Tour in Sorrento, Positano and the Amalfi coast
Full day private tour from Rome with minivan Mercedes and english speaking driver.
This tour is a total of 10 hours from your hotel.
An independent republic from the seventh century until 1075, it rivalled Pisa and Genoa in its domestic prosperity and maritime importance. It was then an independent republic with a population of some 70,000, reaching an apogee about the turn of the millennium, during the reign of Duke Manso (966–1004). Under his line of dukes, Amalfi remained independent, except for a brief period of Salernitan dependency under Guaimar IV.
In 1073 it fell to the Norman countship of Apulia, but was granted many rights. A prey to the Normans who encamped in the south of Italy, it became one of their principal posts. However, in 1131, it was reduced by King Roger II of Sicily, who had been refused the keys to its citadel. The Holy Roman Emperor Lothair, fighting in favour of Pope Innocent II against King Roger of Sicily, who sided with the Antipope Anacletus, took him prisoner in 1133, assisted by forty-six Pisan ships. The city was sacked and Lothair claimed as part of the booty a copy of the Pandects of Justinian which was found there.
Amalfi was a populous city between the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries. In 1135 and 1137, it was taken by the Pisans and rapidly declined in importance, though its maritime code, known as the Tavole Amalfitane, was recognized in the Mediterranean until 1570.
In medieval culture Amalfi was famous for its flourishing schools of law and mathematics. Flavio Gioia, who is traditionally considered the first to introduce the mariner’s compass to Europe, is said to be a native of Amalfi.
In 1343 a large part of the lower town was destroyed by a tsunami, and its harbor is now of little importance.
Amalfi occupied a high position in medieval architecture; its cathedral of Sant’ Andrea, of the eleventh century, the campanile, the convent of the Capuccini, founded by Cardinal Capuanor, richly represent the artistic movement prevailing in Southern Italy at the time of the Normans, with its tendency to blend the Byzantine style with the forms and sharp lines of the northern architecture.
Burial place of Saint Andrew
The Catholic Encyclopedia notes that Saint Andrew’s relics were brought from Constantinople to Amalfi in Campania, by the Amalfitan Pietro, cardinal of Capua, in 1210 after the completion of the town’s cathedral. The cathedral, dedicated to St Andrew (as is the town itself), contains a tomb in its crypt that it maintains still holds a portion of the remains of the body of the apostle. You can also see a golden requiary which originally housed his skull and another one used to parade the bones around Amalfi on.
Positano: a small town on the Amalfi Coast (Costiera Amalfitana), in Campania, Italy. The main part of the city sits in an enclave in the hills leading down to the coast.
Positano was a prosperous port of the Amalfi Republic in the 16th and 17th centuries. But by the mid-19th century, the town had fallen on hard times. More than half the population emigrated, mostly to the United States of America.
Positano was a relatively poor fishing village during the first half of the 20th century. It began to attract large numbers of tourists in the 1950s, especially after John Steinbeck published his essay about Positano in Harper’s Bazaar in May, 1953: ‘Positano bites deep’, Steinbeck wrote. ‘It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.’Today tourism is the major industry in Positano.The church of Santa Maria Assunta features a dome made of majolica tiles.
Positano has been featured in several films, including Only You (1994), starring Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr., and Under the Tuscan Sun (2003), starring Diane Lane. It also hosts the annual Cartoons on the Bay Festival, at which Pulcinella awards for excellence in animation are presented. From July of 1967 and through most of the 1970s, Positano was home of singer-songwriter Shawn Phillips and was where most of his best known work was composed. His song ‘Landscape’ recounts a taxi ride through Positano.
Please note:Our driver/guide will pick you up and drop you off at your hotel at the conclusion of the tour, tickets, meals and extras not included.