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!

Photo Friday: Sea of Blue Umbrellas in Atrani


Ciao Amalfi Coast Blog Atrani Beach Umbrellas


Who doesn’t like photographs? Who doesn’t like Fridays? So what’s not to love about a new Amalfi Coast Photo Friday series on Ciao Amalfi?! This time of year it seems I have my camera out just about every day taking shots of religious festivals, summer events, beautiful scenery or fun trips to the beach. I’ll be sharing some of my favorite moments from daily life each Friday on Ciao Amalfi. This week is a shot of the sea of blue umbrellas at the beach in Atrani. I took this yesterday evening after all the beach goers had gone home for the day. There was something pristine and still about the scene. I love the striking contrast between the black sandy beach and the vibrantly colored umbrellas and sun chairs. Last summer I wrote about Atrani’s beautiful beach, but I haven’t been swimming there yet this year. I think I need to remedy that soon!

Happy Friday!!

Festival of Sant’Antonio, Amalfi


Amalfi Sant Antonio 2010 statue1 

Last Sunday was the festival day for Sant’Antonio di Padova (St. Anthony of Padua), which is one of the most unique religious celebrations in Amalfi. The church of Sant’Antonio in Amalfi is located between Amalfi and Atrani, and because of this location the religious procession takes place between the two cities. But what is even more unusual, the procession takes place both on land and on the sea. The boat procession is really a sight to see! Earlier this week I linked to my posts from last summer about the elaborate procession from the church in Amalfi and the videos and photos I took while riding on the first boat with the statue of Sant’Antonio for the water procession from Atrani to Amalfi.

This year I watched the procession from another vantage point high above near the Hotel Luna in Amalfi. Here is a video of the boat procession leaving Atrani and heading to Amalfi. You can see the main boat with the statue of Sant’Antonio in the front. Just behind is the boat with the band, which is absolutely my favorite part of the procession. It makes me smile even thinking about it! On the right you can see the Amalfi regatta team rowing the boat used for the annual Regatta.



Here is the boat procession as it approached the Amalfi watchtower that is now part of the Hotel Luna.



Here’s the procession as it passes by and approaches Amalfi. I love hearing the music coming from the band boat!



Once around the corner, the procession heads to Amalfi for a quick pass by before continuing on to Conca dei Marini to sat hi to the church there dedicated to Sant’Antonio.


Amalfi Sant Antonio 2010 boat procession


After the pass by at Conca dei Marini, the whole procession turns around and returns to Amalfi where the statue is removed from the boat and carried on a procession through the streets before returning safely back home to the church of Sant’Antonio.


Amalfi Sant Antonio 2010 procession

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.