Shopping for handmade paper

A few artisans keep alive Amalfi's tradition of papermaking

Paper-making in Amalfi's Museo della Carta
Paper-making in Amalfi.
Amalfi has been famous for centuries for its handmade paper, a thick, hearty form of pressed paper locally called bambagina, made from a mixture of cotton, hemp, and linen.

There are several shops in town selling blank greeting cards pressed with wildflowers or bound leather notebooks for the tourists—and taking orders for more elaborate stationery projects like wedding announcements—especially if you follow the main street up the valley to the crumbling vestiges of the old paper mills.

Among the best is Cartiera Amatruda (Via delle Cartiere 100, tel. +39-089-871-315,, run by a family that has been in the papermaking business since at least 1483 (which is how far back the records go; the Amatruda were likely perfecting their craft long before then).

Amatruda is one of the few remaining outfits in town still hand-making the paper that made Amalfi famous in the late Middle Ages. The shop is way up beyond the paper museum, where you can get a good sense of this dying artisan craft before dropping by to purchase some of this living history.

The Paper Museum gift shop also has nice stuff.

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