Amalfi, the Maritim Republic.
Amalfi was the first born among the Four Maritime Republics and reached its maximum splendour during the 10th and 11th centuries, with merchant colonies in the main harbours of the Mediterranean Sea: Byzantium, Alexandria, Beirut, Cyprus.
The Maritime Laws of the city, explained in the famous “Tabula Amalphitana” (Amalfi’s Board), were for centuries the international mercantile code accepted and taken as model. In the 12th century, after the Norman conquest, Amalfi lost its importance in the Mediterranean commerce and had to be content with a modest local role. The new dynasties ruling over Naples and the Southern Italy have been supported in their conquests by other Maritime Republics (first Pisa and then Genoa) that will receive in exchange the monopoly of the international commerce.
The Cathedral, founded in the 9th century, retains its original bell tower. The Church went through a number of alterations and eventually the façade was re-built in the 19th century based on the original monument. There are two important doors at the entrance and two 12th century ambos in the interior.
The Cloister of Paradise is accessible from the atrium and is one of the most charming examples of Norman-Arab architecture. fruit, wine, nuts and olives.