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Amalfi

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Amalfi
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Amalfi

Amalfi, a town and archiepiscopal see of Campania, Italy, in the Gulf of Salerno, 24 miles southeast of Naples. It lies at the mouth of a deep ravine, at the foot of Monte Cerreto (1315 meters, 4314 feet), surrounded by dramatic cliffs and coastal scenery.

Amalfi is first mentioned in the 6th century, and soon acquired importance as a maritime power, trading its grain, salt and slaves from the interior, and even timber, for the gold dinars minted in Egypt and Syria, in order to buy the silks of the Byzantine empire that it resold in the West. Merchants of Amalfi were using gold coins to purchase land in the 9th century, while most of Italy worked in a barter economy. In the 8th and 9th century, when Mediterranean trade revived it shared with Gaeta the Italian trade with the East, while Venice was in its infancy, and in 848 its fleet went to the assistance of Pope Leo IV against the Saracens.

It was then an independent republic with a population of some 70,000, but in 1131 it was reduced by King Roger II of Sicily. In 1135 and 1137 it was taken by the Pisans, and rapidly declined in importance, though its maritime code, known as the Tavole Amalfitane, was recognized in the Mediterranean until 1570. In 1343 a large part of the lower town was destroyed by a tsunami, and its harbor is now of little importance.

Amalfi is the main town of the coast on which it is located, named Costiera Amalfitana, and is today an important touristic destination together with other towns on the same coast, such as Positano, Sorrento, and others. Amalfi is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The Amalfi coast is famed for its production of Limoncello liquer

Amalfi is also a town in the Colombian departamento of Antioquia (ver Colombia).

External link

  • Amalfi Webcam (http://www.campaniameteo.it/salernometeo/webcamamalfi.asp)

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