Also found in: Dictionary, Wikipedia.
Amalfi(ämäl`fē), town (1991 pop. 5,589), in Campania, S Italy, a small fishing port on the Gulf of Sorrento. Built on a mountain slope, it is also a picturesque seaside resort. According to legend, Amalfi was founded by the Romans; it later became (9th cent. A.D.) an early Italian maritime republic. It rivaled Pisa, Venice, and Genoa in wealth and power and had a population of about 70,000. Amalfi's maritime code, the Tavole Amalfitane, had wide influence until the 18th cent. Amalfi reached its zenith in the 11th cent. Thereafter it declined fairly rapidly; it was captured (1131) by the Normans and sacked (1135, 1137) by the Pisans, and in 1343 a storm destroyed much of the town. Of note in Amalfi is the Sicilian-Arab cathedral (11th cent., with numerous later additions), which has an imposing facade, fine bronze doors cast (1066) in Constantinople, and a stunning cloister (chiostro del Paradiso). The Amalfi Coast, running from Salerno to Sorrento, is famous for its rugged scenery.
town, port, and resort in Italy, in the province of Salerno, region of Campania. Situated picturesquely on the shore of the Gulf of Salerno, Tyrrhenian Sea, to the southeast of Naples. Population 7,200. A tourist center famous for its fine climatic conditions and beaches. Manufactures paper, macaroni, and nets. Has a fishing industry.
Amalfi has been known since the sixth century. In 839 it became an independent city-republic. Since 958 it has been the capital of the duchy of the same name. Beginning in the tenth century it became a center of trade—an intermediary between Italian cities and the countries of the Near East. Amalfi’s trade reached its peak in the first half of the 11th century. Its maritime code, Tavole Amalfitane, was universally recognized in the Mediterranean. The threat to Salerno from the Lombard princes compelled Amalfi in 1073 to recognize the supremacy of Robert Guiscard; in 1131, it was completely subjugated by the Normans. The war with its trade rival Pisa (1135–37) brought the city to ruin. All this led to Amalfi’s loss of its privileged position in the Near East and to a gradual decline of the city. The best known architectural monument of Amalfi is the cathedral, which was built in the 11th century and reconstructed at the beginning of the 13th and in the 18th centuries, with its Byzantine bronze doors (circa 1066), its Romanesque belfry (1180–1276), and its cloister court (1266–68).