Atrani, magic and tradition in the smallest village of the Amalfi Coast


For over a century, on the 24th of December, the little “crèche” of Salerno turns off its lights to welcome the Guiding Star

Its soft curves hold you tight like an embrace between the mountains and the sea; an embrace suspended between the blue sky and the shades of the waves. Its sceneries hardly leave you emotionless: you suddenly forget about the time, as the minutes go by, slowly, and the time rarefies.

The Divine Amalfi Coast, enchants you, courts you and charms you thanks to its protected and shielded panoramic pearls.

And, all of a sudden, among the curves and the rocky tunnels, the distinguishing villages that evocate their seaside origins, appear. After Amalfi the Majesty, just one curve after, there’s Atrani, the smallest village on the Coast: the most characteristic pearl.

In a cave between steep rocky walls overlooking the sea, the nature seems to have created a protective barrier between the little village and the coast. You can “descend” to the village and reach the beach only by crossing some swathes, such as that one in Umberto Square. It reminds a stage theatre facing the sea.

The arrangement of the houses, placed one over another, makes the little village of Atrani look like a crèche, mainly at night, when the sun goes down.

Atrani keeps the charm of an ancient time

There is a gathered and protected small beach from where, at night, the boats for fishing by lamplight leave. At night, thousands of bright points from the little boats, between the stars and the sea, are the most beautiful view you can ever have at the horizon.

The charm of Atrani is enriched by the natural landscapes created by the nearby beach and an old arched passage build to protect the little boats from the coastal storm.

From this point, now, you can access to the little and famous square directly, the vital centre of this little village where tourists and locals share the tables at the bars. You can smell the friendliness and the folklore of the inhabitants of Atrani.

Here, where the sunlight is free to radiate, you are offered a privileged view: through the arches, the sunset leaves you breathless.

At Christmas, all this becomes even more unique

“Atrani è ‘nu prisepio
Oinè, hê visto maje
‘nu prisepio bello assaje
Cu' ccase e vviuzzèlle
E mille e cchiù lucélle,
ca quanno so' appicciate
so' tutte apparicchiate?
E quanno l'hê guardate
Ce rieste ‘mpresiunate!?
L'hê visto? Christo è Atrane;
Dio ce' ha mmiso ‘a man”
(Atrani è ‘nu prisepio", Enzo Del Pizzo, gathered in the collection "A ttiempo perzo")

With its scenery which are made of coloured lights and illuminated streets, Atrani turns into a fairy-tale village. Its alleis, courtyards, squares and the characteristic “little staircases” make you the character of a little natural crèche.

So, among the scents of the air and the typical desserts, the beautiful winter sea and the climate not too rigid, the magic of the Christmas lights tell the magical soul of Atrani.

The 24th of December, at midnight exactly, everybody will be staring at the Aureo Mountain

The splendid church of Santa Maria del Bando is located here. This is also the point where the rocket Guiding Star is launched from, every year. The moment is even more spectacular thanks to the colourful fireworks that accompany the Guiding Star while it goes down and reaches St. Mary Magdalene’s Collegiate terrace.

In a unique, silent and still landscape, all the village lights are turned off to highlight the profile of the Guiding Star during the most magic night of the year. Atrani has repeated this magic tradition for over a hundred years, between the astonishment and the amazement of kids and adults.

This is the most evocative Christmas event as it has been lighting up the entire village for decades. It is the event that offers unique emotions. Like a fairy-tale tradition to be transmitted and lived every year.

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