Atrani – an undiscovered town on the Amalfi Coast in Italy
Atrani is hardly the first town that comes to mind when you think of Italian beach resorts. But this town is definitely worth a visit if you want to find out what Italy is really like.
Even though Atrani is only 1 kilometer from the town of Amalfi, a famous and bustling holiday destination, it is still virtually untouched by the crowds of tourists. Atrani is one of Italy’s best kept secrets.
Atrani is a fishing village of less than a thousand people. It lurks on the edge of steep cliffs and the Tyrrhenian Sea coast near the cities of Pompeii and Naples.
Its colorful houses rise in rows over a beautiful stretch of unspoiled beach and turquoise sea. It is one of the most idyllic and picturesque cities in Italy.
Atrani doesn’t seem to change with the times. You can walk up the steps from the beach and wander through the narrow, winding streets. There you’ll find thirteenth-century churches and squares with fountains. Listen to the bell ringing from the sixteenth-century tower as it rings and interrupts the silence of the siesta. Reflect on life at a cafe table in Piazza Umberto, the city’s main square. If you get a strange sense of déjà vu, don’t be surprised just yet. The city’s picturesque streets and stunning coastline have appeared in many movies.
Why go to Atrani?
This city is trapped in time. When walking around here, don’t expect modern glitz. Atrani is real, living, Italian. The facades of the houses in the square with their own unique beauty. Houses of 3-4 floors with open windows to catch the light breeze coming from the sea.
Any photos of these places will be filled with soul. This is a city where you can feel the real Italy. The cafes and restaurants will offer you the same food and drinks as the locals. You will practically become part of normal local life, become a small part of Italy.
The best time to vacation in Atrani
Atrani has the same excellent Mediterranean climate as the rest of the Amalfi Coast. But like everywhere else in the world, the weather in Atrani is never 100% predictable. To spend your time here in comfort and to avoid the high summer temperatures, the best time to vacation in Atrani is May or September.
In spring the temperature is usually 20-25 o C. The sea is quite warm for swimming and the beach is not very crowded. An added bonus at this time will be the enchanting aroma of flowers.
Autumn is no less comfortable. The same pleasant temperature and warm sea. In late fall there are sometimes quite hot periods. So it is quite possible to sunbathe.
How to get to Atrani
If you are planning to get here from Amalfi, the best way is the usual walk. From Amalfi, follow the promenade directly to Atrani. It will take about 15 minutes. Along the way, you will be amazed by the magnificent views of the coast.
From the town of Ravelli, a three kilometer road leads to Atrani through vineyards and groves of lemon trees. It takes about half an hour to get there, depending on how many times you stop for photos.
Keep in mind that on the way to Atrani you have to climb a rather steep staircase of 1500 steps. You can also take bus number 5110. It runs every half hour between Atrani and Ravelli.
If you are staying in Positano, Minori or Salerno, take the local ferry to Amalfi and then walk to Atrani. From Positano, the trip takes half an hour and costs about $10. This is a great way to see the coast of Amalfi from the sea.
Attractions in Atrani
The town, though small, has its own attractions.
Piazza Umberto I.
The piazza is the heart of any Italian town or village. In Atrani it is Piazza Umberto I or Piazza Umberto I. This place is the center of life in the city and is a must see.
To get to the square, turn your back to the sea and walk from the beach under the arches of the viaduct that runs the main road of the Amalfi Coast.
As you approach the square you will feel as if you are going back in time. Even the fountain, which by historical standards appeared recently, is almost 100 years old.
Locals and visitors alike love to gather around the bar and cafe tables for a cup of coffee. Take time to visit the square and watch the locals. They are quiet and relaxed. Some are sitting in the barbershop and chatting more than getting their hair cut. Some are in cafes just enjoying life.
Piazza Umberto I
It’s impossible to find a better place on the Amalfi coast than the beach at Atrani. The beach is located in a small bay and is protected from the north by the town and the cliffs you will be amazed by the coastal scenery.
The beach is highlighted by clear blue sea and sky. To say that it is picturesque is nothing to say. In Atrani, the Tyrrhenian Sea is clean and clear. It is ideal for swimming, and better for snorkeling.
If you plan to spend all day here and sunbathe, know that a deckchair and umbrella will cost you $25. When the swimming and sea air whet your appetite, it’s only a few steps to the nearest café.
Church of St. Mary Maddalena
Approaching Atrani by road or from the sea, you will immediately see the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena and its bell tower. The 13th-century Rococo façade of the church is the only one of its kind on the entire Amalfi coast. The white walls with statues are topped with red tiled roofs and three beautiful domes.
