Amalfi coast's origin dates back to the first century A.C. when the Roman aristocracy
built luxurious villas in this area. Soon Amalfi, and its surrounding towns, became
refined and well developed communities. Amalfi prospered mainly because of the
wealthy commerce opportunities with many other populations around the Mediterranean
Sea. Amalfi owned a powerful fleet of ships, and had strong marine traditions,
and laws (Tabula de Amalpha). Today, Amalfi still maintains its fishing traditions,
and has a number of fully functional, traditional, fishing boats. Amalfitans are
also very proud of one of their most famous mariners, Flavio Gioia, the inventor
of the compass.
Amalfi's proud natives gained their independence in 838 fighting against the
Longobardi Empire. Unfortunately the Pisan army conquered Amalfi between the XI
and the XII century. Surveillance towers, which are still scattered around the
coastline, remain a charming and everlasting sign of these conflicts.