Only a handful of people reading this will know that I’ve been obsessed with the facade of the Duomo of Amalfi for some time. Just about 12 years now to be precise. Even fewer people will know I wrote my master’s thesis on the facade of Amalfi’s cathedral. The reason for this is simple: I’ve written about the Duomo only on rare occasions since I graduated. This is not due to a lack of interest. Quite the opposite in fact! It’s such an important topic to me that it has sat there quietly waiting for me to have time. As it seems to happen in life, there was never time.
Honestly, I’ve always felt bad about that. Mostly because I know I’m not the only one who has stepped into Amalfi’s busy little piazza and been struck by its beauty. Gazing up the long steps leading to the Duomo, it’s a view that does tend to stop you in your tracks.
How could that not capture your attention? The bold stripes (stripes on a church?), the sun glimmering on the gold mosaics, the pops of red and green (look closely), the white tracery (yep there’s a name for that!) in the arches of the portico. There are so many little details that catch the eye and yet as a whole create a harmonious design that has graced the Duomo of Amalfi since its completion in 1891.
Living down in the center of Amalfi since July last year means that I’ve had the pleasure of seeing the Duomo on a near daily basis. Perhaps it’s that or perhaps it’s how much I’ve been missing the research and the feeling of discovery from of my time in art history. Certainly those are two of the aspects that have led me to create a project for 2020 that I’m extremely excited to share.
For the coming year, I’ve created a personal project dedicated to the Duomo of Amalfi where I’ll share monthly posts that delve into different aspects of the 19th-century facade of the church. I’ll take a look back at the earlier facades, the design elements and sources of inspiration of the current facade, the mosaics, and what the facade meant for Amalfi when it was built and what it means today.
After writing Moon Amalfi Coast, where I had to cover an incredible wealth of information in a relatively short time, it feels like a luxury–and one I very much need–to give myself the time to look at something I love for an entire year. What joy! I’ve been digging into old resources with fresh eyes, uncovering new ones, and having the most fun I’ve had in a long time.
I hope you’ll enjoy looking closer at the Duomo of Amalfi with me and discovering more about this unique architectural treasure on the Amalfi Coast. If you have questions or curiosities about the cathedral, I do hope you’ll share them in the comments below.