Amalfi is the main town of the coast on which it is located, named Costiera Amalfitana, and is today an important tourist destination together with other towns on the same coast, such as Positano, Ravello and others. Amalfi is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Amalfi is first mentioned in the 6th century, and soon acquired importance as a maritime power, trading grain of its neighbors, salt from Sardinia and slaves from the interior, and even timber, for the gold dinars minted in Egypt and Syria, in order to buy the silks of the Byzantine empire that it resold in the West. Grain-bearing Amalfi traders enjoyed privileged positions in the Islamic ports, Fernand Braudel notes. The Amalfi tables (Tavole Amalfitane) provided a maritime code that was widely used by the Christian port cities.
Nowhere is Amalfi's architecture more visibly influenced by its maritime dealings with Arab world and points East than in its showpiece Duomo di Sant'Andrea.
An independent republic from the seventh century until 1075, it rivalled Pisa and Genoa in its domestic prosperity and maritime importance, before the rise of Venice.
Actually the town is divided between Piazza del Duomo and store-lined Via Genova, and the bustling waterfront Piazza Flavio Gioia (named from the Amalfi born inventor of the compass.