no beautiful beaches, but the impressive landscape with the capes, caves, comfortable bays and a beautiful view from every possible vantage point will reward the visitor.
Last but not least the mild Mediterranean climate, and the serenity and tranquility that this place exudes is a plus of Amalfi along with the local delicacies and the extraordinary excursions in the surroundings by boat.
Ferries to Amalfi
There are shipping companies that operate ferry crossings with ferries and hydrofoils from Amalfi to various other important and notable tourist destinations in Italy, the Bay of Naples and the island of Capri.The ferry season opens from Easter weekend and runs until mid to late October with connections from Amalfi to Positano, Salerno, Capri, Naples and Sorrento.
There are many daily departures from Amalfi, but you should keep in mind that the sailing duration mentioned below, as well as the frequency may vary depending on the seasonality and the ferry operator. Also, it can be affected by weather conditions and in case of rough seas, routes may be suspended, so it is advisable to check the departures before deciding to travel.
The ferry connections from Amalfi:
- To Salerno from Amalfi: 7 crossings/weekly with sailing duration 40 min
- From Amalfi to Capri: 45 crossings/weekly with sailing duration from 1 hr to 1hr and 15 min depending on the vessel
- To Sorrento from Amalfi: 6 crossings/weekly, with sailing duration 1 hr
- To Naples from Amalfi: 3 crossings/weekly with sailing duration 1 hr and 30 min
- To Ischia from Amalfi: 7 crossings/weekly with sailing duration 2 hrs and 30 min
- From Amalfi to Positano: 7 crossings/daily with sailing duration 15 min
- From Amalfi to Castellammare di Stabia: 7 crossings/weekly with sailing duration 2 hrs and 20 min
There is no direct ferry connection between Amalfi with Palermo or Sardinia.There are intermediate transfers from other main Italian ports.
The Amalfi port for all ferry arrivals and departures is Molo Pennello in the town center.In the port area there are several services available such as ticket booths to purchase tickets to other destinations in the surrounding area. There are also private boat charters offered at the ticket kiosks on the Molo Pennello pier, as well as car and scooter rental.From the port of Amalfi you can easily reach the center where there are clothing shops, shoes, souvenirs, typical products, bars, pastry shops, restaurants and taverns.Also very close to the port you can visit the Arsenale, the shipyard where the boats of the glorious Maritime Republic were built. Beyond the public ferry ports, there is a marina with luxury yachts and fishing boats loaded with nets.
Port of Amalfi to Amalfi City Center
The port of Amalfi is very close to the city center! Upon disembarking, the visitor can stroll through the center of Amalfi and enjoy the walk along the waterfront. In the promenade of Amalfi, there are cafes and restaurants full of flowers! It's a lovely walk from the harbor into town through the narrow white alleyways with various souvenir stores - including every variation of the famous local lemon products that you can taste Amalfitan specialties, such as the strong limoncello. The walls of the seafront boulevard are decorated with large paintings with painted Maiolica tiles, the region’s signature ceramic style.
Transportation in and along Amalfi
Amalfi is a real city of stairs. To get to know the city of Amalfi this is ideally done on foot. At Piazza Flavio Giola, on the sea and very close to the port, there are the blue buses Sita and taxis going in all directions.The transportation in and along Amalfi coast is inexpensive and fairly efficient. Apart from SITA blue buses along the coast, there are other small buses which provide transportation within the cities.
Amalfi as all the towns of the Amalfi coast are connected by the scenic SS. 163 road, built in the first half of the XIX century during the Bourbon period and always considered one of the most beautiful roads in Italy.The Amalfi Drive (formally Strada Statale 163) is the conventional name of a section of road which runs along the stretch of the Amalfi Coast between the southern Italian towns of Sorrento and Amalfi. The road was originally built by the Romans.For the greater part of its route, the road is carved out of the side of the coastal cliffs, giving views down to the Tyrrhenian Sea and on the other side up to the cliffs above.Before the construction of the coastal road, the locals reached all the villages through mule tracks and paths, which still exist and are particularly appreciated by trekking lovers for the breathtaking views they can enjoy.
