All you need is a color palette to describe Amalfi, and if you haven’t had the opportunity to visit these places in RL yet – you can do it now in Second Life.
The first region of Ville de Coeur micro-continent not modeled after a French region and the oldest of the Italian maritime republics of the Middle Ages, the Amalfi Republic is a true spectacle of colors between the green of the mountain ridges, the turquoise of the Tyrrhenian Sea, the intense yellow of the lemons and the multicolored houses.
At the beginning of the 20th century Renato Fucini, a fierce critic of the city of Naples who declared himself terrified by this place, when he visited Amalfi he said: „Il giorno del giudizio, per gli Amalfitani che andranno in paradiso sará un giorno come tutti gli altri.” (On the Day of Judgment, for the Amalfi to reach paradise it will be a day like any other).
Over time, many poets have found their muse in these places. Goethe, who admitted that he was hopelessly in love with Amalfi, once said: “Do you know the land where the lemon blooms? There, i want to run with you there”.
But – what these realms hide? History tells us that the city of Amalfi was founded in the 4th century by a group of Roman citizens whom Emperor Constantine invited to settle in Constantinople. On the way to the Byzantine capital it is said that they were shipwrecked on the coasts of the Puglia region, where they founded the city called Melphi. The journey continued to a place between the Lattari Mountains and the Tyrrhenian Sea, where they founded a small fishing village called Amalfi.
On the opposite side of history, Amalfi is laden with legends of nymphs, mermaids or saints. One of these tells Hercule`s passionate love for the nymph Amalfi. It is said that when the gods decided that she must die young, Hercules almost went mad with grief. Unable to change their decision in any way, Hercules looked for the most beautiful place to bury his nymph. So he chose a coast that seemed torn from Heaven, surrounded by the blue sea like the nymph’s eyes and the rocks laden with a landscape of wild beauty. In this place, which he called Amalfi, he built an emerald tomb, as an eternal testimony of their love.
Another legend says that this corner of the world was the land of three mermaids: Leocosia, Ligea and Partenope. They attracted sailors who lost not only their minds but also their lives for those indescribable beauties and songs. Legend tells us that the only ones who escaped were Ulysses and his crew. Ulysses covered the sailor`s ears with wax and he tied himself to the mast of the ship, remaining motionless until the voice of the sirens was lost in the distance.
Not as romantic as the other legends there is this story about the night of June 27, 1544 when the ships of the pirate Ariadeno Barbarossa approached Amalfi threateningly, which they intended to attack and destroy. When the sentries sounded the alarm, the inhabitants of the city went to the chapel where the relics of Saint Andrew were and prayed for hours, until late at night. When all seemed lost, miraculously, a terrible storm started destroying all the ships. The pirate Barbarossa lost his life, along with his entire army. Since then, St. Andrew is considered the spiritual patron of the city of Amalfi.
Returning to Coeur di Amalfi, a statue of Saint Andrew dominates the central square next to an artesian well and its representations are everywhere, but the most important monument dedicated to him is, without any doubt, the magnificent dome, one of the most beautiful churches in the world.
As you can see on this picture taken at Ville de Coeur, sixty-two steps, wide and steep, lead up to the doors.
Begun in the 9th and 10th centuries, it has been added to and redecorated several times, overlaying Arab-Norman, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque elements and finally a new 19th century Norman-Arab-Byzantine facade. The structure includes four small towers of Arab architectural type that are adorned with arches and are covered with majolica tiles.
Church services are held in Coeur di Amalfi during spring on Saturdays at 11 am SLT by Magnus Brody. All faiths and non-believers are welcome to attend for his music and inspirational words (the service is not Catholic).
Just below the cathedral you will find the majestic Amalfi Ballroom where the elegant Social Ballroom is held every month, Saturday at 12 PM SLT. Each time a different theme is approached, from waltz to musical, from rock to Oscar Movies Awards, with the wonderful performance of Ville de Coeur Royal Orchestra.
Weekly events also take place in Amalfi Piazza, usually by Dj Nando, or performances by live singer Akilikos.
For those who want outdoor or recreational activities there are opportunities for shopping, boating (mostly rowboats that can be taken anywhere in the 8 regions of Ville de Coeur), touring the area by trolley, bicycle riding, beach activities – or simply exploring on foot!
Be sure to stop by the bakery for some Italian delights!