Summer has certainly arrived on the Amalfi Coast. The beaches are now covered with brightly colored umbrellas and driving and parking along the coast has turned into the usual summer chaos. But I love summer here! The sky and sea are intensely blue, as if in competition with one another, and vibrantly colored flowers fill the air with unbelievable delicious scents. And then the cruise boats arrive!
This is the Star Clipper, and it came into the Port of Amalfi this past week for a day. From my bedroom window I can see these beautiful ships come into port, and then watch them put up sail and head out of port in the evening. It is simply stunning! The other day I was down in Amalfi and walked to the end of one of the piers to take a closer look. If I were to cruise, this is the way I would go!
While I was down on the pier looking at the boat, I heard church bells ringing that I had never heard before. I looked around the city and realized it was the church of Sant’Antonio, which is located in the center of the first photograph in this post. (You can see the little bell tower.) Today is the feast day celebrating Sant’Antonio da Padova (Saint Anthony of Padua), and here the church bells often start ringing during the week leading up to the feast day. I made a video so you can hear the bells and see a moment of summer life in Amalfi:
The procession of Sant’Antonio in Amalfi is rather elaborate, and I am looking forward to seeing it for the first time this evening. Since the church of Sant’Antonio sits between Amalfi and Atrani, the procession begins in Atrani where the statue of Sant’Antonio is put on a boat. The boat procession then continues to Conca dei Marini where there is also a lovely church dedicated to Sant’Antonio. From there it returns by water to Amalfi and the procession continues on foot. This evening I should be in one of the boats following the procession, which will be a truly spectacular experience.
The festival of Sant’Antonio is one of the first major summer religious festivals on the Amalfi coast. On Monday will be the festival of San Vito in Positano, and coming soon will be San Giovanni Battista in Pontone, and then one of the two major celebrations of Sant’Andrea in Amalfi at the end of June. Let the summer festivals begin!