Amalfi: In the 8th century Amalfi became a strong element of history as one of the Sea Republics besides Venice, Genua and Pisa. Here was written and is still to be seen the first codex for maritime rights. Every fourth year the visitor can experience the famous regatta in antique boats between the old republics and indulge into the glamour and wealth of ancient customs and celebrations of middle age times. Here stood the first European paper mills whose history and paper production process still can be seen in a beautiful museum. The dome - the main church - and many more places demonstrate the influence of the arabian orient where Amalfi had important trading posts like Damascus and Cairo. One of the hightlights is the arabic cloister beside the dome. Like Venice Amalfi was ruledby a doge which was intronized in Atrani, a small neighbouring sea village which could be reached via Kasbah like alley ways through houses and quarters without touching a street.
The coast: Amalfi is actually the centre of a breathtaking coastal landscape which rises more than 1000 m above the sea. Famous cities and boroughs like Positano and Ravello have contributed to the reputation of the coast, one with its famous guests and attractive textile offers, the other with its history, palaces and an amazing cultural offer. Ravello guards one of the unique Svebian-normannic cathedrals with crypta, bronze portal and normannic influences in interior decoration, a romantic Villa Rufolo in a beautiful garden setting that enchanted Wagner to 'find' his Klingsohr garden of his Parsival opera. Beside the famous music festival with all classic contributions music there are special Wagner music performances at 5 o'clock in the morning with the rising sun above the sea...
And finally the Villa Cimbrone in a unique garden allowing one of the top views of the coast, where many celebreties decided to retreat like Greta Garbo, Winston Churchill, Hery Moore or Gregorovius.
Surroundings and excursions: Although the coast is beautifully protected by high coastal mountains (and a Unesco World heritage itself) Amalfi could be the starting point for the visit of world famous places regarding nature and culture. To start with Capri which can be reached per ship in one hour, Pompeiji, Herculaneum and Stabia - well preserved remainings of once blooming roman cities around the Vesuvio, Vesuvio itself with its spectacluar crater and view over the golf of Naples, Naples - a world of its own with fish markets, Antique shops, elegant shopping streets and cafés, typical living quarters with mediteranian flair, breathtaking museums with unique art treasures or the 'campi flegri' - seismic areas where hot sulfur steam and mud bubbles invited romans to enjoy hot baths. Caserta - the Versailles of Italy, Paestum with the best preserved Greek temples on earth. And Cilento with its white sandy beaches and the beautiful buffalo mozerella in the hinterland.