La Festa della Maddalena in Atrani


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!

Summer Religious Celebrations in Atrani


Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Atrani Chiesa1a


Two Sundays ago I went for a wonderful walk from Scala to Atrani with two new friends from England that I met through Ciao Amalfi! who where staying in Atrani. Experienced walkers on the Amalfi Coast, they showed me a new pathway I hadn’t explored yet, and along the way we shared stories about walking on the Amalfi Coast. When we arrived in Atrani, they told me where to find a gorgeous view of the Collegiata di S. Maria Maddalena. So off I went with my camera. Up a steep flight of stairs and after a wrong turn and a bit of guessing, I did find some splendid views of Atrani and the church.


Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Atrani Chiesa1b


Many people visiting the Amalfi Coast miss the little gem of Atrani, which is located right next to Amalfi. It’s one of my favorite beaches, and each summer I look forward to the festival for Santa Maria Maddalena on July 22nd. Today is the festival for Sant’Antonio, another important religious holiday that is celebrated in both Amalfi and Atrani. Last year I wrote about the elaborate procession from the church in Amalfi, and had the honor to be on the first boat with the statue of Sant’Antonio for the water procession from Atrani to Amalfi. It was a fabulous and moving experience! This year I’ll be watching from a different vantage point, but it will certainly be another lovely evening. 

Tempting Tuesday: Think Pink for Breast Cancer Awareness Month


Scintilla over at Bell’Avventura picked up on color themed posts around the blogosphere and had a great idea to Think Pink!  October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and to bring attention to this important cause Scintilla has shared some lovely pink things from her life in Positano. She has encouraged others to do the same, and I thought it was a great idea! So after the Summer Reds on the Amalfi Coast last week, let’s lighten up a shade for a good cause. This week let’s think pink!



Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Pink Certosa CapriPink touches at the Certosa di San Giacomo in Capri 



      Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Pink Farro Capri

    The pink and white of Il Faro (lighthouse), Capri



    Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Pink San Giovanni Battista Pontone

    Baby Pink (and Baby Blue) Baroque at the Church of San Giovanni Battista in Pontone.



    Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Pink Casa Malaparte

    I’m pretty sure Curzio Malaparte wouldn’t like me calling his house pink, but the Casa Malaparte on Capri certainly looks pink to me!



    Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Pink Bougainvillea Capri

    Hot pink bougainvillea on Capri



    Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Pink Window View

    Rose colored glass: View from the window of the Church of San Giovanni dell’ Acqua in the Campidoglio area of Scala. What a view of Ravello and the Amalfi Coast!



    Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Pink Hydrangea    

    This year I trimmed the hydrangea in my garden too much, and the only bloom that came out was . . . pink!



    Here are some important facts from the National Breast Cancer Foundation about why you need an early detection plan:

    The best way to fight breast cancer is to have a plan that helps you detect the disease in its early stages. According to the National Cancer Institute:

    • Nearly 200,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year.
    • 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer during their lifetime.
    • Over 30% of women are diagnosed after breast cancer has spread beyond the localized stage.
    • When breast cancer is detected early (localized stage), the 5-year survival rate is 98%.



                            Related Posts

                            Tempting Tuesday: Summer Reds on the Amalfi Coast 

                             Tempting Tuesday: Morning Boat Trip from Salerno to Amalfi

                            Tempting Tuesday: Sunset on the Way to Salerno

                            Tempting Tuesday: The Cloister of Paradise in Amalfi

                            Tempting Tuesday: Summer Reds on the Amalfi Coast


                            As the weather starts to get cooler in the evenings and I feel the change of seasons upon us here on the Amalfi Coast, I’ve been reminiscing a bit about this summer. While I love the change of seasons, the cooler weather, the calm of winter and the quiet days, I’m always a bit sad when the summer comes to an end. While looking over all the fun photos and events of this summer,  I was struck by all the colors. Bright yellows and oranges popped out, reds came through here and there, and, of course, everywhere blue! It was a fun way to look through photos and remember the summer. Here is the first of several color themed posts coming up on Tuesdays this month. Let’s kick off the series with rosso



                            Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso4

                            Back at the beginning of the summer, I stopped one evening to watch these boys arranging rocks on the beach in Amalfi for some sort of game. It was all blue and the grey of the stones save for one boy’s bright red shirt.



                            Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso1

                            I saw my first bike race this summer when the Giro d’Italia went speeding through the Amalfi Coast.



                            Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso8

                            Not long after I happened across a wonderful display of Classic Cars in Amalfi. You can’t get more red in Italy than Ferrari red!



                            Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso2

                            The men who carry the statue for the Festival of Sant’Antonio in Amalfi wear these bright red jackets. Here they are waiting for the statue to be carried down the steep steps so it can be attached to the base before the procession begins.



                            Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso3

                            This boy waiting for the Boat Procession for Sant’Antonio to arrive in Amalfi was wearing the right color! I wonder if he’ll carry the statue in the procession when he grows up?



                            Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso6

                            This summer I visited all of the churches and historic sites in Scala during Scala Porte Aperte. This is one of the beautiful frescoes dating from the 12th century in the crypt of the Chiesa di Santa Maria Annunziata in Minuta.