The SITA bus line connects Amalfi and Salerno, with stops in the villages of Atrani, Minori, Maiori, Erchie, Cetara and Vietri sul Mare.There are frequent journeys, every 30 or 60 minutes, and the end-to-end trip from Amalfi to Salerno takes approximately 75 minutes. For more information you may visit Amalfi Sitabus.
Taxi services in the area are the most expensive option as each trip is a round trip and an important role plays the fact that they basically operate only during the high season. So the profit of the taxi services companies should be obtained in the 6-month period from April to October, which is the tourist traffic.
The exploration of the city is ideally done on foot where the traveler will encounter the many local attractions but also the special architecture of this medieval city where the houses are connected by stairs carved into the rock, and the roofs of the buildings have been transformed into beautiful gardens.
Vacations in Amalfi
Amalfi is certainly a dream destination. Vacations in Amalfi are ideal for a variety of travelers,either for a family but also a favorite place of both jet setters and couples looking for romance and who will appreciate its medieval graphic beauty in combination with its equally historic charm. In addition to several interesting sights in the city, Amalfi is also the base to visit wonderful villages and other rich in sightseeing towns such as Sorrento, Naples, Positano, Salerno that are real cultural treasures and easily accessible. For such a tiny town, there are surprisingly many top-quality restaurants, pizzerias and cafes and is a must of any visitor to enjoy lunch or dinner in the capital of the Amalfi Coast, while the city center is a great place for an afternoon coffee. Strolling through the historic center and its buildings, the visitors will discover the vibrant majolica - the region's signature style of ceramics - with its distinctive colors decorating the domes of churches, the floors of many palaces and private villas, and the city's facades, while also they will savor various lemon products - with the local specialty being limoncello, the famous Italian lemon liqueur. From exploring ancient history and architecture to lounging on the beach or taking a trip to nearby towns along Route 163 famous for its hairpin bends, zig zags, and stunning sea views , for all these reasons Amalfi is the heaven on earth the definition of Italian chic!
Top Sights in Amalfi
Below some of the top sights in Amalfi:
- St.Andrew's Cathedral (Duomo di Sant’Andrea), the impressive facade of the cathedral is decorated with Byzantine mosaics and the interior decoration is in the Baroque style
- Cloister of Paradise (Chiostro del Paradiso), the cathedral complex includes a bell tower and the Cloister of Paradise, a luxurious Arabian-style courtyard
- Paper Museum (Museo della Carta), celebrates the long-established paper-making tradition of Amalfi. The museum is located in a 14th-century paper mill, in the northern part of the modern town. It was once owned by the Milano family, famous in Amalfi for the production and manufacture of paper
- La valle delle Ferriere, is a nature reserve located along the Amalfi side of the coast, whose path generally starts from Pontone and ends in Amalfi
- Ruga Nova Mercatorum (Via dei Mercanti), is a covered tunnel-like street that ends in a neighbourhood with gardens and churches. It is the heart of Amalfi, a busy area, great for shopping. In this narrow street the visitor will find many restaurants, small shops and interesting side alleyways and will enjoy the tranquil atmosphere of Amalfi
- Valley of Mills (Valle dei Mulini),is a gorge that from the urban center of Amalfi, on the Amalfi Coast, goes up the course of the Canneto stream. There are still the remains of ancient paper mills dating back to the 12th and 13th centuries, a period in which the Amalfitans learned the processes of making paper by hand from the Arab world. Also is one of the most popular easy hikes in the Campania region
- Centro Storico (Historic Center), a walk in the historic city center of Amalfi, where there are many attractions in Duomo Square with many museums, souvenir shops, small shops and cafes. The beach area mainly includes restaurants, bars and hotels
- Fontana di sant'Andrea, this fountain with baroque style was built in 1760 and located near the steps in front of the Amalfi Cathedral and surrounded by interesting shops and restaurants
- La Torre dello Ziro, one of the many towers dotted along the coastline which was used to spot the approach of Saracen ships.It is a very pleasant and easy walk leads to one of the landmarks of Amalfi
- Luna Convento, a former monastery built in the 13th century,with an excellent cliffside location overlooking the Mediterranean Sea , now one of the most famous hotels in Amalfi
