Events & Festivals: Where to Go and What to See on the Amalfi Coast

From Positano to Ravello, we selected for you the best festivals of the "Costiera"

By Amalfi Coasting


End of May/beginning of July 2016 Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics

The Regatta of the Ancient Maritime Republics is a historic boat race that for the last 68 years has been held between Amalfi, Genoa, Venice and Pisa the city–states that dominated the Mediterranean Sea from the tenth till the eighteenth centuries. Every four years the Regatta is hosted by Amalfi. The next time will be in 2016. 

The competing boats are built according to a twelfth century model and have an 8–rower crew guided by a helmsman.

The hulls of the ships are painted in the traditional colors of the four Republics: blue for Amalfi, white for Genoa, green for Venice and red for Pisa.

Each boat has its Republic's flag hoisted at its stern, and a characteristic figurehead at its prow. Amalfi’s figurehead is a winged horse and a mermaid; Genoa a dragon that evokes its protector, St. George; Venice the lion of St. Mark, its holy protector and Pisa the imperial eagle, in memory of the Tuscan Republic’s ties to the Swabians and the Ghibellines.

The race, preceded by a procession of people in historic costumes is run over a 2km course which in Amalfi begins at Cape Vettica and ends in front of the Great Marina.

June 27th and November 30th Feast of Sant'Andrea

Every year, on June 27th and November 30th, Amalfi celebrates Sant'Andrea, the town's patron saint and protector of fishermen (before becoming an apostle, St Andrew was a fisherman in Capernaum, on the northern shore of the Sea of Galilee).

The event commemorates the “miraculous storm” of June 27th 1544 that according to the local tradition was conjured up by the saint to prevent the fleet of Saracen pirate Kair–Ad–Din from conquering the town. The festival begins with a solemn procession with the statue of the saint, referred to by the locals as "'o' viecchio"(the Old One). The silver bust of Sant’ Andrea is carried down the steps of the Duomo through the city center to the Marina Grande beach, where it is welcomed by fishermen. After a blessing to the harbor and its boats, which blow their horns to celebrate, the statue is brought back by the fishermen who, at the end, run with it up the long and steep staircase that leads to the Cathedral. The festivities continue throughout the evening with games, music and dances and conclude with a beautiful firework display that light up the sea and the sky of Amalfi. The festival is repeated also on November 30th, the anniversary of the death of St Andrew in 60 a.C., when it has a much more local flavor as the town is not overrun by tourists.


August 31st–1 September 2nd Byzantine New Year

This festival is held every year in Amalfi and the neighboring town of Atrani on the last day of August and the first day of September. It celebrates the beginning of the new fiscal and judicial year during the Byzantine era.

On that day, the heads of the Ancient Maritime Republic of Amalfi also used to formally assume power with the Duke's Ordination Ceremony, which was held in the Palatine chapel of the Church of S. Salvatore de Birecto, in Atrani.

This small but beautiful town adjacent to Amalfi, used to be a separate civitas – or city – during the period of the Amalfitana Republic. The new Byzantine year is also celebrated with an historic parade and medieval games.


July 22nd Feast of Santa Maria Maddalena

The Feast of Santa Maria Maddalena, or St. Mary Magdalene, includes a procession and a spectacular pyrotechnical show, with fireworks shot from the cliffs and the sea.

The holiday is a celebration of a thirteenth century miracle, when according to local tradition, the saint saved the town from an attack by Alexandrian pirates. The procession starts at the Church of Santa Maria Maddalena, a local landmark with a simple but beautiful 16th century bell tower and a more ornate white façade, the only example of Rococo architecture on the Amalfi Coast. With the whole town decorated with multi–colored lights that softly illuminated houses and alleys, the ancient bronze bells ring loudly and the band plays as the statue of the saint is taken around the town in a slow procession. Then fireworks burst over the sea, brightening the sky with a blend of vivid colors. The festival offers a great opportunity to sample local dishes, in particular the "sarchiapone", a green squash stuffed with minced meat, mozzarella and eggs and served with tomato sauce.


First week of August The Days of the Blue Fish

The village of Cetara is the only town on the Amalfi Coast that still has a commercial fishing fleet and it is known in the area for its tuna and, even more, for its anchovies. "Le Giornate del Pesce Azzurro", or Days of the Blue Fish, are celebrated every year on the first week of August.

This local gastronomic fair familiarize visitors with Cetara's fishing tradition through tastings and visits aboard local fishing boats.

In the evening, while traditional music is played, the town's port becomes an open air restaurant with food booths that offer all kind of fish dishes – tuna and every imaginable version of anchovies served with wine, olive oil and limoncello.


August 5th Feast of the Madonna della Neve

This festival starts with a mass on the beach in front of the eponymous church, followed by a procession of local fishing boats that sail to Amalfi and back.

First week of August The “Sfogliatella Santa Rosa" Festival

Every year, in the first week of August, Conca dei Marini holds a festival in honor of the sfogliatella.

This shell–shaped pastry filled with ricotta cheese and candied fruit was first conceived in the seventeenth century by the nuns of the Santa Rosa Convent, high above the sea outside Conca. The recipe was initially jealously guarded but with time it became known in the area.

