The considerable development of Amalfi was due in large part to the independence it enjoyed; but the limitation of its territory, its military weakness and the lack of Byzantine support made this independence fragile.
In 1039 Guaimar V (or IV), Prince of Salerno, seized the Duchy of Amalfi and although he left the power to Duke Manson II “the blind”, he established in fact the Salernitan domination on the city. . Pressed by the Salernitans, the amalfitans ruled by Serge IV turned over the Norman Robert Guiscard in 1073. Salerno capitulated but the Amalfitans had to let the Norman occupy their city, having peace again at the price of their freedom. The terror mundi (terror of the world, Robert Guiscard) however was magnanimous towards the amalfitans, granting them a certain autonomy. After the death of the Norman prince in 1085, Amalfi sought several times to get rid of the Norman yoke.
The Norman domination prevented the trade with the East, because of their anti-Byzantine and anti-Islamist policy, limiting the economic exchanges only to the ports of the South of Italy and promoting the development of other activities, especially in the field of agriculture and crafts.
In 1131 the conquest by the Normans of the Duchy of Amalfi and the birth of the Kingdom of Sicily put an end to independence.
But its flourishing economy and maritime power, although weakened, did not slip away. In reality Amalfi was outmatched in trade and maritime activities by competing emerging powers, such as Pisa and Genoa.
The game changed sharply in 1135, when Amalfi suffered a horrible looting from the “traitors” pisans, initially called in relief against the Norman arrogance. From then on, the decadence of Amalfi was well and truly under way.
However, the real economic crisis of Amalfi in the medieval period is to be sought during the Sicilian Vespers (1282), opposing Angevins and Aragonese for the domination of southern Italy, after which Amalfi and its territory were blocked of the sea, several times invaded, and underwent the Catalan commercial competition.
In the first half of the fourteenth century, natural calamities finally plunged the economy of the Amalfi Coast, already irretrievably weakened.
In 1343 a terrible tidal wave surged on the coast; a large part of the houses were destroyed, probably the Ducal Palace. Fortifications were submerged, as were shipyards, shops and marine equipment. Five years later, the famous plague of 1348 completed the work of destruction by attacking the men themselves. Amalfi and all the neighboring towns of the coast, which were splendid cities populated and fortified, rich with sumptuous palaces, adorned with frescoes, marbles, columns and fountains, became modest villages, now deprived of the wealth that came from the sea. They returned to a traditional economy of fishing, local crafts and agriculture.
From 1392 to 1583, the duchy of Amalfi was subjected. It saw among the dukes of Amalfi, representing noble families like the Colona, the Orsini and finally the Piccolomini.
During these years, in Amalfi, Atrani and Minori, numerous pasta factories were developed which made the pasta of the Coast famous throughout southern Italy.
During the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the city and its territory experienced a complete artistic and architectural renewal, particularly evident with religious monuments.
In June 1807 Joseph Bonaparte visited the kingdom. Struck by the beauty of the Amalfi Coast, he decided to build a coastal road to facilitate access from Naples, capital of the kingdom. Begun in 1816, continued by Murat, the road was only inaugurated in 1854 by Ferdinand II.
In the nineteenth, Amalfi was rediscovered as a destination for many foreign travelers. Its landscapes, monuments, and native life became sources of inspiration for many writers, painters, and architects from all over Europe.
The affirmation of the tourist phenomenon restored some growth to Amalfi, the economic epicenter of the coast to which it bequeathed its name.