Just like all the top travel destinations in Italy and around the world, there are certainly times during the year when Amalfi can be quite a popular spot. But I feel sorry for the people who say things like, “Venice is too touristy” or “Amalfi is too crowded.” Those people miss out on so much. I remember getting lost during peak travel season in Venice, wandering not too far from Piazza San Marco, climbing over bridges and meandering along canals and finding it so utterly tranquil that the local cats seemed pleased that someone had finally discovered the little sunny piazzas they called home. Along with the light gleaming on the golden mosaics of San Marco, this is the Venice that I’ll always remember.
Amalfi is very much the same. Even when Piazza Duomo is teeming with people during hot summer days, all you have to do is wander a street or two into the maze of Amalfi staircases to find a very different atmosphere. You can call it the “real Amalfi,” or whatever you want, but that’s really too superficial of a way of seeing a place. The bustling piazza and shop-lined streets are just as much a part of Amalfi as the quiet streets with laundry hanging in the sunshine and the scent of home-cooking lingering in the air. But, I think visitors should see both sides to feel Amalfi, and I’m most definitely not alone there. Any good local guide will take visitors on a walk through the side streets and up and down the steps of Amalfi. I love this hand-painted ceramic sign that encourages visitors in Italian and English t0 go explore the ancient steps of Amalfi. Go on … and have fun!