Atrani

Physically almost attached to Amalfi, it sits on a narrow strip of land between Mount Aureo and Civita, at the outlet of the Dragon Valley.

Squeezed between bold rocky peaks that loom imposingly over the town and the picturesque bay below, Atrani is the coastal center that, with its typically medieval structure, has best preserved its ancient site characteristics.

In addition to this, you will be surprised to know that it is a really small town: just think that it covers an area of just 0.1206 km², configuring itself as the smallest town on the Amalfi Coast and the most densely inhabited in the province of Salerno.

Nonetheless, as you proceed reading, you will discover that here, too, there is no shortage of interesting attractions and places to visit.

How to Get to Atrani

✅ By Plane: Once you arrive at Capodichino Airport in Naples, there are several ways to get to Atrani. Shuttle bus or private transportation to the Naples train station. From Naples train station, take the SITA train or bus in the direction of Salerno. Once at Salerno Central Station take the SITA bus (Salerno-Amalfi) and book the stop on the large bridge across the village.

✅ By Train: Frecciarossa or Italo train to Salerno station. SITA bus with final terminus Amalfi. Atrani stop.

✅ By Car: Take the A3 Naples/Salerno highway. Exit at Vietri sul Mare. Drive along the SS163 to the town, almost 20km.

📣 The town is attached to the more famous Amalfi, a 1km walk away.

If you’re looking for information on getting around the Amalfi Coast, download our free guide “How to move around the Amalfi Coast without stress”: inside you’ll find all the information you need to best organize your travel itinerary on the Amalfi Coast, whether you’re moving by public transportation or by car.

Where to sleep in Atrani

📣 A selection of hotels and B&Bs to plan your vacation in Atrani now!

B&B

Atrani Rooms

Atrani – Via dei Dogi, 15
9.6
Exceptional –
83 reviews
Hotel

Palazzo Ferraioli

Atrani – Via Campo 16
8.3
Very good –
144 reviews
Holiday Homes

Sapore di Sale

Atrani – Via Casa Vollaro,7
9.6
Exceptional –
25 reviews

What to see in Atrani

The charm of this small village? To see Atrani is to get lost in the smallest town in Italy by extension, an ancient village built in just 0.9 square kilometers.

It is Crisscrossed by the Dragone River, has a small collected and protected beach from where, in the evening, the lampare boats leave for fishing, which in the night dot the sea with a thousand points of light. In the village, it is really difficult to favor one itinerary; its uniqueness lies in the compact beauty of the urban fabric, the tangle of alleys, small stairways and arches, the contrast of light and shadow of its characteristic squares, the whiteness of the plasterwork, and the color of the gardens and vegetable gardens still spread among the houses. Immersed in this atmosphere, in the next lines we will point you to some places to see in Atrani.

📍 The “Piazzetta” of Atrani (Piazza Umberto I)

the heart of the town, wonderful urban courtyard where inhabitants and tourists from all over the world meet from early morning to late at night among the tables of bars and restaurants or sitting on the steps of the church of San Salvatore. Relax while drinking and eating local specialties in the excellent restaurants, all within walking distance of the sea that can be seen from the arches leading to the beach.
The village of Atrani has developed around the many churches in the territory of the municipality; its churches are still the most beautiful places to visit, both for the artistic works and, above all, for the charm and panorama of the places where they were built.

📍 Church of S. Salvatore de Birecto

the first thing you’ll notice upon reaching the Piazzetta of Atrani. It was the coronation seat of the Doges, by the imposition of the doge’s cap. It was built in the 10th century: the most important elements are the small bell gable above the clock in the church facade and a bronze door from 1087 donated by a wealthy merchant, and finally a marble pluteus from the 12th century, depicting an allegorical-celebratory scene with two peacocks in relief with a tree in the center.

📍 La Collegiata di Santa Maria Maddalena

it was founded in 1274 on the ruins of an ancient medieval fortress by citizens who wanted to thank St. Mary Magdalene for freeing them from a garrison of Saracen soldiers. The Collegiate Church is situated on the promontory overlooking the village, with an extraordinary view of the Gulf of Salerno, one of the most beautiful spots on the Amalfi Coast. On its forecourt you will be dazzled by the light reflecting off the white walls and the sea.