Thus the sfogliatella grew into one of the most typical and successful pastries of the Neapolitan culinary tradition.


5/14/15 August Feast of the Assunta

The Festival of Our Lady of the Assumption, is Positano's most important religious celebration.

The festival honors the town's patron saint and celebrates an ancient legend on the origin of the Virgin Mary twelfth century Byzantine icon kept in the local church. This legend says that a ship carrying the icon was beached in the bay of Positano and that only after handing over the icon to the town, the foreign sailors were able to set sail and leave the bay.

The celebration begins on August 5 with "Exiting of the Madonna," when an eighteenth century statue of Our Lady Saint Mary of the Assumption is taken out of the chapel of St. Stephen, where it is kept with the twelfth century icon.

On August 14th there is the "Alzata del quadro" ("The Lifting of the Painting"), in front of the Church of Santa Maria Assunta. That evening, a procession of illuminated boats heads to the "Mamma e Figlio" rocks by the beach of Fornillo and then go back to the main beach, the Spiaggia Grande, and to the Cathedral.

On the night of the 15th the Festival ends with spectacular fireworks over Positano’s Fornillo beach.

Last Saturday of September Feast of the Fish

On the last Saturday in September, the end of the summer season is celebrated on Positano's Fornillo beach with live music and tastings of local fish dishes accompanied by sangria.



July 31st - August 4th Feast of the Luminaria Celebrated each year for five days starting on August 1st, the Luminaria of San Domenico Festival revived a tradition that began in 1606, when the the first Dominican monks moved to the convent of Santa Maria a Castro, high on the mountain over Praiano, from the Sanità neighborhood of Naples.

In the past, the Praianesi would keep dry branches of vines, trees and shrubs, to burn on the day of San Domenico in their garden while lightening up their homes with torches.

The festival today still has active participation from the local community of Praiano. People adorn their terraces, windows and streets with wax and oil candles. Particularly striking is the decorum of Piazza San Gennaro, illuminated every night by about three thousand candles.

The festival is inaugurated in the Piazza San Gennaro with a performance by “fire artists”.

End of July/beginning of August Festival of San Domenico On the first evening of the Festival of San Domenico, tastings of local homemade dishes are offered by the people of via Costantinopoli, the walking road above Vettica.

On another evening, the people of the neighborhood of via Masa, the small street below the church of San Gennaro, offer their home-made dishes typical of the area.



Ravello becomes the favorite destination for music lovers thanks to the Ravello Concert Society. You can find the program HERE

Third Sunday of September Fire Show

Every year, on the third Sunday in September, the small village of Torello, just outside Ravello, celebrates Our Lady of Sorrows with one of the most spectacular firework shows in the entire Amalfi Coast.

For the occasion the borgo (hamlet) of Torello puts up lights around its church and buildings and holds a torchlight procession of the statue of the Virgin Mary. After the procession, at the sound of a trumpet, fireworks are begin from the terraces of every house and the local church’s bell tower.

For about half an hour the fireworks and the lights around the buildings, which change color to emphasize the sequence of events, give the impression that the entire village is on fire. Three loud shots signal the end of the ceremony.

The feast is a celebration of a historical battle fought – and lost – by the people of Ravello, who were then part of the Amalfi Maritime Republic, against the invading troops of Amalfi’s rival, Pisa.

At the time of the Maritime Republics, Amalfi, Pisa, Genoa and Venice fought or allied themselves with each other while competing for supremacy in the trade with the Near East.

Ravello, like all ancient cities in Italy, had built a few bulwarks against a possible invasion.

The first outpost was in a promontory in the lower part of the town named Torello.

The second, called Toro, was in a higher part and served as the last bastion of resistance.

Today Torello is a quaint neighborhood at the foot of Ravello, while Toro, in the upper part, houses the Town Hall.

On July 13, 1137, with a fleet of 100 galleys and the support of forces from the Republic of Genoa, the Pisani landed in Maiori, south of Amalfi, and quickly moved up the mountains toward Ravello.

The resistance offered by first bastion of Torello, slowed the attacking Pisans and allowed the population to take refuge in the Toro area. There the town defenders fought for days before finally surrendering to the overwhelming Pisan forces.

The festivities continue after the fireworks until late into the night with live music and food stalls.


Weekend in October Chestnut Festival

The mountains surrounding the town of Scala, near Ravello, are covered with chestnut trees. Each autumn the town holds a chestnut festival at the time of the harvest, in October. The weekend changes every year depending on the harvest.

The Festival offers regional specialties, mostly made from locally gathered chestnuts and traditional games, including a local version of the Palio, a donkey race, through the town’s central piazza.


October Wine Harvest Festival

This festival in the mountains above Maiori is dedicated to the wine harvest, vendemmia in Italian, and celebrates the winemaking traditions of the Tramonti area.

This small mountain town, made up of a dozen different small hamlets has been producing great wines for centuries and still does (see our wine tasting tour).

The Amalfi Coast’s most well-known towns are Positano, Amalfi and Ravello, three jewels, each with its own unique character and beauty and all world renowned. But at the heart of the Costiera is a fourth jewel, Praiano, a less hectic and more authentic town, where many discerning tourists have begun to stay, using it as a base for their Amalfi Coasting. Try Praiano, trust us!