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Flocked to during the spring and summer for its idyllic beaches, flourishing nature, colorful cities, and warm Italian sunlight, the winter months in this part of the world are equally beautiful. Void of the many crowds and tourists, you’re free to explore this wonderland of lights and festivities surrounding the holidays. Ring in the New Year with an Italian bang and follow our guide to spending this celebration on the Amalfi Coast.
Italy cherishes the months of December and January, eager to commemorate this fun and magical time of year. It won’t be hard to find colorfully illuminated streets, hanging wreaths wrapped in red bows, and any of the many concerts scheduled within the area’s cities. Many of the towns belonging to the Amalfi Coast have numerous performances that are enacted through December and early January. The smallest municipality of the comune, Atrani puts on a dazzling luminous display of colourful lights cast over the city centre. The amazing display projects a sequence of animations over the charming village. Atrani also executes theatrical shows and productions throughout the month.
The term for ‘new year’ in Italian is Capodanno, and it encapsulates the spirit packed into all the holidays. It’s meant to be shared with loved ones. One of the favoured means of celebrating this holiday is with a pageant of bursting fireworks, and you can find them all over the Amalfi Coast’s beaches. In Sorrento, you can not only find the colourful explosions but also live music performances, recitals and galas at hotels featuring the cenone, a classic multi-course meal. Dressed up in warm glowing Christmas lights and ornaments, the town reflects off the expanse of blue sea beside it, embodying the wonderful feeling of the New Year.
Wherever you might be ringing in this upcoming year on the coast, it’s vital to indulge in the incredible Italian cuisine, made even better by holiday traditions and recipes. One of the delicacies that is popular during this time of year is cotechino, a dried sausage served with lentils that is believed to procure good luck. Spumante, or ‘sparkling wine’ will accompany a lot of your meals, so wash them down with hearty gulps of the celebratory apertif. Risotto in bianco is another popular dish during the new year; the pasta grains symbolize coins that grow larger and more bountiful as it cooks, and the dish is said to bring about achievement and wealth. Finish off your tasty dish with a bit of dried fruit or grapes that are supposed to protect your newfound wealth and prosperity.
Italy has long been known for its myriad of vivacious processions and parades they have to celebrate certain times of the year. The new year is no exception, and up and down the towns of the Amalfi Coast you will be able to join in on the fun. Crowds of visitors and locals alike will make their way to the street and march together in a chaotic yet lighthearted and fun assemblage. Accompanied by members of the church bearing relics and quivering candles, you can follow this cultural cavalcade through the historic cities and squares. Folk musicians in Ravello, a town belonging to the coast that is noted for its musical history, perform a series of lively processions that fill the alleyways and avenues with jubilant holiday sounds.
One of the more peculiar customs performed along the Amalfi Coast and other regions of Italy during the new year is donning bright red underwear. The color red is said to represent fertility and will aid in blocking negative energy and spririts, ensuring good luck for the new year. You will find the vivid red garment splashed across storefront windows and advertised in magazines, so don’t forget to procure your own for the festivities.
During this time of festing and celebration where people flood the streets and sip Prosecco into the early hours, you may occasionally hear the crash of a breaking tea cup or find articles of clothing strewn at random in the cities. Although this is a tradition shared with many other cultures, the practice of throwing old cookware, clothing and other artefacts out the window and into the street is a sign of cleansing and renewal for the upcoming year in Italy. For those that don’t participate, you may often just hear the clanging of pots and pans being banged together to ward off negativity and bad spirits. You may want to watch your head while exploring the coast’s celebrations and concerts; otherwise grab an old belonging and chuck it to join in on this time-honoured custom.