When I sent my first newsletter from Substack back in July, I started with a hearty “Ciao from an unseasonably hot Amalfi!” It’s now December, but I could start this month’s newsletter in exactly the same way. While we’ve had a good deal of rain lately, it’s enough to make a day of glorious sunshine like last Sunday all the better. After a walk along the port, we stopped for an aperitivo with friends at the Gran Caffè. What a place to recharge the vitamin D on a December day!
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-Ravello’s Christmas tree looking festive on an early Saturday morning.
And the winter solstice this week was an even more beautiful day. The decorations are up around Amalfi and all the towns along the Amalfi Coast. Lights twinkle up and down the main street in Amalfi and the local bakeries are full of Christmas sweets.
I stopped in Pasticceria Pansa the other day and noticed the stacks of panettone ready to be enjoyed during the holiday season. It’s panettone season in Italy, which makes it the perfect time to read this recent article about it. Perhaps with a slice of panettone?
The holiday season starts early in Amalfi with the first decorations put up for the festival of Sant’ Andrea on November 30th. Although it gets dark so much earlier this time of year, the lights really create a festive atmosphere that lasts until at least the Epiphany on January 6th.
This year all of the holiday traditions are back, and as I read over this newsletter one more time I can hear the music of the zampognari playing somewhere as they meander through the streets of Amalfi. The countdown to the vigilia di Natale, Christmas Eve, is on. It includes lots of seafood and a traditional celebration with a star that descends across the sea in Amalfi at midnight.
-Fireworks for the festival of Sant’ Andrea, November 30, 2022.
Soon the cacophonous sound of the Capodanno (New Year’s) bands will fill the streets. These large bands are made of locals playing (mostly) handmade instruments that look straight out of Whoville. It’s my favorite part of the holiday season in Amalfi!
GIVE THE AMALFI COAST FOR CHRISTMAS
Planning a trip or know someone coming to the Amalfi Coast in 2023? Pick up a copy of Moon Amalfi Coast with Capri, Naples & Pompeii or Moon Southern Italy to inspire and help plan a beautiful trip to Italy next year. It makes a great gift or stocking stuffer for the holidays!
ISCHIA FLOOD RELIEF FUND
The news of the terrible flood and landslide on Ischia that took place on November 26th has circled the world. Twelve people lost their lives, families lost their loved ones and their homes, and the landslide has left an open wound in the heart of Ischia and a lot of questions. But right now, especially during this holiday time, I am sure many of you may wonder how you can help - even in any small way.
Here’s one of the best ways to help, as shared by the organization Ischia is More: “You can contribute by donating to the Caritas Diocesana on Ischia, who is raising funds to bring help and hope to those who need it most.”
HOW TO DONATE:
Curia vescovile di Ischia - Caritas diocesana
Monte Paschi di Siena – Branch of Ischia 39931
REFERENCE: Emergenza Alluvione 2022
Here’s what has caught my eye in Amalfi Coast & Italy news lately:
Enjoy this video of Christmas time in Positano with Nicki!
The New York Times tempting the tastebuds with A Pizza Pilgrimage to Campania.
Want to live in Italy part of each year? Italy Perfect has The Modern Way to Buy a Vacation Home in Florence.
This wedding on Capri and the Li Galli islands is even more fantastical than the one Kevin Kwan wrote in his fun book Sex & Vanity.
Even Michelangelo’s David needs a dusting every now and again. Read more about Eleanora Pucci’s unique job.
No one captures the spirit and energy of Naples like the photographer Roberto Salomone. Check out his photos from the celebrations in Naples for Argentina during the World Cup finale last Sunday. Side note, I hadn’t realized that Maradona’s face in that iconic mural in Naples was a window until I was watching Roberto’s videos on Instagram last Sunday. Argentinian player Diego Maradona is adored in Naples (from his days playing with the Naples soccer team - the stadium in Naples is even named after him), and as Messi reached Maradona status with the World Cup win … the celebrations exploded in Naples!
This is a gorgeous version of the song Caruso by HAUSER & Matteo Bocelli. You’re welcome.
-Christmas colors in Atrani … like a presepe!
If you’d like to see the Christmas celebrations and all the fun of the holidays in Amalfi, just follow Ciao Amalfi on Instagram or Facebook where I’ll be sharing more. Wishing you a happy and healthy holiday time this year!
Buon Natale from Amalfi,
Liked your last 2 posts. Our last trip to the festival of Saint Andrea was November 30 2019. The festival was spectacular as were the Christmas lights. Thanks for rekindling the memories. Look forward to returning to Amalfi this year.