The town of Amalfi, population about 5,000, is located on the Gulf of Salerno some 20 miles (35 kilometers) south east of Naples. It was once an independent maritime state that brought the art of papermaking to Europe from Arabia. Before World War II this town was brimming with paper mills but most tourists won't miss them. The town itself is located at the base of a deep gorge (as in the word gorgeous) and is close to many other great tourist towns. The number one historical sight is the Duomo (Cathedral) which dates back to the Eleventh Century and has Moorish and Gothic influences. Don't miss the Chiostro del Paradiso (Paradise Cloister), the burial grounds for local bigwigs. The Basilica itself is considerably older and serves as a museum. The local lemons are famous as is the lemon liquor known as Limoncello. Local holidays include the feast days of Saint Andrew (June 25-27 and November 30) and Byzantine New Year's Eve" (31 August). For your convenience we have listed these hotels in approximate order of cost, starting with the least expensive. We have personally verified all website addresses making sure that they include English-language pages.
The three-star Hotel Amalfi has been run by the same family since 1972. It is situated in a completely renovated pasta factory. You'll love the garden whose oranges and lemons are served at breakfast on the glass enclosed rooftop terrace. And parking, often a problem in this part of the world, is available at a nearby garage. The address is Via dei Pastai 3, 84011 Amalfi.
The three-star Hotel L'Antico Convitto is only two blocks from the Duomo but you have to navigate an extremely narrow alley. The 16 rooms were renovated in 2006. Try to get a room on the upper floor. The junior suites have vaulted ceilings and a Jacuzzi bath. The address is Via Salita dei Curiali 4, 84011 Amalfi.
The three-star Hotel Lidomare occupies a Fourteenth Century building situated between the town and the seashore. The property features beautifully decorated interiors, a cosy lounge area with library and outdoor terrace with a splendid panoramic views. There are fifteen rooms varying from singles to quints. Breakfast is served in the room or on the terrace. Some rooms are equipped with a Jacuzzi. The address is Largo Duchi Piccolomini 5, 84011 Amalfi.
The four-star Hotel Marina Riviera provides spectacular views of the Amalfi Coast. Each of the 32 rooms offers a sea view and deluxe rooms have a private balcony. Breakfast is served in the breakfast room or in a verandah overlooking the sea. On-site facilities include an American bar, a restaurant with panoramic terrace, large terraces overlooking the Amalfi coast and cosy and elegantly furnished lounges. If money is no object, go for the Suite Amalfitana with a hand painted ceramic floor. The address is Via Pantaleone Comite 19, 84011 Amalfi.
Levi Reiss has authored or co-authored ten computer and Internet books, but prefers drinking fine French wine with the right foods. He teaches computers at an Ontario French-language community college. Visit his Italian travel website www.travelitalytravel.com and his global wine website www.theworldwidewine.com with a weekly column reviewing $10 wines and new sections writing about and tasting organic and kosher wines.