Amalfi, the Enchanting Seaside Town on the Amalfi Coast

Located along the stunning Amalfi Coast, Amalfi is a beautiful seaside town. Its vibrant houses, breathtaking sea views, and a mild climate all year round have turned Amalfi into a sought-after summer destination for travellers like us.

There was enough information for Amalfi Coast, but not sufficient information for the Amalfi town. We planned only a half-day activity for our 8-day Amalfi coast itinerary. But incidentally, we discovered a scenic hiking trail from Amalfi to Atrani, the smallest village in southern Italy. The scenic route is one the best things to do when traveling to Amalfi town.

While there was plenty of information available for the Amalfi Coast, details about the town of Amalfi were somewhat lacking. Initially, we had only planned a day for our 8-day Amalfi Coast itinerary. However, by chance, we came across a scenic hiking trail from Amalfi to Atrani, the smallest village in southern Italy. This picturesque route turned out to be one of the best things to do when exploring Amalfi town. Consequently, we only had half a day to explore the town’s charm.

Here are the highlights of our Amalfi adventure:

  • Municipal Square (Piazza Municipio)
  • A Casual Stroll Along the Beach
  • Admiring the Vibrant Marina
  • Joining the Bustling Atmosphere of Cathedral Square
  • Exploring the Iconic Saint Andrew’s Cathedral
  • Wandering Through Amalfi’s Quaint Streets and Alleys
  • A Circular Walk around Saint Andrew’s Cathedral
View of Amalfi Old Town form the pier
Seaside Restaurant in Amalfi Old Town, Italy

Municipal Square (Piazza Municipio)

During our day trip to Ravello, we passed by Amalfi and quickly noticed the parking challenges. Armed with this knowledge, we decided to arrive early, securing a parking spot in the Luna Rossa parking house. The Pedonale Amalfi-Parcheggio Luna Rossa tunnel inside the parking facility conveniently connects both Amalfi and Atrani. A short stroll from the parking house took us to the heart of Amalfi town.

Exiting the tunnel led us to the small Piazza Municipio, where the Civic Museum of Amalfi (Municipio di Amalfi) graced one end of the square. This museum offers free admission and is open only on weekdays, from 8 am to 1 pm. As it was around 10:00 in the morning, the square was still very silent, devoid of the usual tourist hustle and bustle. Enjoying the calmness, we liked the simple charm of the old town inside.

A Casual Stroll Along the Beach

The main road (SS163) alongside the waterfront buzzes with activity. The charming promenade near the beach had only a few pedestrians. Trees and decorative pots lined up the pathway. Outdoor arrangements at some restaurants awaited their customers. Meanwhile, beach club owners hustled to set up the beach and even flattening the sands. The crystal-clear waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea caressed the shore tenderly.

Beach front in Amalfi, Italy

Admiring the Vibrant Marina

Our family continued our marching towards the colourful marina, where most buses made their stops. The area was bustling with tourists coming and going, a typical scene in a tourist hotspot. Navigating through the crowds, we headed to the harbourside to soak in the panoramic view of the old town.

Amalfi lies at the mouth of a deep ravine, surrounded by cliffs and picturesque coastal landscapes. In the distance, towers, vaulted houses, ancient churches, and chapels huddle on the rocky terrain, echoing the prosperous merchant history of Amalfi, the capital of the maritime republic.

Along the waterfront, many private boat owners eagerly awaited the day’s business. They offered rentals for small boats and yachts, ranging from simple vessels to luxurious ones. The starting price for chartering a luxury yacht was approximately 500 Euros per day, excluding fuel costs. Additional charges applied if the owner served as the yacht’s captain.

View of Amalfi Old Town form the pier
Amalfi’s traditional streets and alleys

Joining the Bustling Atmosphere of Cathedral Square

Around the main square, we found charming sidewalk cafes and elegant shops, creating a lively atmosphere. Most visitors tended to linger in this area, savoring delicious meals, refreshing drinks, and a bit of shopping. Our exploration led us to try the quintessential Italian ice-cream and purchase some lemon soaps and two packs of lemon-flavoured sweets..

