Entertainment in Amalfi

We always had something special to look forward to.    The pavements were always busy for the evening passeggiata and then there were the historical processions, the annual Regatta end even celebrations for seasonal fruits and vegetables.   I was delighted when I first saw the pumpkins and long, rounded squash, not only displayed on stall counters and tables, but also sculpted by local craftsmen into houses, animals, all manner of different items.  Other festas celebrated the harvest of chestnuts, cooked in various different ways or simply sold hot from the fire.  Pasta could not be forgotten and was very good to eat hot on a cool autumnal evening. There was all the colour and pomp of the annual Regatta, as well as equally colourful religious processions.   During the Summer season we could take ourselves to the Piazza Duomo to listen to popular singers,  musicians and dancers, who would entertain their enthusiastic audience seated around them on the steps, standing or sitting at the bars.   It felt so good to be part of that crowd having so much fun.

I would never miss what for me was the most moving of all these events, the celebration of Good Friday – Venerdi Santo.    They begin with Mass in the packed cathedral at the end of which the doors are thrown open wide and in my time in Amalfi, there was usually a man representing the Christ figure and carrying a heavy wooden cross on his back.   Today they seem to use different symbols each time, but Ialways remember the man with the cross.   There is a hush throughout the town and all electric lights are closed – replaced with burning torches in holders on the walls.   My memory is that it always rained on Good Friday – symbolic tears from Heaven.


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