Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Positano Lights

Festival Lights for Ferragosto in Positano


August 15th is an important holiday here in Italy called Ferragosto, which celebrates the Assumption of the Virgin into heaven. One of the most important holidays of the years and a bank holiday, Ferragosto is a day usually spent with family and friends enjoying the warm summer weather. One of the busiest periods of the year for Italian tourists, the Amalfi Coast is regularly packed during the Ferragosto holiday. While it is a crowded time, a visit to the Amalfi Coast during the Ferragosto holiday offers more than just sun and beautiful beaches. Ferragosto is also an important religious holiday in both Positano and Maiori, where there are elaborate festivals in honor of the Virgin Mary. These celebrations are a great chance to see firsthand the significance of Ferragosto as a religious holiday.


Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Positano Night Positano with Ferragosto lights


Positano’s picturesque church of Santa Maria Assunta is located just steps from the beach and is home to an important 13th century Byzantine icon depicting the Black Madonna. On Ferragosto this icon is taken from the church and carried on an elaborate procession through the city. The beaches and harbor of this famous seaside town are packed with visitors and boats that come to see the splendid firework displays that takes place at midnight on the water. Just down the coast to the east, the city of Maiori celebrates their patron saint and protector Santa Maria a Mare on August 14th and 15th. A beautiful statue of the Virgin Mary is processed through the town ending with a dramatic procession of the statue up the 127 steps to the church. In both Positano and Maiori, Ferragosto is one of the biggest celebrations of the year.


To read more about Ferragosto, head over to Becoming Italian Word by Word where Dianne Hales has a great features today about the holiday. Brush up on your Ferragosto vocabulary and have yourself a wonderful day. Buon Ferragosto!

  • Ciao Chow Linda

    Wish I could be celebrating Ferragosto in Amalfi. Hope you're having a great day.

    August 15, 2009
  • Chef Chuck

    Cioa Laura, The lights look beautiful!! The crowds must be generating a lot of energy!!
    Enjoy 🙂

    August 15, 2009
  • Saretta

    That is a fancy light display!

    August 15, 2009
  • Anne in Oxfordshire

    Hi Laura, oh how I wish I was there to celebrate this wonderful day with you all…It looks beautiful.

    August 15, 2009
  • Leslie:

    Upon looking outside this morning at the grey skies, I was wishing I could be in Italia! When I was there, it was Halloween and there were fantastic explosions of fireworks right outside our hotel room (Ancora)! I bet this celebration is even more special – noisy, too! Enjoy!!

    August 15, 2009
  • Lost in Sicily

    Your description of the celebrations would make me venture out into the crowds! Hope you had fun.

    August 15, 2009
  • Lola

    We always seem to be posting in sync!
    Buon Ferragosto!

    Lola xx

    Aglio, Olio & Peperoncino

    August 15, 2009
  • Laura

    Ciao Linda! Thanks! I spent the day inside where it was cool, and then enjoyed dinner with friends in Atrani where we could see the great firework display in Maiori. Fun memories!

    Ciao Chuck! That's a great way to put it! I would love to see the festival in Positano next year. With all those fancy lights it must be a big event!

    Ciao Saretta! The lights in Positano were the fanciest I have ever seen. There were even some with lights that moved to create a waterfall effect. Leave it to Positano to out-fancy everyone on the Amalfi Coast! 🙂

    Ciao Anne! Me, too! It is a crazy, but fun time to see the Amalfi Coast.

    Ciao Leslie! I hope the sun came out for your Ferragosto! On the Amalfi Coast there was a lot of music, but pretty much only fireworks displays in Maiori and Positano. But the streets were crowded and everyone was out. Fun!

    Ciao Lost in Sicily! Besides the eternal problem of what to do with the car during such events, it is a great night to be out on the Amalfi Coast. Hope you had a fun Ferragosto!

    Ciao Lola! Love your post … and am dreaming about anguria in any way, shape or form right now. It is so refreshing! I love how we post in synch! 🙂

    August 17, 2009
  • Welshcakes Limoncello

    I love those lights!

    August 18, 2009
  • Laura

    Ciao Pat! I loved the sailing ship lights. Usually the lights here are only of flowers or geometric shapes. The lights in Positano were much more elaborate!

    August 20, 2009
  • Susan Van Allen

    Grazie for bringing us to Positano for this triumphant celebration!

    August 14, 2010
  • Laura

    Ciao Susan! Thank you for stopping by and commenting. 🙂 I was fortunate this year to take a night boat from Amalfi to Positano on the 14th and arrive during the procession celebrating the arrival of the 13th century icon of the Black Madonna in Positano. It was beautiful to experience the religious processions and celebrations in Positano!

    August 30, 2010

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.