- Diocesan Museum of Amalfi, is an art museum in Amalfi housed in the Basilica del Crocifisso di Amalfi. It displays treasures of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Amalfi-Cava de' Tirreni and is located close to Amalfi Cathedral in Via Salita Episcopio
- Arsenale della Repubblica, is the only maritime museum of its kind in southern Italy.You will see the renovated Amalfi warship.The museum displays navigation instruments found in the Gulf of Amalfi in an old armory exploring the city's naval history with statues, documents & artifacts. It is located very close to Amalfi's port
- Municipal Museum of Amalfi (Museo Civico), a museum where the visitor finds an excellent display of historical artifacts and archaeological objects dating back to Amalfi's glorious period as a maritime power in the Mediterranean
- Monumental cemetery. It was constructed in 1866 and originally conceived as a standard graveyard, it ended up being almost a work of art in itself, crammed with Italian sculptures, Greek temples, and obelisks.Dominates the hillside and is an impressive monument overlooking Amalfi
- Basilica of the Crucifix, it was probably built in the 9th century around a smaller early Christian church. Of great interest are the frescoes of the surviving late medieval chapels. Inside the basilica, seat of the Diocesan Museum since the 90s, the visitor will admire works of many centuries of history and religious culture
- Piazza Flavio Gioia, a statue, set in an roundabout in front of the harbor, honors the Amalfitano credited with inventing the maritime compass in the Middle Ages
- The Emerald Grotto, set in the village of Conca dei Marini just a few kilometers outside the bustling town of Amalfi, this small cave was formed naturally over the millennia and gradually filled with seawater. It emits an eerie emerald hue that emanates from its depths thanks to an underwater crevice that refracts sunlight
- Explore nearby towns, Atrani, Pogerola, Pontone, Sorrento, Positano, Praiano, Ravello, Maiori, Minori, Cetara, Vietri Sul Mare, Salerno, Conca dei Marini, each town has its own distinct charm and character,with mountains, sea and colorful buildings clinging to the cliffs.
Beaches in Amalfi
Most beaches on the Amalfi Coast are rocky or with large pebbles. However there are some more organized beaches with sunbeds and umbrellas for those who prefer more comfortable options.Also some of Amalfi's beaches are private and are owned by hotels.
A few recommended beaches are:
- Marina Grande, this is Amalfi’s main beach and is right in front of the center of the town across from Piazza Duomo.You can rent a sunbed, an umbrella, and often have access to snacks, drinks or full meals
- Lido delle Sirene, an excellent beach with various facilities sunbeds, shower, plenty of changing rooms and a restaurant overlooking the beach
- Porto, a small beach covered with towels, a very popular especially for locals and a top choice for families with young kids since the swimming area is shallow and the sea is calm
- La Marinella, a small beach area with sunbeds and snacks and drinks in the bar nearby with remarkable clear and sparkly water, and is another popular spot with families, especially with very young children, since there’s plenty of shade and the water is calm
- Santa Croce, is only reachable by a short boat ride and the water is magical
- Duoglio Beach, is a beach with a pebbling shore and seabed. It is one of the nearest to the west of Amalfi, Italy and for this it's overcrowded and expensive. The view from above is magnificent. It is more suitable for young people
Hotels in Amalfi
Hotels in Amalfi vary from extremely luxurious to boutique hotels and less expensive hotels, but in any case, accommodation in Amalfi Coast is expensive compared to other Italian destinations, especially during July and August.
We give you a list of some nice accommodations in Amalfi:
- Hotel Luna Convento
- Hotel Santa Caterina
- Amalfi Resort
- Grand Hotel Excelsior
- Vista d’Amalfi
- La Piazzetta
- Giardino Sul Mare
- Hotel Relais Villa Annalara
- Hotel Croce di Amalfi
- Hotel Fontana
- B&B Valentì
- La casa del '600 Holiday House Amalfi
- Amalfi Casa Angelina
Excursions & day tours from Amalfi
Staying in Amalfi has the advantage that the visitors can make day tours from Amalfi with ferries and hydrofoils to Salerno, Positano and Capri, or renting a boat to take them to hidden coves to enjoy a great day of sun and sea. Furthermore, since Amalfi is well connected by public transportation, it is pretty easy the traveler to discover and see more of the local area as Naples, Pompeii, and Herculaneum especially for those interested in archaeology but also beautiful towns near Amalfi, the incredible Ravello, the Positano, the Minori, the Maiori, and Praiano.