Easter on the Amalfi Coast, typical rituals and flavors

Holy Week and Easter celebrations, in the villages of the Amalfi Coast, have always been lived with extreme devotion. Each community has its own traditions and, despite the very ancient origins, every year the spirituality of the Easter rites is renewed stronger than ever.

Spending the Easter period in Positano gives you the opportunity to experience the sacredness of this feast on the Amalfi Coast up close. Furthermore, during Holy Week, the local tables are enriched with succulent specialties, prepared with seasonal ingredients and able to comfort both the body and the spirit. One more reason to visit our land during the Easter period!

Holy Week on the Amalfi Coast

Every hamlet on the Amalfi Coast, from the littlest to the most populated, actively participates in the Easter celebrations, perpetrating traditions steeped in mysticism. Throughout the area, the churches host the Sepulchres, that is, the altars of the Reposition of the Cross, accessible at the end of the “Mass in Coena Domini” on Holy Thursday and usually visited by the faithful between Thursday evening and Friday morning.

In Minori, very special works of art are set up every year: these are colored “sawdust carpets” covering the floor of the Basilica of Santa Trofimena. In this village, as in Maiori, Ravello and other neighboring municipalities, moving processions take place on the occasion of the Via Crucis. We are talking about the tradition of battenti, very common on the Amalfi Coast, that implies a procession of hooded men dressed in white beating each other, especially beating their breasts, as a sign of penance. The procession is accompanied by songs and prayers, which give the context a deeply mystical character. In Atrani, on the evening of Holy Thursday, the battenti parade through the alleys of the town as far as Amalfi, lit only by torches, in a really evocative atmosphere.

Positano stands out for the ritual of “schiodazione”, carried out every Good Friday. Once taken down from the cross, Christ is led, from the church of Santa Maria Assunta, in procession in the town, through the alleys lit by torches and surrounded by devoted faithful. The spirituality of Holy Week on the Amalfi Coast culminates in joyful songs and pleasures of the table: Easter Sunday is dedicated to celebrations in churches and homes, after difficult days of penance.

The Easter flavors

Alongside ancient traditions, Easter on the Amalfi Coast is a triumph of culinary specialties. After 40 days of Lent, synonymous with renunciation and abstinence from sweets and meat, the faithful celebrate the Resurrection of Christ also at the table, re-appreciating the pleasures of the palate.

Slightly different from village to village, a typical Easter lunch starts with an abundant starter, called fellata and consisting of hard-boiled eggs, various types of sausages, cheeses, anchovies, olives and slices of casatiello or tortano – substantial savory pies very common in Positano and surroundings. As a first course we serve pasta al forno “reinforced” with salami, eggs and mozzarella or the ancient minestra maritata di Pasqua, which combines seasonal vegetables with different cuts of meat. The Lucullian banquet continues with lamb-based dishes – typical in the brothed version – or kid, usually accompanied by baked potatoes.

The festive lunch ends worthily with delicious traditional desserts: the sweet casatiello and the fragrant pastiera can’t miss on the Easter tables of the Amalfi Coast. Such abundance could be difficult to digest: our secret, even on these occasions, is a glass of aromatic limoncello, very pleasant after every meal.