Amalfi coast is an expensive place to live in, even by Italian standards. It’s a famous tourist destination for the riches and so a lot of the small things here are slightly more pricey than those in other cities in Italy. Even the bloody magnets were the most expensive we got during our trip in Italy! Another option is to stay outside Amalfi, maybe in Sorrento.
Anyway, it was time to get ‘cultured’ a bit ⛪so we decided to go to Amalfi Cathedral, located right in the center of Amalfi, several minutes walk from our hotel and just a stone’s throw away from the beach.
Sant’ Andrea Cathedral (Duomo di Amalfi)
Admission: € 3.00
Although it seems like being ‘squeezed’ between buildings on its sides, the cathedral still looks beautiful with its grand staircase, mosaics, striped arches and columns. The Duomo complex itself consists of several areas:
♦ Il Chiostro del Paradiso ♦
A cemetery built in 1266-1268 for the noble families of Amalfi.
♦ Basilica of the Crucifix ♦
An older basilica with frescoes of Biblical stories. It was mentioned in a document in the 6th and 10th centuries, so this area is the oldest in the complex. Its structure has undergone several changes and is now part of the museum.
♦ Diocese Museum ♦
Well, obviously this is a place where the visitors can view the cathedral’s collection from centuries ago.
♦ The Crypt ♦
This is the heart of Amalfi, as the remains of St. Andrew the Apostle has been kept in this exact place since it was transferred here from Constantinople in 1208. I personally found this area to be the most beautiful here.
♦ The Cathedral ♦
The current Baroque style in the cathedral was done in the 18th century and said to almost ‘cancel’ the original Romanesque structure. There are a marble sarcophagus from the 14th century, reliefs and statues from the 15th – 16th centuries and frescoes from the 18th century. The panelled ceiling looks amazing, depicting the life of St. Andrew.
Strolling Around Amalfi
Right outside the Duomo are shops and restaurants where you can go shopping, just sit around, have a cup of gelato, coffee or just watch people passing by.
One distinct characteristic of a lot of shops here is the bright yellow lemons on the displays and decor. But instead of real lemons, these shops sell Limoncello, a digestivi – a liqueur sipped after meal to aid the digestion – distilled from the peels of Amalfi lemons. They are sold in regular big bottles and also small bottles of various shapes, making them perfect gifts to bring back home. I actually prefer Limoncello as a digestivi to grappa, Branca Menta or others.
Another (mandatory) item that I always try to get whenever I travel is the local herbs or spices. And Amalfi has all that! “Antichi Sapori d’Amalfi” had a lot of choices that I kind of got confused.. Should I buy all these and run out of space in my suitcase at the beginning of my Italy tour? 🤔 In the end, I decided to buy a couple of packs of these mixed herbs and dried, seasoned risotto. These were very useful when we were in Rome. It was already dark and cold below 10°C. We were tired, hungry and just didn’t have any energy left to leave the apartment to find something to eat. And eating out everyday is not exactly cheap. So, we decided to open one of these packs for dinner, and we were not disappointed. 🍲
Once we were done with the cathedral visit, we decided to move our legs a bit more. It was still in March and a bit too cold for me (less than 15°C), but the view was stunning! I would suggest anyone to go here in the day time. I’m personally not a fan of driving along the winding zigzag road, but it is all made up for with the gorgeous view of steep mountain cliffs on one side overlooking the cobalt blue Tyrrhenian Sea on the other.