The festival of Santa Maria Maddalena is held here every year. The festival is held in July. At this time, the entire population of the town comes out on the streets in honor of St. Mary Magdalene. She, according to legend, saved the city from an attack by pirates. The street procession carries the icon of the holy maiden from the church to the beach.
When the bell on the bell tower rings, fireworks are lit, marking the beginning of the festive night. Anyone is welcome to join in the fun. If you find yourself in Atrani during the festival days, don’t hesitate to join in.
Best Restaurants in Atrani
Italian food is usually simple but incredibly delicious. The secret to the culinary art is hidden in the use of quality, fresh produce. It’s a crime for a tourist to go to Atrani and not try the local dishes. For a first class meal in a warm, family atmosphere, head to Savo Restaurant. Sit on its terrace and enjoy a delicious risotto or a plate of squid pasta.
Café Le Arcate is right on the beach, so you can eat and admire the sea at the same time. It serves wonderful homemade pasta dishes. Schialatelli with shrimp and zucchini is a delicious regional dish of the Amalfi Coast, and this cafe cooks it to perfection. You won’t find a better pizza than the one made here. Remarkably, you can watch the chefs prepare the food in the kitchen.
If you just want to relax with a glass of your favorite drink or a bite to eat, Bistrot il Birecto on the square is the place for you. Sit under one of its umbrellas and try a slice of bruschetta – fried bread with tomatoes and Parma ham – while sipping local wine.
Where to stay in Atrani
Once in Atrani you don’t want to leave very soon. There isn’t a wide choice of hotels, because it’s a small town. There are a couple of hotels worth checking out though.
Eva Rooms is right on the beach, so the rooms have a great view of the sea. The room rate includes breakfast.
Palazzo Ferraioli is a hotel and wellness center. The rooms are named after female movie stars. Each room is decorated in a unique and modern style.
The hotel offers its guests a spa with Finnish sauna and hot tub, as well as a sun terrace with great views. Breakfast here is buffet style.
Atrani (Campania, Italy) – a town surrounded by rocks
Atrani is a small town and commune on the West coast of Italy, in the Campania region, province of Salerno: Amalfi flows almost imperceptibly into Atrani, a town which has preserved its medieval origins; with its picturesque lanes, arches, courtyards, squares and stairs it looks like a manger on Christmas Eve, washed by the sea.
In the days of the Republic of Amalfi, the noblest families lived in this town. The coronation and burial of the Doges took place here.
The patroness of the village is St. Mary Magdalene.
The distance from Atrani to Amalfi is only 700 meters. Atrani is the smallest comune in southern Italy, covering an area of 0,2 km 2 and a population of 927 people. Atrani is located in a kind of natural amphitheater, surrounded by huge, towering cliffs.
The pulsating heart of the town is the central square, framed on three sides by old houses with flowering balconies and with an open view of the sea on the opposite side. This exit to the sea was specially left to save boats during storms. The square, decorated with a stone fountain, has bars and restaurants that create a pleasant and relaxing atmosphere. From the romantic square branches off into alleys with arches and steps that cross the whole town, walking through which you will be transported to the past and find yourself in a small fishing village.
Thanks to its magical beauty and the charm of the past that characterizes this town, Atrani has been chosen many times as a film and commercial set: it is no coincidence that it was recently accepted into the exclusive club of the most beautiful artistic settlements in Italy.
Atrani was founded by the ancient Roman aristocracy and its history is closely linked to that of Amalfi. During the Amalfi Republic the most noble families lived here. Here the Doges were crowned and buried. The city was destroyed by the Pisanians in 1135 and was reborn by the Swabian King Manfredi in the second half of the twelfth century.
The beautiful collegiate church of St. Mary Magdalene (IX century) was rebuilt several times. It is now a church with a Baroque façade, a majolicated dome and a square bell tower and is the most precious attraction of Atrani. Inside there is a painting by Andrea Sabatini representing the Faithless St. Tommaso.
Equally beautiful is the church of St. Savior (X century) where the Doge of the Amalfi Maritime Republic were crowned and received their characteristic headdress here.
The center of Atrani is far from the noisy roads of the coast, as only locals are allowed to enter the town: this also contributes to the pleasant and relaxing atmosphere of Atrani, where you can stroll and spend your free time in complete tranquility. The beach is very comfortable and well-equipped.
If you are lucky enough to be in Atrani on the 22nd of July you can not miss the fireworks display dedicated to the patroness of the town, St. Mary Magdalene, which is the most spectacular on the whole coast. The fireworks are not only in the air but also on the surface of the water and even underwater.
The city is divided into two parts: Praiano, Antica Plagianum which faces east and allows you to watch the sunrises and Vettica Maggiore which faces west and offers an extraordinary view of the sunsets with the island of Capri on the horizon.