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Ask Me Your Amalfi Coast Travel Questions!

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Welcome to 2017! It’s a new year, and I hope one that brings you to the Amalfi Coast. I have a lot of exciting projects planned for 2017, but I would love to jump start the year by helping you out. Are you planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast this year or one day soon? Curious about where to stay or how to get around? Thinking of a romantic getaway or family holiday? Maybe you’d like to know the best time of year for chilling at the beach or you have some burning questions about life on the Amalfi Coast. Well now is the perfect time to ask!

What questions do you have about the Amalfi Coast?

Just leave me a comment below with your questions! I’ll answer as many as I can right away and use your questions to build custom features coming up soon on Ciao Amalfi that will help with your Amalfi Coast travel planning. I look forward to reading and answering your questions!

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Happy New Year from Amalfi!

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Happy New Year! I hope your holiday weekend was full of excitement and a good dose of relaxation, too. The new year always starts off with a bang in Amalfi thanks to the incredible fireworks display over the harbor. I thought you would all enjoy watching this beautiful video of the show this year by Amalfi based photographer Andrea Lucibello. It’s a bit slow to start, but it’s fun to watch the whole town light up in different colors when the big fireworks start going off. You won’t want want to miss the grand finale!

My holiday weekend was spent close to home since one of our cats is very sick. But how many places in the world would you find a vet who would make a special visit to his studio on New Year’s Eve and also New Year’s Day? We’re grateful to know one such vet on the Amalfi Coast! Even though I’ve been home a lot, there was festivity in the air with church bells ringing, fireworks and, of course, the local Capodanno bands. (Capodanno means New Year’s.) These bands make A LOT of noise. So much noise that you can hear them from the next town over sometimes!

These bands are a local tradition that spills over the mountains from Naples. They are a ton of fun to watch, especially when you take a close look at all the homemade instruments. In the video below of the Capodanno band in Amalfi, you can see all the instruments as they pass by. So much fun!

Wishing you a fun start to 2017!

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Grazie Mille … For a Great Year at Ciao Amalfi!

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As we prepare to celebrate the end of the year, I want to take a moment to say thank you to each and every one of you. Your support of Ciao Amalfi has meant so much to me this year, and your comments, likes, shares and kind words have been such an inspiration. Together we have created an amazing community of people around the world bound together by a love of the Amalfi Coast. Thank you for being a part of this growing community and for all the time you have spent with Ciao Amalfi!

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And a very special thank you for once again nominating Ciao Amalfi for Italy Magazine’s Blogger Awards! I was honored to be short listed in the Best Living in Italy Blog category. A huge shout out and extra thank you to everyone who voted for Ciao Amalfi! I love sharing about life on the Amalfi Coast, so it is always an honor to know that travelers around the world find it helpful and enjoyable.

Many congratulations to all the winners and especially my dear friend Michelle from Bleeding Espresso who won our category Best Living in Italy Blog. As the blog that has inspired and helped me the most over the years as I have adjusted to living in Italy, I couldn’t think of a better person to win than Michelle!

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Wishing you a peaceful New Year’s and wonderful 2017! I look forward to seeing you in the new year with lots more Amalfi Coast magic to share!

Atrani Transformed into a Christmas Presepe

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Christmas is a magical time on the Amalfi Coast. With its colorful lights and picturesque setting, Atrani is one of the most charming spots this time of year. It feels like you’re walking right through a traditional prespe, or nativity scene. This holiday season Atrani has created a unique and modern light show that plays on that theme. The town truly feels like a presepe! The light show was inspired by a poem “Atrani è nu prisepio” (“Atrani is a Presepe”) by local writer Enzo Del Pizzo. Stars dance across the beach, the town is lit up with multi-colored lights and on the mountain above town there’s a large projection with a vintage image of Atrani and lines of poetry.

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Come along through the tunnel into the quaint piazza Umberto I, which is full of lights and such a festive feel. There was even Christmas music playing throughout the town when we visited last night!

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The steps leading up to church of San Salvatore del Birecto are like a colorful tapestry with shimmery lights around. Later when we passed by there were kids and a dog playing in the lights on the steps. It was fun to see the children interacting with the lights throughout the town!

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A large Christmas tree decorates one side of Piazza Umberto I, and it’s covered with lights that match the decorative swags on the balconies around the piazza.

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Over by the steps leading up to the Maddalena church, the arches of the Amalfi Coast Road are lit up blue with glittering lights and more lines from the poem talking about the church and seeing the characteristic arches of Atrani.

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Many of the little alleyways through town were also lit up in different colors. We had the benefit of a tour from our friend Linda who lives in Atrani. She showed us all the best spots!

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Looking down on Piazza Umberto I, you can see my favorite part of the light display on the left. It is a design by artist M.C. Escher. Why an Escher design in Atrani? The artist spent time in Ravello and on the Amalfi Coast in 1923, which was when he met the woman who would become his wife, Jetta Umiker. With its labyrinthine alleys and twists and turns, it’s not surprising that Atrani appealed to Escher, who was inspired and made many drawings in the area.

The design in Atrani’s light display this year is from Escher’s work Metamorphasis II, where birds transform into cubes and then eventually into the town of Atrani. You can catch a glimpse of the lights (and soccer game) in action in the short video clip below.

If you are on the Amalfi Coast this Christmas, stop by Atrani to see the fun light display. You can also find out more about the tradition of Christmas nativities and see some in the fountains of Amalfi here!

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Finding Home on the Amalfi Coast

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When my mother first set foot in Amalfi’s main piazza and stood gazing up at the Duomo of Amalfi, something deep inside her said, “Home.” It was strong, clear and visceral. She didn’t tell me this story until many years later, long after I had moved to the Amalfi Coast.

My first experience with Amalfi, while not quite so succinct, was just as powerful. It was as a result of my mother’s immediate connection, since I tagged along on her subsequent trip to the Amalfi Coast. The emotions that flooded over me that first time I set foot in Amalfi were overwhelming. Later that day, in late February 2007, I found myself in the hotel room in Vietri sul Mare trying to make sense of it all in my journal. I wrote that when I stepped off the bus and looked up the mountainside at the colorful buildings and the watchtower above, that I had felt so intensely that this would be an important place in my life.

And now it is my home.

Have you experienced that before? That odd yet extremely familiar feeling of finding home in a place you’ve never been before? If you have, you know just what I mean.

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And if my mother and I both falling for Amalfi immediately at different times wasn’t enough, there’s more to this story. When I stepped off that bus in 2007 and knew instinctively that Amalfi would be an important place, I had no clue that my tour guide that day—now my husband—was born and raised in Amalfi. How’s that for destiny?

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Nearly ten years later, I still have moments when I marvel at this place I call home. Travelers come from around the world and fall in love with the Amalfi Coast. Perhaps with the pastel cascade that is Positano or with the dreamy views from Ravello. Or like me and my mother with Amalfi. There’s some reassuring about know that around the world there are countless kindred spirits who have been here—or simply dreamed of being here—and have felt that deep connection with the Amalfi Coast.

What can I say? When your heart says home, you have found your place.

 

Italy Blogging Roundtable

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This blog post is part of a series called The Italy Blogging Roundtable. Every month our group of Italy based writers takes on a new theme, and you can read the contributions for this month’s topic – Home – at the links below. We’d love to hear your thoughts and comments. Please share the stores if you’ve enjoyed them!

Bleeding EspressoChristmas in Calabria: Home for the Holidays

BrigolanteThe Humble Art of the Nativity Crèche in Umbria

Italy ExplainedYou’ve Been Gone So Long (On Leaving Home & Finding Ancestral Roots)