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I spent five days in Sorrento and on the only day that it didn't rain, I decided to take advantage of the beautiful sunny day and get on the bus to the town of Amalfi. Initially, I had plans to go to Positano but on a whim I decided to visit Amalfi which appeared to be a less touristy town than Positano and with an interesting cathedral. On the way to Amalfi I could see creches being set on the side of the road, on the opposite side of the coast. It seems that the natural landscape of the area lends itself to making these outdoor creches. I never got a chance to take a closer look at them but from the bus they looked quite spectacular and magical.

The cathedral has very ancient origins and has undergone many changes; the first structure dates back to the 9th century and was rebuilt in 1203 in Arab-Norman style. Renovated in the 16th and 17th century and last rebuilt in 1861, the cathedral is dedicated to the patron saint of Amalfi, Saint Andrew. Relics of the saint were brought from Constantinople to the Duomo in 1206 by an Amalfian cardinal.


Covered passageway in the historic center


Views of the town



Comments (9)

During my visit to the Campania region, I found Amalfi to be the most charming place I visited (besides of course Montefalcione since that was where my great-grandfather was born).

I remember the beautiful white cross inside the Amalfi cathedral. Someday, I would like to return to Amalfi and perhaps make it my base while visiting the area.

Oh what a glorious post!

Wow, what a gorgeous church! I'd love to see that one. What is the white cross made of?

I love the idea of outdoor creches. Some people put them up around here but they are usually plastic and don't look that great. I bet the ones in Italy are beautiful.

Have a great holiday weekend!

Girasoli: I also found Amalfi very charming and a very Italian town with lots of local people around the square and the waterfront. I didn't get a chance to see the interior of the church because I got there during the midday hours but I have a good reason to return to Amalfi.

Leslie: Thanks!

Annie: The region of Campania is the place for creches. In Naples I visited the street San Gregorio Armenno which is full of small shops selling figurines for the creches. In the month of December there's a huge creche in the middle of the Galleria. It is absolutely beautiful! I have a few pictures of Italian creches but they are in my home computer. I'll do an entry on Italian creches when I get back home on June 2.

I didn't know about the white cross until Susan mentioned it. Maybe she'll tell us a bit of info on the cross.

Maria, thanks! I'll look forward to that entry.


Sigh...your post makes me long to return!! I visited Amalfi once with my mother and we were enchanted. We couldn't look around the cathedral because a wedding was taking place. The upside of that was getting to hear the Wedding March played on a glorious pipe organ - music from heaven! (Embarrassing moment: when we got to the top of the stairs, some men starting waving their hands at us and shooing us away...turns out we were about to walk on their creation - rice grains laid out on the stone in the shape of two entwined hearts.)

That is why I liked Amalfi so much also. It seemed more of a regular town than a "tourist town" and I say that in a nice way towards both the regular and the tourist. We have the same types of towns here. Both have people living there but one is geared totally towards the tourist while the other has tourists that invade it but the town tries to stay as it was before the tourists arrive. Does that make sense?

Sadly I only remember how delicate the cross was - perhaps even made from Ivory. I cannot remember the significance but since I was there in 2000, it did make a big impression on me since I remember the cross more than anything else in that church. Gee, now that I think of it, I hope I am remembering that the cross was in the Amalfi cathedral :)

Anne: Don't you love each time you stumble onto some kind of special occasion or ceremony while in Italy? Those are magic moments even if we miss seeing the sight we were looking for. Two hearts made of rice grains!? It must have taken a good chunk of time to create that!

Girasoli: You are remembering correctly, the ivory cross is in the Duomo in Amalfi. I found a reference from a couple who were in Amalfi in '05. They posted two pictures of the cross here . It's beautiful! I wonder what's the story behind the cross.

After I made the comment about being pretty sure the white cross was in the Amalfi Cathedral, I checked out my old photo albums and found my one photo I took of the cross last weekend. The photo was taken with a film camera and a flash and was not worth trying to scan in. I also did a search trying to find a better photo but came up empty.

I saw your comment about finding two photos of the cross during the madness of worrying about my dad and dealing with his "friend" but did not have the energy or the strength at the time to post any comments. My dad is home now and doing well. Thanks again for your thoughtfulness.

Glad you were able to find a good photo of the cross. I guess that is one mystery solved :)

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