📍 Santa Maria del Bando:

Starting from left: Torre dello Ziro, Cappella di Santa Maria del Bando, Grotta di Masaniello.

set on the rock face below the Torre dello Ziro Tower, the ancient chapel can be reached by a few hundred steep stairs that, after the effort, will give you a breathtaking view. According to tradition, the church takes its name from the ancient custom of announcing proclamations (laws and sentences) from the top of its terrace. Next to the church is the so-called Cave of the Saints, where there was a hermitage in medieval times. Before going up, we recommend you make sure at some tourist information point that the gate to the monument is open.

📣 Despite its small area, Atrani has many other numerous churches and chapels, which we mention below:

🔹 the Franciscan monastery of S Rosalia;

🔹 the church of S. Maria Immacolata;

🔹 the chapel of S. Gertrude;

🔹 the church of S. Michele Fuori le Mura, famous for its bizarre kind of construction.

What to do in Atrani

📣 If you’re looking for inspiration for your Amalfi Coast experiences, take a look at the ones we’ve selected for you!

Trekking and walking

📍 Cave of Masaniello

Walking up the 750 steps from the small square in Atrani, you reach a cave that, according to local tradition, was the refuge of the famous Masaniello, who allegedly found shelter there to escape the soldiers of the viceroy of Naples.

The route may seem long and tiring, but we assure you that it is difficult to feel fatigue during the ascent, as you will be too busy enjoying the spectacular views you will encounter along the way. We tell you more about this in our article dedicated to Masaniello Cave and Santa Maria del Bando.

📍 Ziro Tower

From Atrani you can easily reach the striking Ziro Tower.

From Piazzetta Umberto, proceed to Via Supportico Marinella and then to Via Comunale San Sebastiano. The route is marked and the destination can be reached in a short time. Once you reach your destination, you will be able to admire the town of Atrani and Amalfi from the other side, as well as the famous Aragonese-style building.

Experiences to do in and around Atrani

During your stay in Atrani, you’re sure to take advantage of the picturesque location for a dinner by the sea or to have a drink in one of the bars overlooking the cozy Piazzetta Umberto I.

In addition to enjoying the tranquility of the village, here you can move easily to enjoy other unforgettable experiences in the surroundings.

A few examples?

A day on a boat, discovering the most hidden beaches, an excursion to Capri or Positano, a mini-cruise at sunset, a visit to a lemon grove or a cooking class where you’ll learn the secrets of traditional recipes-you’re spoiled for choice!

Events in Atrani

We would like to point out three unique events that brighten up the life of the town each year:

✅ July 22 is the day of the patronal festival in honor of Saint Mary Magdalene. Solemn masses, processions and spectacular fireworks over the sea will make the day unique. On the feast day you can taste Atrani’s unique gastronomic specialty, sarchiapone, the long stuffed and baked pumpkin.

✅ On September 1, during the Byzantine New Year celebrations, Atrani hosts the investiture of the Magister of Amalfitan Civilization and the historical procession.

✅ On Christmas Eve, the traditional “Calata della Stella” is held; shortly after midnight, thousands of people watch the descent of the shining star over the valley, amid a myriad of fireworks shot over the roofs of houses.

Why choose Atrani as a travel destination

Currently Atrani is a popular tourist center that has jealously preserved its privacy, in its own way an island in the sea of mass tourism, a pearl of the Amalfi Coast. Every year it hosts many tourists who seek its tranquility to spend a vacation on the Amalfi Coast.

The beauty of the historic center enchants vacationers who go there and immortalize it, sharing its most secret corners on the web and social networks.

This village – the smallest on the Amalfi Coast and the most densely populated – offers the possibility of a peaceful stay, far from the chaos that characterizes other destinations. Its proximity to Amalfi also makes Atrani an ideal destination for those looking for an alternative destination, without losing the convenience of a central and well-connected destination, such as Amalfi, from which all connections to the other towns on the Amalfi Coast depart.

📣 Choose Atrani if:

🔹 you are looking for a quiet destination, but not too isolated;

🔹 you are traveling as a couple and want to enjoy the pleasure of a romantic and private stay;

🔹 you want to avoid the chaos of more famous destinations and usually prefer hidden villages and “secret” locations.

The best time to visit Atrani

Like all the towns on the Amalfi Coast, Atrani is also affected by the huge flow of tourists, which characterizes the highlight months of summer.

Certainly, this location is less clogged by the crowds that characterize nearby Amalfi, so even in July and August you can carve out your own little corner of peace and tranquility.

However, we advise you to consider the spring or fall period, especially if you plan to explore other locations on the Coast: in these months of the year, in addition to finding more pleasant temperatures, it is easier to get around, either by car or by public transportation, because you avoid traffic, the scarcity of parking spaces and crowding on public transportation.

