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!
Auito! (Help!) I have just started using Soapbox to upload videos through Windows Live Writer. It works well, but when I watch the videos in this post the image freezes toward the end (but the sound continues). Is this happening to anyone else? I want to make sure you all can see the videos, and I will switch to another method if this isn't working. Thanks for the feedback!
Scintilla @ Bell'Avventura says
Freezes for me too. Never mind…
Its festival season on the Coast. Positano has a few in the next weeks starting with San Pietro on Sunday…and bands.
Anne in Oxfordshire says
It freezes for me too Laura 🙁 never mind, it was so great to see and listen too. such another fabulous festival…it is so amazing the celebrations that take place over there..:-)
Ciao Chow Linda says
It froze for me too about 3/4 of the way through but I got to experience the flavor of the event. I love those Italian processions and have taken part in a couple. My favorite though is Good Friday in Taormina – very mysterious, solemn and beautiful.
This brings back happy memories of when my son and I walked to Atrani one night for the festival in Santa Maria Maddalena's honor. You won't find anything like that in Sweden, but I loved every minute of it!
Chef Chuck says
Ciao Laura, Festival Season and what a great time, you captured the parade well! Yes,Bells!! Grazie 🙂
I tagged ya babe! Check my blog out! bacio!
Wanderlust Woman says
Grazie, Laura, for always making me feel like I'm still there. SO happy you had a great 29th birthday 😉
Ciao Scintilla! I didn't know Positano celebrated San Pietro. I am hoping to get to Cetara to see the festival tonight, but not sure yet. Thanks for letting me know about the video. I am trying YouTube now through Windows Live Writer.
Ciao Anne! I'm sorry the videos were freezing up. But thanks for letting me know so I could try another method. I just love the celebrations here, but this one really amazed me!
Ciao Linda! The videos for the second half of the procession should be better. I can't wait to see the Good Friday processions here in Italy. I haven't yet, but will certainly be here next year. I have heard the one in Taormina is especially impressive. So great that you have seen it!
Ciao Annika! Sounds lovely! I think that festival is coming up very soon. This coming Sunday perhaps. (Or another festival in Atrani.) I have to check out the signs better! If I make it, I will take some pictures and videos for you! 🙂
Ciao Chuck! I love this time of year here. At least a couple of times a week (or more!) you hear the bells ringing and fireworks going off somewhere. I am always tempting to grab the camera and run off to see what is happening! 🙂
Ciao Katie! Grazie mille bella! 🙂
Ciao Lisa! You are so very welcome. You will be back soon! 🙂