Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Atrani

 

The biggest event of the year in Atrani takes place on July 22nd when the town celebrates Santa Maria Maddalena (Saint Mary Magdalen), the patron saint and protector of Atrani. The Church of Santa Maria Maddalena, beautiful from every direction, is one of Atrani’s distinctive landmarks. When we arrived for the beginning of the religious procession the sky was turning shades of pink that seemed to perfectly compliment the colors of Atrani.

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Atrani Chiesa Maddalena

 

My favorite spot in Atrani is the small piazza in front of the church, where you can get a good view of the distinctive 16th century bell tower and the white facade, perhaps the only example of Rococo architecture on the Amalfi Coast. I love the contrast of the undulating and ornate facade with the stark and more severe stone used in the bell tower.

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Atrani Facade Maddalena

 

From this tiny piazza is one of the most extraordinary views of the Amalfi Coast looking toward Maiori and Salerno. At sunset it is perfectly dreamy! I got up to the piazza, a bit breathless, just as the procession with the statue of Santa Maria Maddalena was leaving the church.

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Atrani Procession

 

Here’s a short video where you can see the statue and hear the celebratory music and crazy church bells that only ring like this for the festival of Santa Maria Maddalena.

 

 

I just love a good marching band, especially the tubas, and the band this year was very good. They were from Montescaglioso (read the tubas), which is near Matera in the region of Basilicata. Usually, the bands come from towns in the area, so I’m not sure how this band ended up in Atrani from so far away!

 

Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Atrani Tubas

 

Here’s the procession as it makes it way down the twisting road to the beach in Atrani.

 

 

Later in the evening, as we headed up the main street of Atrani for dinner, we ran right into the procession again. In this video you can see the statue very well and hear the people of Atrani singing.

 

 

The evening is capped off at midnight by one of the most extraordinary firework displays of the summer. In fact, I was so taken by it that I didn’t make any videos. Well, guess I’ll just have to go again next summer!

16 Comments
  • Saretta

    These local traditional festivals are so special. A piece of history and folklore that unfolds before your eyes.

    July 29, 2010
  • Laura

    Ciao Saretta! So true… I love learning more about the local festivals and their traditions each year.

    July 29, 2010
  • Global Butterfly

    Just beautiful!!! I would love to be able to take part in a festival in India one day.

    July 29, 2010
  • Laura

    Ciao Andi! That would be an amazing experience for sure. I hope you can someday soon!

    July 30, 2010
  • sanzovo

    Laura you bring me back some memories from 2003 when I spent some days in Atrani and had the chance to enjoy Santa Madalena's party with some italians friends in a small boat, just eating pizzas and sing napoletanean songs…Really amazing and unforgettable. Reaaly nice your blog.

    August 5, 2010
  • Laura

    Ciao sanzovo! Sounds like a wonderful evening in Atrani. I'm glad I could bring back those nice memories!

    August 5, 2010
  • Anthony vitolo

    I am the past President of Santa Maria Maddalena in New Haven,CT. usa we CARRY OUT THE TRADITION HERE ON JULY 22 ALSO OUR SAINT IS AN EXACT REPLICA OF THAT IN ATRANI, I HAVE ATTENDED THE FESA SEVERAL TIME AND HAD THE HONOR OF CARRYING THE SAINT, MY PARENTS WERE BORN IN ATRANI, THANKS FOR PUTTING THIS ON YOU TUBE, YOU CAN SEE OUR PROCESSION ON YOU TUBE BY LOOKING UP WOOSTER STREET FESITVALS, OR WOOSTER STREE FEASTS

    July 20, 2011
    • Dear Anthony,
      Thank you for your comment and for sharing about the festival in New Haven! I spent the most interesting time watching videos of your procession and seeing the traditions. The statue is the same!! I have some photos from this year’s festival in Atrani to share soon, and I hope you’ll enjoy! Warm wishes, Laura

      August 7, 2011
  • Tina (Sydney Australia)

    It is 7.30pm in the evening of the 26th July and my daughter has been travelling through Italy for the past month and has just landed in Atrani and was woken by the Atrani band rehearsing for the celebration which is just about to start. She wanted me so desperately to hear the band playing but it wasn’t very successful. So I googled it and found your website. Very cool!!

    July 21, 2011
    • Ciao Tina! What a beautiful memory … and so sweet that she wanted to share it with you! Happy you could hear the sounds and enjoy via Ciao Amalfi! 🙂

      August 7, 2011
  • Anthony Vitolo

    I will once again be attending the feast in Atrani to our Patron Saint, and will have the honor ofcarring the saint as my Grandfather did.

    If you recall, I sent you a message back in 2011, I am the past President of the Santa Maria Maddalena Society in New Haven, Ct.

    January 11, 2013
    • Hi Anthony, Yes I remember your past comment. Thank you for stopping by again! How exciting that you will be in Atrani this year and have the honor to carry the saint during the procession just as your grandfather did. It’s beautiful when these traditions are carried down through generations … even from across the sea! Warm wishes, Laura

      January 12, 2013
  • Teresa Silveira

    Laura,
    I was in Atrani last may. It was very windy, but walking from Amalfi to Atrani having the sight of the beautiful maiolica cupula oh Santa Madalena Church is unforgetable. I loved the videos of the feast in Atrani!

    June 30, 2013
    • Hi Teresa, that is an unforgettable view! So happy you were able to enjoy it here. Thanks for stopping by and for your comment!

      July 3, 2013
  • Anthony Vitolo

    Hi laura, I was in Atrani again this year, I carried the Saint once again, and was made an honorary member of the committee there, they read a proclamation up on the stage to announce it, and then when I got up there they played the Star Spangled Banner, a great honor for me and my family and I am sure my ancestors who were loyal Atransi.

    August 14, 2013

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