Amalfi Coast History

Legends abound about the first settlements on the Amalfi Coast. The Greeks were early colonizers at Paestum to the south, and Romans fled their own sacked empire in the 4th century to settle the steep coastal ridge now called the Lattari Mountains because of the milk, or latte, produced there. Roman ruins of grand villas in Minori, Positano, and other locations along the coast indicate the area has been prized for its beautiful setting since ancient times. Despite frequent incursions by covetous Lombards, Saracens, and other hopefuls, the medieval Maritime Republic of Amalfi, with its ruling dogi, maintained its domination of the seas and coast until the Normans began their conquest of southern Italy in the 11th century.

By 1300, Naples, the capital of the Angevin Kingdom, had become the dominant ruler of the region and remained so until Italy unified in the mid-19th century. After the creation of the Amalfi Coast road in the mid-19th century, tourism blossomed, first with Grand Tour travelers and then with artists and writers who spread the word about this nearly forgotten coastline. Today, travelers from around the world come to admire the Costiera Amalfitana, with its unforgettable turquoise-to-sapphire sea and timeless villages.

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