AMALFI - Azienda di Soggiorno e Turismo
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Via Repubbliche Marinare » Piazza Duomo » Duomo » Porta della Marina » Pannello di Renato Rossi » Antichi Arsenali » Largo Cesareo Console » Vicolo Masaniello » Salita S. Nicola dei Greci » Via Annunziatella » Chiesa di S. Biagio » Hotel Cappuccini / Chiostro di S. Pietro della Canonica » Passeggiata Longfellow » Salita S. Caterina » Lungomare dei Cavalieri

Leaving from the Tourist Office we take to the right in the direction of Piazza Flavio Gioia and after a few paces we find the

Church of St. Benedetto

In Baroque style, the side chapels contain many paintings and statues of the Saints. We would like to point out: the two seventeenth century paintings of the “Incoronation” and the “Assumption with the SS. Andrea and Lorenzo”, and also the magnificent Majolica pavement of the same century…

On arriving at piazza Flavio Gioia we enter the Piazza Duomo, the heart of Amalfi dominated by the extraordinary steps of the Cathedral that we are about to visit…

Instead of using the term Cathedral, it would be more correct to speak of a monumental complex, as it is made up of several autonomous parts that are colligated together. The oldest structure is certainly the Basilica of SS .Crocifisso, built in 833. Another church was built beside it in 987, to form one majestic Cathedral with six naves, that in the Baroque era was divided into two churches. The Bell-tower was started in 1180 and finished in 1276; in 1206 the Crypt was constructed to hold the Sacred Remains of St. Andrew Apostle. The last building to be built was the Cloister of Paradise between 1266 and 1268…

With calm and in the silence due to the sacred place, we enter the


In perfect Romanesque- Amalfitan Style, it was built between 1266 and 1268 by order of Archbishop Filippo Augustariccio as a cemetery for the Nobles of Amalfi. Interesting the structure of entwined arches resting on 120 marble columns and the play of light created by sun-rays amongst the arabesque of arches….

On the left we find various tomb stones, sarcophagus of different epochs and six chapels built by patrons between the XII and XIV centuries…

At the back a small chapel with a fresco of “Christ Pantacrator” and a magnificent “Crucifixion” of the school of Giotto (Roberto D’Oderisio); an imposing design of Christ with the suffering Virgin, John, Mary Magdalene, soldiers in Angevin armour, and on high the angel who receives the soul of the repentant thief…

The Chapel on the right of the entrance leads to the

Basilica of the Crucifix

The ancient Cathedral of Amalfi built in the IX century on the site of an earlier Paleo-Christian temple. Later adapted to the baroque style, it was returned to the original Romanesque Style in the restoration of 1994….

Therefore we can now admire the splendid open-side gallery decorated with twin and single arches, and the majestic columns of the original structure. On the left-hand side probably part of the primitive temple, two small chapels frescoed with scenes of the miracles and the effigies of Saints including Beato Fra Gerardo Sasso, of Amalfi and founder of the order of Malta…

In the centre the glass-cases containing part of the cathedral treasure. Enjoy the museum with calm: the delicate embroidery on the Angevin Mitre (1297) made of gold, gems and a “pave” of 19.000 pearls; the fine chiselling on the Chalice in silver-gilt with enamel, pearls and gems (XIV century); the Chinese Sedan of the XVIII century from Macao; the splendid Collar of the Order of the Tonson of Gold; the rare pieces of silver of the Neapolitan School; and the magnificent Falca (wooden part) of a Venetian Galley of the XV century, that was used by Saracen pirates to attack the city, tradition tells us that the pirates were ship-wrecked by a terrible storm invoked by St. Andrew, the Patron Saint, to protect the people of Amalfi….

Towards the back, at the first column on the right an enchanting Fresco of the “Madonna with Child” of the XVI century, the nearby steps lead to….

The Crypt of St. Andrew

We are now in the house of St. Andrew, the first Apostle, who died at Patrasso in Greece embracing the cross, as his Master before him…

Built in 1206, to hold the Sacred remains of St. Andrew , that arrived two years later, brought from Constantinople by the Cardinal Pietro Capuano, pontifical legate in the IV crusade. The sacred relics are held in a silver urn under the central altar, work of Domenico Fontana.

The people of Amalfi are devoted to St. Andrew for whom they hold solemn celebrations twice a year, the “Miracle of the Manna” occurs more frequently, and ampoule in the silver urn produces “The Manna” a mysterious liquid with miraculous properties, that appeared for the first time on the 29th of November 1304. The presence and the quantity of the liquid has a propitious value for the people of Amalfi who after the ceremony receive pieces of cotton wool dipped in the sacred Manna…

The majestic Statue of St. Andrew is a work of Michelangelo Naccherino: the two side statues represent the first deacons of the Eastern and Western Churches, St. Stephen and St. Laurence, work of Pietro Bernini, father and teacher of the more famous Lorenzo. Before leaving the Crypt a last glance at the fresco by Aniello Falcone (1610) on the wall in front of the altar. A testimony of the miracle the Saint performed when His sacred remains entered the Cathedral, and the only representation of the Cathedral before the adaptation to the Baroque….

