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AMALFI COAST

AMALFI COAST

EXPLORING THE AMALFI COAST:

The Amalfi Coast (Costiera Amalfitana) is a stretch of shore famous for its natural beauty. Its terraced cliffs overlooking the sea are blanketed with lemon trees, olive groves, and vineyards interspersed with small villages and historic towns, among which the queen is Amalfi. It was one of the four Italian historic maritime republics, along with Siena, Genoa, and Venice.

The Amalfi Coast is only a couple of hours from Naples, so you can choose to have only a quick glimpse and take a day trip, but the best way to enjoy it is to spend at least one or two nights if you can spare the time. Base yourself in Amalfi or Positano, where it is easy to catch public transportation and you have a large choice of restaurants, hotels, and shops.

Beaches, seaside resorts, small farming villages up the cliffs, fishing villages by the sea - the Amalfi Coast is varied and beautiful. The attractions of the Amalfi Coast are mainly natural; people come to drive along the spectacular cliffs, play in the sea, and eat delicious seafood.



AMALFI:

The first of Italy's maritime republics, before Genoa and Venice, Amalfi knew its moment of glory between the l0th and the 12th centuries when it was the power dominating the southern Mediterranean. The town is rich in monuments that are mementos of its past importance. The grandiose Duomo (Piazza del Duomo; tel 089-871-059) - named in honor of Sant'Andrea - has a black-and-white facade that was redone in the 18th century; it was built around the original l0th-century cathedral, which you can still see inside, integrated into the Duomo as the Cappella del Crocifisso (Chapel of the Crucifixion). The Duomo is open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., and admission is free. To the left of the Duomo is the breathtakingly beautiful Chiostro del Paradiso (Paradise Cloister); dating from the 13th century, this cloister was once the cemetery for the city's religious and political elite. From it, you can gain access to the crypt containing the remains of St. Andrew. An interesting detail is that his face is missing - it was donated to the Cathedral of St. Andrew in Patras, Greece. From July through September, concerts are held in the cloister on Friday nights.

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