Amalfi, the “Repubblica marinara”

Amalfi,the major Mediterranean harbours for about three centuries in the middle-age

Amalfi has been one of the four so-called Italian “Repubbliche marinare” (Maritime Republics). Its fleet dominated sea trade between Italy and the major Mediterranean harbours for about three centuries in the middle-age (839-1131 AD). It gave its name to the Amalfi Coast, today a World Heritage Unesco site.

Farmhouse near Amalfi

For visiting Amalfi from the farmhouse Agriturismo La Morella, an excellent alternative to car driving is reaching it by sea transport. Frequent sea connections are available from the Salerno harbour in Piazza Concordia, which is at walking distance from the Salerno station. The Salerno station, in turn, can be reach in a 10-15 min train trip from the stations of Battipaglia and Montecorvino Rovella, close to our farmhouse. This combination of train and sea transport allows the guests lodging in our rooms and apartments to bypass the traffic of the Salerno city and of the winding coastal road.

The wealth and the cultural exchanges with the middle east, guaranteed by Amalfi’s harbor and fleet, , made the town a center of art, culture and architecture in the darkest period of European middle ages. The remains of this glorious time,  joint to the extraordinary natural beauty of the area, contribute to what is today the Amalfi Coast famous World Heritage Site  The Saint Andrew Cathedral, shown in the picture above,  is just one of the many impressive monuments from that time.

In order to get an understanding about history, life and navigation in Amalfi at the time of the Maritime Republic, a visit to the “Museo dell’Arsenale, della Bussola e del Ducato Marinaro di Amalfi” (Museum of the Arsenal, the Compass and the Maritime Duchy”) is highly recommended. The museum has been set up inside the arsenal of the Amalfi navy, a beautiful medieval building. The museum allows to appreciate the gradual advancement of knowledge  of navigation science during centuries, with a special focus on the use of the compass, that was invented – according to a widespread but historically wrong local tradition – by the Amalfitan sea captain Flavio Gioia in XIV century.

We selected for our guests this website to find some pictures and information before visiting Amalfi.

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