Festivals

Yearlong, the calendar is filled with festivities and religious feste along the Amalfi Coast. At Christmas, the atmosphere is festive, and orchestra and choir concerts pop up all over. Amalfitans love to celebrate holidays. Capodanno (New Year's) is greeted with a big celebration and impressive fireworks on the main beach of Amalfi, as well as other events along the coastline. The Good Friday candlelight procession, Easter Sunday, and Christmas pageants with crèche competitions (with cribs mounted in the city fountains) are all excuses for lavish family occasions, with special foods and church ceremonies.

Festa dell'Assunta. Positano's star event of the year—and its main religious feast—is held on August 15, with a replica of the Byzantine icon of the Madonna with Child from Santa Maria Assunta carried from the church to the sea, commemorated by evening fireworks and music on the main beach. Positano, Campania. .

Festa di Sant' Andrea. Dedicated to Amalfi's patron saint and protector of seamen, this festival, which takes place on June 27 and November 30, is a religious celebration, with the summer festival commemorating the miraculous defeat of a pirate attack in 1544 and the November festival honoring the death of St. Andrew. A procession of white-robed men carry a large silver-gilt statue of the saint through town, along the harbor, and down to the beach. The grand finale is the running of the statue—in one dramatic dash—straight up 62 steps to the cathedral. The evening is capped off with concerts in Piazza Duomo and a spectacular fireworks display over the harbor. Amalfi, Campania.

Mare, Sole e Cultura. In early July Positano hosts national and international authors, who read from their books in the shady gardens of Palazzo Murat. Concerts take place on the Spiaggia Grande. Positano, Campania. www.deliacultura.it.

Positano Premia La Danza Léonide Massine. The first week in September sees this celebration of dance that includes music concerts, dance performances, gallery exhibitions, panels, and an awards ceremony. Positano, Campania. www.positanopremialadanza.it.

Ravello Festival. Starting in the 1950s, Ravello became famous as the "City of Music," when concerts began to be performed in the spectacular gardens of the Villa Rufolo. The celebrated Ravello Festival runs June–October, and presents a variety of events from classical concerts with small chamber groups all the way up to full orchestras performing Wagner, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Brahms, Chopin, and slightly less well-known Italian composers such as Scarlatti and Cimarosa. The festival also presents top-notch dance, opera, and jazz events, as well as performances by pop stars from around the world. The most popular event is the Concerto all'Alba, when dedicated music lovers wake up at 4:30 to watch the sunrise over the bay to the accompaniment of music from a full symphony orchestra; this event takes place on August 10 to coincide with the shooting stars on the night of San Lorenzo. Ravello, Campania, 84010. 089/858360; 089/8586278; www.ravellofestival.com.

Regata Storica delle Antiche Repubbliche Marinare. In this pageant staged every four years in Amalfi, a historical celebration takes place in which four boats, each with eight oarsmen, represent the medieval maritime republics of Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa, and Venice. The prize, held by the winner for a year, is a scale-model gold-and-silver replica of an antique sailing ship. Each of the former republics is represented by 80 participants that parade dressed in historical costumes from Atrani to Amalfi. Amalfi's musical contingent is adorned in jewel-encrusted costumes—doges, dogaressas, merchants, and commoners from the prosperous past come colorfully to life, with the day's festivities culminating in a show of fireworks. Held yearly on the first Sunday in June, with the four cities alternating as the urban stage sets. Amalfi, Campania. .

Sagra del Pesce. The last Saturday in September brings this fabulous fish festival on Fornillo beach, with live music and plenty of fish and seafood dishes to taste. Positano, Campania. www.festadelpesce.net.

Torello Festa dell’Incendio. At the foot of Ravello's mountain sits the satellite seaside borgo of Torello. On the third Sunday of September, this time-stained medieval hamlet celebrates the Madonna Addolorata with an unforgettable fireworks display that has to be seen to be believed. In addition, the town's buildings are illuminated, a magical sight even when viewed from Ravello, set 1,000 lofty feet up the hill. Ravello, Campania. .

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