Among the local products, Limoncello is one of the most famous products—a sweet liqueur made from lemons. We bought the version infused with pistachio flavour, containing a 17% alcohol content. Its fruity lemon taste, coupled with the rich aroma of pistachio, beautifully tempered the impact of the alcohol.

The main square in Amalfi
Restaurant Quater in Amalfi Old Town

Exploring the Iconic Saint Andrew’s Cathedral

A prominent attraction near the main square is Saint Andrew’s Cathedral. Ascending around 60 steps, we reached the cathedral, which dates back to the 11th century. Reflecting Amalfi’s historical significance in medieval trade, the cathedral seamlessly blended Arabian patterns with a Byzantine-style façade with paintings of saints. Michelangelo Naccherino, a student of Michelangelo, sculpted the bronze statue of Saint Andrew displayed within.

To explore the cathedral, we paid a nominal fee of a couple of Euros. However, for those seeking solace in prayer, entry was free between 7:30 am-10 am and 5 pm-7:30 pm. Taking a brief pause at the entrance, we enjoyed the view of the main square, the vibrant heart of Amalfi.

Surrounding us, people were capturing photographs of the cathedral from various angles and exploring the nearby shops featuring local products. The sunny late summer day filled the outdoor seating areas of all the restaurants, creating a lively and inviting atmosphere.

Wandering Through Amalfi’s Quaint Streets and Alleys

While the famous cathedral in Romanesque-Baroque style and the elegant buildings around the square are undoubtedly must-see attractions, we discovered the charm of the traditional streets and alleys. These hidden gems, lining both sides of the main road, attracting us with their unique layout and clustered houses. Randomly, we turned into a backstreet marked as “Up to the Ancient Staircases,” situated opposite the street Salita d’Ancora.

Following the staircase, we walked up to the Amalfi neighbourhood, discovering hidden local restaurants tucked behind doorways. The narrow staircases were nearly two-thirds occupied by the inviting tables of these establishments. I envisioned a cozy atmosphere in the evening when the restaurants come to life. The entire area was brimming with hotels and eateries. Passing by notable establishments like Da Memè, Ristorante Pizzeria Il Teatro, and Trattoria San Giuseppe, we reached a small square, Piazza dei Dogi, surrounded by a variety of local restaurants.

Restaurant in the narrow alley
Traditional narrowalley in Amalfi Old Town

A Circular Walk around Saint Andrew’s Cathedral

Beside the big church, there are stairs on both sides leading to interesting places. Our went up the staircases adjacent to Pasticceria Andrea Pansa. Upon reaching the staircase’s end, a sheltered passageway extended into the residential area, where the community library (Biblioteca Comunale) located. Alternatively, one could ascend the staircases on the opposite side to explore the Cloister Of Paradise without undertaking the full loop walk.

Saint Andrew Cathedral
Restaurant in the narrow alley in Amalfi

Travel tips

Suggested tours

You have various transportation options to reach Amalfi, including trains, buses, ferries, or driving yourself. While the coastal drive is picturesque, it can be time-consuming due to traffic, and public buses may not be punctual. Self-driving also comes with challenges like parking issues in the coastal towns. Before exploring other options, you might want to consider a stress-free tour.

How to get there via public transportation

  • From Naples Capodichino Airport, buses regularly travel to the Circumvesuviana train station in Sorrento. Another option is to arrange a  shared transfer from the airport to Sorrento. Upon reaching Sorrento, you can then board SITA buses, which run daily and almost every hour, to reach the enchanting destination of Amalfi.
  • Alternatively, you can take the Circumvesuviana train from the Naples station (Napoli Centrale) to Sorrento. SITA buses from Salerno to Amalfi run frequently, with stops in Vietri sul Mare, Maiori, Minori, and Atrani.
  • For a more leisurely experience, consider a ferry ride with Alilauro from the Naples port (Moro Beverello) directly to Amalfi.
  • If you prefer the flexibility of driving, you can reach Amalfi by car.


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