July 21, 2017

6 Surprising Facts About the Amalfi Coast

Words + Photos : Jessica Livak

If you go to Italy, visiting the Amalfi Coast is a must. It’s a beautiful Mediterranean landscape, made up of towering forested cliffs, a sparkling blue sea, cute little hotels and shops, and a rich culture and history.

Here are the 6 most important things to know about the Amalfi Coast:




1. Cappuccinos 


There is a beautiful ancient monastery-turned-hotel, called the Capuchin Convent, perched upon one of the cliffs of Amalfi. Legend has it that the Capuchin monks that lived there were the first to add warm milk to their coffee, creating what we know today as a Cappuccino.

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2. Ceramics


One of the most ancient activities is the art of ceramics. The earth is rich in volcanic and clay content, which has been used to create these beautiful pieces for thousands of years. Italy has always been well-known for its ceramics, and the Amalfi coast specifically is one of the major centers of ceramic production. You can see how the colors and details of the beautiful local landscape is reflected in the pieces of art.

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3. Churches


There are many churches throughout Amalfi. The largest and most noticeable church is in the center of the city of Amalfi, with large bronze features originally sourced in Constantinople. Many of the buildings perched on the cliff-sides used to be churches as well, but they have since been converted into hotels and shops. In the early history of Amalfi, almost every noble family built a church of their own, mostly just to show off their status.

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4. Lemons


“Sfusato d’Amalfi” is the name for the symbolic lemons of the Amalfi Coast. These huge aromatic lemons were developed over time and grown to provide Vitamin C for long sea voyages to prevent scurvy. You can eat the entire lemon—skin included—because it’s organic and just so delicious. Lemon tree orchards can be found all over the coast, and they definitely add a unique colorful touch to the landscape, local ceramics, and the cuisine.

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5. Paper


Amalfi is known for making thick hand-made paper, called “bambagina.” Paper-making was introduced to Europe through Amalfi, with the skill being acquired by the Amalfitans from the Arabs. Throughout the city, you can buy journals, cards, and other stationary, with locally made paper. To this day, paper is still being exported to European countries, and to America, mainly to be used for wedding invitations, greeting cards, and elegant writing paper.

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6. Figurines


If you have a good eye, you’ll find several spots throughout the city with miniature figurines. Most of the figurines depict the nativity scene, along with villagers in the 18th century style. If you look closely, you can spot a host of characters, like shepherds, mountain sheep, and even a man making pizza in a stone oven. You can also find miniature depictions of shops and restaurants that actually exist throughout the city.

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JESSICA LIVAK

Jessica is an app developer at Moment, where she gets to combine her love for photography with software to create cool things. She enjoys living in the beautifully diverse Washington state and looks forward to chances she gets to visit new places.


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