Campania is surely the most impressive region to visit during the Christmas period. If it is true that the city of Naples attracts tourists and travelers who can admire wonderful cribs in San Gregorio Armeno, there is one place, however, that in the same period is even more impressive!
We are talking about the Amalfi coast (click here to book a ferry). In fact, especially in the evening, the coastal landscape already resembles….a crib!
Amalfi, Positano and Praiano are indeed amazing towns lost between sea and mountains, with their colorful houses perched on the cliffs, and they offer a unique show, especially to those coming to visit from the sea. This amazing landscape can be rightly considered one of the most beautiful in the world.
Over the whole coast they begin to prepare for Christmas arranging lights and many celebrations all starting from December 8th. This is a period when it also begins the Christmas markets and various events are planned ranging between the most sacred one and a more mundane offer. Solemn hurch events are mixed with theater, prose, poetry, concerts.
In Positano, exactly in the historic Piazza dei Mulini, the traditional craft market will take place in this period of the year. Here you can admire all of the nativity figures. Ranging from the simplest characters to the most complex one, they can be admired and even purchased. Here you will find also on display the typical pottery and the paper products of this area. Paper-making activities was once upon a time, on the coast, a very important activity. You can also taste many of the typical products coming from the Campania tradition, like the famous Christmas sweets called “struffoli”; they are made of sweet fried dough balls plunged in honey and decorated with colorful confetti.
Photo CC-BY 4.0 JeCCo
The bagpipe is an ancient musical instrument also used in Campania, not only in Scotland! The pipers are part of all Italian nativity scenes, particularly those from Campania. The real pipers still nowadays will parade and play in the streets and squares of Amalfi, Tovere, Pogerola, Lone, Pastena and Vettica during the Christmas period.
The town of Pogerola is famous for its Christmas cribs. There are statues of shepherds dating back to 700 a.c.
In Ravello, on the other hand, there are beautiful cribs made of…coral.
The Grotto of Fornillo, in Positano, contains one of the most fantastic cribs in the world; one would say that he is always there because it just seems to be part of the rock.
For many years the divers put the child Jesus’ statue in the incredible underwater crib of the Emerald Cave.
In many events between Christmas and the Epiphany, those that attract the largest number of visitors are certainly the living cribs that can be admired in various locations.
The Nativity is obviously reproduced in all the churches; among the most admired is the Church of the Carmine nativity crib in Atrani.
All the churches of this area are very nice to visit, and not just for the cribs: in Positano, the Church of the Assumption has a spectacular dome covered with tiles.
The Amalfi Duomo still has the original door made cast in Constantinople in 1066 and, from the Cathedral, you enter the Cloister of Paradise.
One of the most heartfelt traditions is the blessing of little children (each brings his statue of the Infant Jesus to be blessed before being put in their own crib made at home).
Amalfi was the first of the Italian maritime republics and its naval power of the past is witnessed by the remains of the Arsenal which was a grandiose Gothic building. Today, looking at the sea, you can see an incredible number of boats, yachts and ferries, all year round.