Small and suggestive, bewitching and mysterious. atrani is the smallest town in Italy, a charm set on the rock with an ancient medieval structure. Alleys, stairs and climbing houses give the village a nativity scene with many “stairways” to facilitate the use of the spaces between one house and another.
Overlooking the sea and at the mouth of the Dragone Valley, Atrani is the twin village of the renowned Amalfi, jewel of the Coast that every year attracts tourists from Italy and abroad. The center of the municipality is Piazza Umberto I, initially born as a shelter for boats from storm surges. Now time has transformed it into a behind the scenes of the small beach and the boundless spectacle of the sea. A little gem where it stands out the Church of San Salvatore del Bireto, famous because it was chosen by the Dukes of Amalfi for the investiture with the imposition of the ducal cap (called birecto).
Near the church, it is possible to find the Masaniello cave, which tradition says was the refuge of the revolutionary. A specific choice because it is close to the maternal home. There is also a stone fountain, but what fascinates is the direct outlet of the village to the beach and the sea, a small treasure of nature. Despite the small area (0,1206 km²), there are however many places to visit in Atrani. Isolated from city traffic thanks to its conformation, it climbs along the rocky slopes of the hill and is dotted with lush gardens and lemon groves.
La Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Maddalena, patron saint of the village, deserves particular attention because it dominates the town and characterizes it thanks to the baroque facade and the majolica dome. It is built on an ancient medieval fort in honor of the Saint’s intercession in the liberation from the Saracen invaders.
Suggestive too the church of Santa Maria del Bando, dating back to the 1600th century, located under the Torre dello Ziro. This is enough to understand how the village developed around the many churches present such as the Franciscan Church-Monastery of S Rosalia, the Church of San Salvatore, the Church of S. Maria Immacolata and the Chapel of S. Gertrude. During the Christmas period, a visit to the Chiesa del Carmine is almost mandatory, guardian of a crib from the XNUMXs.
Among the emblems of the history of the village of Atrani is the Church of S. Michele Fuori le Mura, built in 1100 and the place where the bodies of the victims of the plague of 1656 were laid. According to legend, the wall of the Church bears the signs of the terrible plague.
Throughout history there are many characters who have been fascinated by this small pearl of the Amalfi Coast, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. But who literally changed his life after meeting Atrani, it was Maurits cornelis escher, Dutch engraver and graphic artist. The artist took refuge in the village struck by the light and the architectural lines present as well as the landscapes, true sources of inspiration. The numerous geometric shapes created by nature and mastered by the hand of man without interfering and defacing the landscape have been an influence for Escher’s works. Yet another distinctive feature of Atrani, one of the most beautiful villages in Italy.