Italy- Atrani on the Amalfi Costiera
46 images Created 13 Sep 2011
Sandwiched between Mount Civita in the east and Mount Aureo in the west, Atrani is the smallest town in southern Italy for territorial extension. Its alleyways, arches, courtyards and squares, a magic landscape of stairways and homes placed one upon another, inspired writers and artists like Goethe, Ibsen and M. C. Escher. The suggestive atmosphere of the Atrani's evening has been used as a location for movies and commercials. Atrani, on the outskirts of Amalfi in the Campania region of south-western Italy, is the only town of the Costiera Amalfitana to still preserve its ancient character of fishermen village. The hearth of the village is the square, meeting place and entertainment, where tourists from all over the world watch the daily life from the tables of bars and restaurants. Here the memory of times talks in the form of roads and squares, with architectures speaking the language of the history. Only in Amalfi and Atrani had the right to elect the Amalfi's Dukes (not Doges as erroneously is said) that concentrated both the civil and military power, and the symbol of his power was a cap, the Birecto, awarded in the church of St Salvatore de Birecto of strani, built in the tenth century. The village, more extended than today, cooperate in economic and social development of the duchy but the tsunami of 1343 put an end to the splendor of Amalfi and Atrani, already tested by the continuous incursions from Pisa traditional enemy between 1135 and 1137. In the second half of 1100, Manfred, to punish Atrani for siding in favor of the pope in the struggle between the Papacy and the Empire, sent 1000 mercenaries from Alexandria of Egypt to settle in the village. According to the local tradition in 1647 Masaniello, head of a Neaple's revolt agains Spanish empire, returned to Atrani to hide in what by then was called Masaniello's Cave.