Nothing ever happens without a band. At least no religious event or important holiday goes by here without at least one marching band present to make things a bit more festive. And I love it! The other day I woke up with a smile on my face to the sounds of a marching band celebrating the birthday of San Giovanni Battista (St. John the Baptist) in a nearby village. As promised, I have some fun photos and videos of the Festival of Sant’Antonio da Padova (St. Anthony of Padua) in Amalfi from June 13th. Being a part of this procession was a truly amazing experience, and I am very happy to be able to share it here with you. I arrived in Amalfi a bit early and followed the marching band up the steep steps to the Church of Sant’Antonio. After visiting the church, I went to walk around the beautiful cloisters that are now a part of the Hotel Luna, which is one of the most peaceful and beautiful spots in Amalfi. But I found where the marching band had gone!
The procession was a bit slow getting started, and getting the statue down the steps was challenging. First a group of men carried the base for the statue and the flowers down to the street:
And then came the statue itself (and the marching band):
The statue of Sant’Antonio was assembled on the street at the base of the steps, and then the procession started on its way toward Atrani. Here it is coming around the corner by the tower of the Hotel Luna:
The procession went through the tunnel between Amalfi and Atrani and followed the road up and around the Collegiata di Santa Maria, which rises beautifully over the beach of Atrani.
The marching bands are not the only festive sounds you hear during religious holidays in Italy. You also have the church bells! I made this video so you can see the procession and hear the church bells ringing like mad in Atrani:
After going past the Collegiata di Santa Maria in Atrani, the procession doubled back and descended to the beach where the statue was placed on a boat for the rest of the procession on the water. Here is Sant’Antonio on the beach:
It was quite a sight to see the statue very carefully transferred to the boat:
And now I will leave you in suspense until tomorrow, when I will post my photos and videos from the rest of the procession on the sea and its arrival in Amalfi. This experience will always be in my top ten memories of life here on the Amalfi Coast, so be sure to stop by tomorrow to see!