If you want a stunning view of Amalfi's wonderful Byzantine duomo, you can't do better than stay at the Albergo Sant'Andrea. Located in the very heart of Amalfi, you can watch the town tick from your hotel window, and hear its heart beat as the cathedral bells toll.
This is not a sleek first-class city hotel; it is small-town hospitality at its best. Rooms are adequate, comfortable, much like staying at a friend's place rather than at a commercial establishment. Maria Buonocore makes her guests feel truly welcome. Winter is low season and we were among the few guests at the Albergo but hospitality is second nature to the Buonocore family and the season is unlikely to change that. Not only did we get help with our luggage up the steps when we arrived, there was no mention of check-in/check-out times. A cup of coffee on arrival, time to unwind, and the register could be signed once we were ready...
Breakfast is continental, but second cups of coffee were always offered, as was juice/water, suggestions for restaurants, day trips, bus times, etc. We stayed a total of six nights in this vertical seaside town and from our window saw a wedding, a funeral, and a 40th wedding anniversary celebration take place at the duomo (which, as with most of Europe's best sights, is under renovation at the moment). The location is brilliant. Right across the street (mind the traffic!) from the bus station, from which buses negotiate the vertiginous routes to Positano, Ravello, Sorrento, Salerno, etc leave regularly. The square below is the meeting point for townsfolk, young and old, from morning to night. It is also the starting point for a procession of interesting little shops: handmade paper, gelato and cakes, ceramics, fruit and vegetables, clothing, handcrafts, even tiny "supermarkets" tucked into impossibly small spaces. And, of course, cafes and restaurants.
By the time we left, the Buonocores were fast friends: Guiseppe took our bags down to the bus stop, Maria and Zia were on hand to hug us goodbye. We weren't checking out of an hotel, we were saying "Arriverderci" to dear family friends we knew we would miss.
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