The magic of Christmas on the Amalfi Coast

The magic of Christmas on the Amalfi Coast

Christmas time is definitely full of magic throughout the Amalfi Coast.

The morphology of the Amalfi Coast, similar to a magical nativity scene, naturally befits the Christmas spirit.

The “presepe” crib tradition is very popular in this area, involveing young and old generations. Actually, in every church, street or village a Nativity scene is set up. Many techniques are used to create a crib, from the poor and traditional ones (papier-mâché, clay and ceramics, cork) to the most sophisticated and modern ones (use of mobile shepherd statues, visual and scenic effects).

The delicious Positano, during Christmas time, turns into a party of lights and colors throughout the village.

The beauty of the landscape, the variety of artistic expressions and the hospitality of the locals make Positano a popular destination for international tourism, attracted also by a food experience that has become one of the highlights.

You can feel the magic of Christmas in every corner in Positano: small and large cribs and trees sparkling with lights and balloons all over the village.

Christmas markets are set up in Piazza dei Mulini, with typical products: decorations for the Christmas tree, wooden gift ideas, fine glass and ceramic creations, artisan fabrics, traditional pastries and delicious food specialties.

Also not to be missed, on Christmas Eve, the procession to the crib, set up in the historic natural cave of Fornillo; and at the end of the year the New Year's Concert on the main beach.

The Christmas celebrations in Amalfi are particularly rich and evocative and go on until the Epiphany. In this period, between old and new year, in every church, in every hall, in every corner, even in the fountains, the devotion of the crib is renewed, and its tradition, in some cases still set up with precious old statues of the 17th and 18th centuries.

Sea lovers, but not only, can join a very special underwater pilgrimage to the crib of the Emerald Grotto. The squares and streets appear differently, sparkling with decorations. The traditional lance of the bagpipes, the scent of roasted chestnuts and cooked honey and cinnamon, remind of an  antique atmosphere: during Advent, the whole town seems to be folded in an enchanting light.

As well during the "Calata della Stella" (the falling Star), a large comet made of torches that, at the stroke of midnight on December 24th, flies over Piazza Duomo, to rest in the atrium of the Cathedral. A triumph of bells and fireworks greet the birth of Jesus, while in the Cathedral, a suggestive and harmonious solemn Mass takes place.

Before midnight on December 31st, folk group parades play lots of cheerful music, with dances and songs, waiting for the superb midnight fireworks display.

The next day, the folk groups restart their performances in the squares, bringing “ happy new year's greetings” to tourists and residents, with satirical verses and ancient tarantellas.

On January 6th, the day of the Epiphany, in the morning, the evocative "procession of the Pastorelli (sheperds)" takes place; followed by music in the afternoon. Finally, in the evening, you can still be enchanted by the "Calata della Stella" and watch the reposition of the Child Jesus in the Cathedral.

According to the tradition, Atrani was the birthplace of the rebel Masaniello, leading the Neapolitan people uprising against the Spanish rulers in the 17th century. It is even possible to visit the house where he was born and spent the first years of his life.

In Atrani, Christmas Eve is celebrated in a very original way: people meet in the square, at the sunrise, to have breakfast with coffee and cappuccino, but above all to exchange and eat traditional desserts (zeppole, roccocò, mostaccioli, susamielli).

Sorrento is very enjoyable for Christmas and New Year time, too: a warm lighting and multicolor decorations all over the town.

Do not miss a visit to the many wonderful cribs scattered in every corner of Sorrento: in the main churches or at Sedil Dominova, but also in the bright shop windows in the center.

In the picturesque town of Vico Equense - overlooking the Gulf of Naples between Castellammare and Sorrento - the traditional live crib is performed by many inhabitants, wearing traditional dresses.

The day of the Epiphany, along the streets of this lovely coastal town, is the traditional and almost centenary appointment with one of the most characteristic and evocative Christmas events of the Sorrento Peninsula. As every year, the appointment with the “Pacchianelle”, little girls dressed in country style; expressesing the faith of the inhabitants towards the Mystery of the Nativity. In the convent of the “Minimi Fathers” of St. Vito, more than 300 people gather in costumes from the eighteenth-century “Neapolitan Bethlehem".

The Crib of Massa Lubrense is very original for its location and realization. It was set up in 2000 in a two-thousand-year-old olive tree: scenes of the past and today’s life are displayed inside and outside the olive tree.

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