The other steps lead to

The Cathedral of St. Andrew

Position yourself at the back of the central nave to have a vision of the whole….

The attention is soon caught by the wooden Crucifix of the XIII century that dominates the liturgical area; above the altar: the painting of “The Martyrdom of St. Andrew” a work by Andrea Dell’Asta, disciple of Solimena (1715); two majestic Egyptian granite columns that sustain the triumphal arch; two twisted columns and two pulpits that were part of the ancient ambo of the Cathedral (XII century); and above the artistic boxed ceiling (1702) with at the centre the “Flagellation” and “Crucifixion of the Apostle”, and the “ Miracle of the Manna” also by Dell’Asta (1710)….

A brief itinerary inside the Church.

Proceeding to the left we find : the delicate Mother of Pearl Cross brought from the Holy Land by Mons. Marini, the Baptistery in red Egyptian porphyry and in the lateral chapels paintings by Silvestro Mirra and his pupils. In one of the pillars we can find a hidden column , an example left to show the ancient Romanesque structure hidden under the marble and stucco Baroque…

Passing to the central nave, we admire the High Altar made from the sarcophagus of the Archbishop Pietro Capuano who died in 1359 A.D. and the eagle on the lectern of the same provenance…

Passing to the right hand nave, almost at the end the bust of St. Andrew of the XVI century. Beside the door a large painting of St. Andrew and St: Mathew who saved Amalfi menaced by the terrible pirate Kairen-Din “Red- Beard”; every year on the 27th of June the people of Amalfi remember the event with a grand festivity in honour of their Patron Saint….

We are now leaving but before doing so stop to admire the Bronze Doors, the first to appear in Italy, a gift of a patrician of Amalfi, who had them made in Constantinople by a certain Simone of Syria in about 1060…..

Going down the steep steps we turn to give a last look at the magnificent façade, it was built in 1891 after the ancient frontal collapsed; the spectacular mosaics on the tympanum represent “The triumph of Christ”, a work by Domenico Morelli, the original designs of which are kept in the Town Hall….

At the bottom of the Cathedral steps we take a drink of fresh water at the seventeenth century “fountain of the population” or fountain of St. Andrew as it also known, we leave the square through the “Porta della Marina” on the extreme left of the square…

On the wall of the Porta della Marina- the ancient gate “De Sandala” we see a Ceramic Panel by Renato Rossi that illustrates the maritime might of Amalfi and her extensive trades. The panel shows the circle of commerce, from Amalfi loaded with timber the ships of Amalfi reached the shore of North Africa where they traded the wood for gold. They then followed the Syrian- Palestine coast buying precious materials, jewellery and spices that they sold in numerous Italian cities on their return….

On the left of the ceramic panel is the entrance to the Ancient Arsenal of the Republic of Amalfi.
The unique example of a naval arsenal in the South of Italy, the actual eleven arches are those remaining of the original twenty that opened directly to the sea. On the inside you can see some medieval statues and architectural elements and the large Amalfi Galleon that is used in the famous Regatta….

When we leave the Arsenal we cross Largo Cesareo Console, that in the medieval era was seat of the Customs and Warehouses , at the end of the pathway, we enter the narrow Vicolo Masaniello that leads to Piazza dei Dogi.

A quick glance around this interesting square (Red route) and then take to the left up the steep Salita S.Nicola dei Greci that leads to the Ancient Rione Vagliendola.

On the first part of the climb, are the remains of the Church of S.Bartolomeo of the XIII century, and the “Lampione” an ancient house of the XII century with a unusual entrance with a columnate…

Reaching the top of the steps, the ancient Western gate of the city, the “Vallenulla” that leads to the via Annunziatella with its beautiful panorama. A few paces ahead and we find the access to

The Church of S.Biagio

Documented since 1082 and for a long period in possession of the Abbey of Monte Cassino, the church contains some paintings of the fifteenth hundreds and a splendid ceramic pavement of the late ‘700…

Once on the outside we take the via Annunziatella with its lovely views that leads directly to the celebrated Hotel Cappuccini.

The hotel is situated in the ancient convent of 1212, founded by Pietro Capuano on the site where the Church of S. Pietro “a Toczolo” of the 10th century, once stood. It was in the care of the Cistercians of Fossanova who later abandoned it; it was then given to the Capuchins in 1583 and it was closed after the abolition laws in 1815. A part of the building was destroyed in a land slide, but the beautiful Cloister of the XIII century remains (the third cloister of Amalfi ) and a magnificent “loggia”, a terrace with flowering plants.”Those who have not seen Amalfi have not seen the world, but those who have not seen the terrace of the Cappuccini Convent have not seen Amalfi…” (O. Sitwell)

we return to our walk….

Descending the last flight of steps we reach the SS163, via S.Quasimodo and crossing it, we find the pleasant pathway, the via Longfellow.

The walk begins beside the small Chapel of S. Cristoforo, protector of wayfarers, we now take the steep steps on the outside edge, via Santa Caterina that lead down to the small square Protontini, the heart of the port of Amalfi…

On the seats situated on the pleasant walk on the higher part of the port we conclude our stroll…

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