                            Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso5

                            During the hot summer days the poppies were literally popping out everywhere! Here is one that I found all on its own while I was on a walk to Amalfi.



                            Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso7

                            Remember the first mystery flowers of the summer? These are Bottle Brush that I saw in Scala.



                            Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Strange Flower

                            And our second mystery flowers also happened to be red. Reader Kim identified them as Haemanthus Coccineus for us. Grazie, Kim!



                            Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso12

                            This summer I discovered the beautiful beach in Atrani, which is much less crowded than the beaches in Amalfi.



                            Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso9

                            The beaches in Atrani also offer a special treat… black sand! Much more comfortable than the usual rocky beaches on the Amalfi Coast.



                            Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso10

                            I always smile when I remember how reader Lisa from Travel Dreams and Moonbeams called the colorful umbrellas in Amalfi dishes of gelato. These must be peppermint flavored!



                            Ciao Amalfi Coast Summer Rosso11

                            Finally, as summer comes to a close, here is a picture I snapped a couple of weeks ago in the gardens of the Villa Rufolo in Ravello. There were beautiful red flowers lining the walkways, making such a striking contrast to the blue sky and lush greens. It was a reminder that even though it will be cool soon, the beautiful colors of the Amalfi Coast are here throughout the year!



                            Related Posts


                             Tempting Tuesday: Morning Boat Trip from Salerno to Amalfi

                            Tempting Tuesday: Sunset on the Way to Salerno

                            Tempting Tuesday: The Cloister of Paradise in Amalfi

                            Tempting Tuesday: The Certosa di San Giacomo in Capri

                            O Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness


                            This month the wonderful and resourceful Michelle from Bleeding Espresso and Sara of Ms. Adventures in Italy are hosting the 2nd Annual O Foods Contest for Ovarian Cancer Awareness. The idea is to share a recipe that either begins or ends with an O as a way of bringing attention to Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month. I’m coming in at the end of the month, but it took a bit of thinking to come up with a good O food recipe to share here. Here’s one of my local favorites, easy, healthy, fast, and with two Os to boot. Hope you enjoy!



                            Poll0 con Olive, Capperi & Limone

                            (Chicken with Olives, Capers & Lemon)

                             Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Pollo


                            This recipe is a traditional Neapolitan method for preparing fish, but I found the suggestion for substituting chicken in one of my favorite cookbooks Naples at Table by Arthur Schwartz. I love how quick this recipe cooks up and how fresh the combination of flavors taste. It is especially nice made with Amalfi Coast lemons!

                            Serves 2



                            2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

                            1 tablespoon salted capers, thoroughly rinsed and chopped coursely if large

                            4 ounces green olives (about 3/4 cup), pitted and finely chopped

                            Juice of one lemon

                            2 chicken breasts (butterflied if you prefer)

                            1 rounded tablespoon finely cut parsley


                            (1) Mix together the olive oil, capers, olives, and lemon juice in a 10-inch skillet. Cook over low heat and let the mixture warm slowly until it begins to sizzle gently.


                            (2) Arrange the chicken breasts in 1 layer over the olives. Cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts, but if using plump breasts (not butterflied), expect them to cook about 4 minutes on the first side and about 3 minutes on the second.


                            (3) Serve garnished with the olives and capers from the pan and sprinkled with the fresh parsley.


                            Buon appetito!



                            CONTEST RULES

                            O Foods Contest for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month

                            September is Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month, and for the second year in a row, Sara of Ms Adventures in Italy and Michelle of Bleeding Espresso are hosting the O Foods Contest to raise awareness of this important health issue.


                            There are TWO WAYS to take part in the O Foods Contest:


                            ONE: Post a recipe to your blog using a food that starts or ends with the letter O (e.g., oatmeal, orange, okra, octopus, olive, onion, potato, tomato); include this entire text box in the post; and send your post url along with a photo (100 x 100) to ofoods[at]gmail[dot]com by 11:59 pm (Italy time) on Monday, September 28, 2009.

                            PRIZES for recipe posts:

                            • 1st: Signed copy of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen by Gina DePalma, Executive Pastry Chef of Babbo Ristorante in NYC, who is currently battling ovarian cancer, inspired this event, and will be choosing her favorite recipe for this prize;


                            TWO: If you’re not into the recipe thing, simply post this entire text box in a post on your blog to help spread the word and send your post url to ofoods[at]gmail[dot]com by 11:59 pm (Italy time) on Monday, September 28, 2009.

                            Awareness posts PRIZE:

                            • One winner chosen at random will receive a Teal Toes tote bag filled with ovarian cancer awareness goodies that you can spread around amongst your friends and family.



                            From the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund:

                            • Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women; a woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 67.
                            • The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose, but include bloating, pelvic and/or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly; and urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency).
                            • There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms.
                            • In spite of this, patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region.
                            • When ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.


                            And remember, you can also always donate to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund at our page through FirstGiving!

                            Please help spread the word about ovarian cancer. Together we can make enough noise to kill this silent killer.