📣 Highly recommended is the Christmas season, during which, thanks to a few artfully placed lights, the village of Atrani becomes a small nativity scene by the sea.

3 interesting facts about Atrani

✅ Escher and Atrani The artist Maurits Cornelis Escher fell madly in love with Atrani. In the spring of 1922, in fact, he left for Italy, where he returned several times thereafter. It was on one of these trips, to be precise in March 1923, that he came to Atrani and left a piece of his heart there. What certainly struck him was the conformation of the village, to which he dedicated in August 1931 the lithograph “Atrani.” The artist, warmly welcomed by the people of Atrani, donated, in addition, some of his works to the municipality.

✅ A typical dessert with an Apulian cousin If you are in Atrani, take the opportunity to taste the typical “Pasticciotto atranese,” a shortbread casket filled with custard and black cherry, a relative of the more renowned “Pasticciotto leccese.”

According to locals’ accounts, the dessert is said to have originated at the old Bar Lucia, formerly located along the Amalfi Highway, from the intuition of the owner’s wife, who was inspired by her brother’s recipe.

✅ A second course with a name that makes you smile If it is true that every country on the Coast boasts its own typical recipe, it must be admitted that the typical dish of Atrani has the most bizarre and sympathetic name of all.

It is called, in fact, “Sarchiapone“, a name that reveals a traditional and very tasty dish: a green pumpkin stuffed with meat, cheese, mozzarella and cold cuts. In short, a rich and festive dish that is generally prepared on the occasion of the festival dedicated to Santa Maria Maddalena, which is celebrated on July 22.

The History of Atrani

Founded along with Amalfi by Roman nuclei from Scala in Ravello, under the name of Atranum, (“dark”), it closely united its history with that of the Maritime Republic of Amalfi, assuming the title of civitas. It was an Etruscan or Greek port of call around the 6th century: around the year 1000 it was occupied by the Normans and later by the Swabians, the French and finally the Spanish. In these years the history of the village is closely connected with that of the Amalfi Coast.

Frequented and inhabited by the noblest families of the Amalfi Republic, Atrani crowned and buried doges in the Palatine Chapel at the church of S. Salvatore di Birecto; it was sacked and destroyed by the Pisans in 1135 and 1137. In 1734 the Bourbons ascended the Neapolitan throne, and with the new regents there was a flurry of culture and development. Indeed, along the Dragon valley paper mills, textile factories and especially pasta factories provided the town with a more prosperous trade.

The famous German philosopher Walter Benjamin, visiting the Amalfi Coast in 1924, was particularly impressed and described it thus:

“The curving Baroque staircase slightly uphill to the church. The gate behind the church. The litanies of the old women at the avemaria: propaedeutic to the first class of passing away. If you turn around, the church borders, like God himself, on the sea. (…) Alleys like ventilation channels. In the market square a fountain. Toward evening, women at its edges. Then solitary. An archaic gurgling.”

Not far from the small church of Santa Maria del Bando, on the eastern slope of Mount Aureo, there is an evocative Grotto known as the Grotto of Masaniello, because the famous revolutionary, who had Atranese origins, is said to have taken refuge in it. In 1923 Cornelius Escher landed on the Mauritius Coast, where he produced as many as 110 works he called “…practical exercises….” His works depict the whole of the Coast, but it was Atrani that exerted a special fascination on the artist: “the village” as he called it, attracted him because of the “magical atmosphere” of the alleyways-cuncunicles thus was born “ATRANI, COSTA D’AMALFI” of 1931 and the “METAMORPHOSIS” of 1939, and the second of ’40 that is now in The Hague, in the Dutch Post Office Directorate General.

Where to sleep in Atrani

B&B

Atrani Rooms

Atrani – Via dei Dogi, 15
9.6
Exceptional –
83 reviews
Hotel

Palazzo Ferraioli

Atrani – Via Campo 16
8.3
Very good –
144 reviews
Holiday Homes

Sapore di Sale

Atrani – Via Casa Vollaro,7
9.6
Exceptional –
25 reviews

NEI DINTORNI

Maiori


A splendid seaside resort, it boasts the most important hotel tourist accommodation assets on the Coast

Sorrento


The allure of the Sorrento coastline amidst sheer mountains in crystal clear water, breathtaking views and excellent cuisine

Conca dei Marini

Conca dei Marini


A small seaside town perched on a rocky rise between Cape Conca and the Emerald Grotto