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Amalfi and the Amalfi Coast

The elegant and historic medieval structure known as the Arsenali della Repubblica, which bear witness to the maritime power the Amalfi Republic wielded in its heyday, is just a short walk from the hotel. The left nave of the building is now home to the Compass and Marine Republic Museum of Amalfi. The right nave is used for weddings, concerts, exhibitions and other types of events.

The cathedral that dominates the city’s main square rises high into the sky just 50 m away. A basilica was originally built there in the year 1000, but the many expansions and reconstructions it underwent during the course of the XIII and XVIII centuries have transformed it into what we see today. The cathedral is dedicated to the Apostle Andrew, whose remains have been safeguarded within its walls since the year 1208. Next to the cathedral are the Heavenly Cloister done in a lovely Arabian style, the Museum of the Diocese and the Crypt, which was beautifully restored at the behest of King Philip III of Spain in the early 1600s.

As you walk over the main street towards the Valle dei Mulini (the Mill Valley), you will reach the Paper Museum. In the XII and XIII centuries, Amalfi was a major distribution centre for paper which, in the beginning, Amalfitani merchants imported from their own paper factories in Syria and Palestine. Over time, the Amalfitani people developed a flourishing paper industry in what is known as the Mill Valley which, thanks to the flow of the Canneto River, helped to produce not just paper but also iron, parsa and limestone. More recently it also provided electrical power. Only fascinating ruins remain of this glorious past, although there is still one papermaker here that still uses the old medieval method.

Just 5 km from Amalfi, in the lovely Conca dei Marini bay, is the Emerald Grotto. It was discovered in 1932 and owes its name to the beautiful colour the water takes on when reflecting the light that filters through from above, creating breathtaking chromatic effects graced with gorgeous hues. The grotto is filled with columns, stalactites and stalagmites of every conceivable shape and is imbued with an enchanting atmosphere that makes it a must visit for the many tourists who flock to the Amalfi coast every year. The grotto is also home to a lovely, highly original underwater nativity scene made of Vietri ceramics located at a depth of 4 m.

Hotel Residence is an ideal place from which to strike out and tour not just the town of Amalfi, but its world famous coastline and the island of Capri too. The dock from which the boats depart and the bus station are just around the corner from the hotel.