Now that the holiday season has wrapped up, it’s that time when we start looking ahead at the year to come. If you’re planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast in 2020, I’ve gathered together some special experiences to help with your planning or perhaps even inspire you to book a trip to the Amalfi Coast this year. This is by no means a complete list of all there is to see and do on the Amalfi Coast and the surrounding areas. (Psst … Moon Amalfi Coast is a great resource for that!) These are just a handful of events I’m looking forward to this year along with places in Campania I’m eager to explore more in 2020.
While wisteria blooming in the early spring is by no means unique to the Amalfi Coast, for me seeing Positano decked out with wisteria is something I look forward to all winter. The blooms are usually out in March, but sometimes earlier. I’ve also caught them gorgeous right at the beginning of April. I first fell in love with wisteria while meandering through Dumbarton Oaks when I worked in Washington, DC. It made me so happy to discover it grew so plentifully on the Amalfi Coast. However, there’s not much in Amalfi, so I usually visit Positano or Ravello to really kick off the spring. If you’re planning an early spring visit to the Amalfi Coast, the air will be just a little bit sweeter thanks to the wisteria blooms.
Created in 1955, the Regata delle Antiche Repubbliche Marinare (Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics) is a historic parade and boat race that takes place every day between Amalfi, Venice, Pisa, and Genoa. These four cities were powerful republics in the Middle Ages and once vied for control and trading routes. Each city takes part in a parade with detailed and colorful costumes reflecting a key moment in history. Then all eyes turn to the sea for the 2 kilometer race on large wooden boats modeled after 12th century designs.
The Regata rotates between the four cities and takes place in Amalfi every four years. It’s thrilling to be in Amalfi to cheer along during the race. The two times I have seen the Regata in Amalfi, in 2012 and 2016, the Amalfi team had spectacular come from behind wins both times. What an experience! The Regata delle Antiche Repubbliche Marinare is scheduled to take place in Amalfi this year and is usually the first weekend of June. I haven’t seen the dates announced for 2020 yet, but if you’re planning a summer trip to the Amalfi Coast, this is a really fun event to catch if you can since it won’t happen again until 2024.
UPDATE: Word on the street is that the Regata won’t actually be taking place in Amalfi as planned in 2020. I am trying to confirm this and will update the post again when I have more information.
If you can’t make it to the Regata in June, you can enjoy the historical parade during the Capodanno Bizantino celebrations that take place on September 1st in Amalfi. The event includes flag throwers and the same traditional costumed parade from Amalfi to Atrani.
Mark your calendars and plan a visit to the Santiago Calatrava: Nella luce di Napoli exhibition that will be at the Museo e Real Bosco di Capodimonte in Naples from December 6th to May 10th, 2020. Even if you think you’re not familiar with the work of this noted Spanish architect, you’ve likely see at least photos of some of his stunning buildings like the World Trade Center Station in New York City or the sweeping wings of the Milwaukee Art Museum. Long enamored with the city of Naples, this exhibition is a rare look back at his 40 year career in all its aspects – architect, engineer, sculptor, painter, and designer. Co-curated by Robertina Calatrava, the architect’s wife, this is truly a rare glimpse into Calatrava’s life and career.
On the topic of exhibitions, the Museo Archeologico Nazionale di Napoli (National Archaeological Museum in Naples) has a series of special events planned for 2020. This is just an added bonus, of course, because the permanent collection at the museum is enough reason to visit again and again as it’s one of the finest archaeological collections in the world. But for an added incentive, opening on March 13th, 2020 the exhibition Gli Etruschi al MANN is a retrospective dedicated to the ancient Etruscans. With about 400 objects, the exhibition will be an incredible chance to delve into this fascinating civilization. It will also coincide with the reopening of the Prehistory and Protohistory section of the museum.
Opening on April 8th, 2020, is an exhibition I Gladiatori, which, as you can probably guess, will about gladiators. This promises to be a popular exhibition dedicated to the figure of the gladiator from private life to the arena as told through key pieces from the MANN collection and museum collections around Europe.
At the moment closing dates for those special exhibitions haven’t been announced yet, but keep an eye on the MANN website for more details.
This year marks the 10th anniversary of my lovely friend Shari’s annual Positano Yoga Retreat. I can speak from personal experience when I say that this is an incredible retreat. Set in a secluded spot above Positano, it’s an experience that introduces you to the quieter side of the Amalfi Coast as well as offering a break from the rush of modern life. Settle into warrior pose while gazing out over the Amalfi Coast and you truly feel like you can take on the world. Shari has some special events up her sleeves to celebrate the 10th anniversary, so this is the perfect year to attend if you’ve been thinking of a yoga retreat on the Amalfi Coast.
While this doesn’t have to do with a specific tie to 2020, one of my top suggestions would be to spend time on the islands of Ischia and Procida. By far the highlight of writing Moon Amalfi Coast was the time I spent on these two beautiful islands in the Gulf of Naples. Exploring the Castello Aragonese on Ischia is easily one of my top 10 experiences from 13 years living in Italy. And Procida, which is the colorful photo you see above, is a pastel dream. If you’ve been following me for awhile, you know how much I love the Amalfi Coast and Capri. However, if you’ve been to these areas and are looking for somewhere new to experience in the area, do put Ischia and Procida on your radar.
And if these ideas don’t spark your travel planning bug, you’ll find a ton more in my book Moon Amalfi Coast: With Capri, Naples & Pompeii. It covers all the top spots as well as smaller towns along the Amalfi Coast, Sorrento and the Sorrento coastline, Salerno, Naples, and Ischia and Procida. If you visit here this year, I hope you have fun exploring this beautiful part of Italy!