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10 Things to Do in Amalfi in December

December in Amalfi brings with it a climate of excitement and celebration. Christmas and New Year arrive in the winter season, so it is an ideal month for you to visit this city framed in a natural environment.

Lorena Morales

Lorena Morales

10 min read

10 Things to Do in Amalfi in December

Vista de la costa de Amalfi |©Nick Amoscato

December, in spite of the cold and the low season, is the busiest and most crowded month of the winter season. Some of the bars and restaurants, especially those on the coast, as well as hotels and souvenir stores that are closed at this time of the year, reopen their doors in December to welcome tourists.

If you love the end of the year celebrations and you are looking to travel and visit fascinating places, visiting this city in December is one of the best things to see and do in Amalfi, as you will be able to participate in traditional events that have been taking place for a long time in a city full of corners to discover and with a truly privileged view of a rough sea in the background.

1. Enjoy the Christmas experience of the nativity scenes.

Christmas crib|© Al Elmes
Christmas crib|© Al Elmes

The most characteristic winter spectacles in Amalfi are those related to Christmas celebrations. Like the Neapolitan nativity scenes, an art that emerged in the 13th century in what is now Italy. In Amalfi, you can find them in all their forms: open, closed, artistic, traditional and living.

Among the most beautiful nativity scenes you can see in the city are the traditional living nativity scene that takes place in the neighborhood of Pogerola, and the two nativity scenes located in two fountains, the one at the Fontana di Cap é Cuiccio and the one at the fountain in the small Largo Scario square. These fountains are places you are sure to visit on one of the best Amalfi tours itineraries.

The nativity scene at the Fontana di Cap é Cuiccio is permanent, that is, it is not dismantled after the festivities, and has been at the fountain since 1974. In its miniature figures, in addition to the characters of the traditional nativity scene, are represented workers and merchants of the region. Another peculiarity is that part of the scene is submerged, and surrounded by the coins that visitors throw into the fountain when they make a wish.

The case of the nativity scene in Largo Scario square is even more striking: around the figures of the Child God, Joseph, Mary, the Magi, the shepherds, the animals and the angels, the city of Amalfi is represented. If you look closely, you can read the names of stores, restaurants and hotels in the town, and you can also see the locals represented.

See the best of the Amalfi Coast

2. Taste the exquisite traditional citrus liqueurs of the Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Limoncello|©Carlotta Seely
Amalfi Limoncello|©Carlotta Seely

Although lemons and tangerines are harvested several times during the year, some say that the citrus fruits obtained in December are special for preparing two typical liqueurs of the Amalfi Coast: limoncello and mandarincello.

Tasting these regional liqueurs in bars and restaurants in Amalfi, while contemplating the landscape of this city full of history, is an experience that will take you into the spirit of the place. In addition, the lemon of this region, which is called Sfusato Amalfitano or Limona Costa d' Amalfi is a variety that you will only find on the Amalfi Coast.

Very close to Piazza Duomo, in the heart of Amalfi, you will be able to taste this traditional drink, in places like these:

On the other hand, if you wish to taste these exquisite liqueurs, and get to know the special gastronomy of the Amalfi Coast, you can sign up for a gastronomic tour or a cooking class, where you will certainly be told the culinary secrets of the region, while you get to know the best dishes of the Amalfi Coast.

Sign up for a cooking class in Amafi

3. Marvel at the fireworks over the Piazza Duomo

Fireworks in the sky|© DESIGNECOLOGIST
Fireworks in the sky|© DESIGNECOLOGIST

The birth of Jesus is one of the traditional celebrations of Christian culture, and of course, in Amalfi these celebrations are carried out with a great display of resources. Among the most colorful are the Christmas Eve fireworks.

The bronze doors of Amalfi 's Duomo open after the last mass and a massive procession climbs the stairs. This is the moment when, all over Italy, the child is placed in the manger. Then, a star of fireworks is lit just at midnight, and a show begins that lights up the entire sky over Piazza Duomo indicating the beginning of Christmas.

La Calata della Stella, and the fireworks that follow, are one of the most visited fireworks shows in all of Italy and one of the best things to do at night in Amalfi in this month. Whoever has witnessed these lights illuminating the picturesque landscape of Amalfi, never forgets it.

4. Attend the program of events dedicated to Christmas and New Year's Eve

Banda di Capodanno|©Oleg
Banda di Capodanno|©Oleg

December is a month full of surprises and a special atmosphere, thanks to the spirit of celebration that we find everywhere, and Amalfi could not be the exception. If you visit the city in December, you can't miss the traditional festival of the place, the InCanti d'Autore.

This festival is held in December in the city on the occasion of Christmas and New Year, with a line-up of shows that are renewed every year. The events are spread over several days, from a few days before December 24 until the first days of January.

The musical charm of Christmas usually takes place at the Arsenale della Repubblica, offering shows for all tastes, from traditional Christmas stories sung, opera, musicals and concerts. If you visit Amalfi in December, there is no excuse not to attend this festival, which also has free admission.

More information about the festival

  • Location: Arsenalle della Repubblica Largo Cesareo Console, 4, 84011 Amalfi SA, Italy
  • Admission fee: free

5. Tour the Christmas Market in Amalfi

Amalfi Market Place|©George Barker
Amalfi Market Place|©George Barker

If you want to live an unforgettable moment with an air of celebration and Christmas spirit, you can not miss the Christmas markets in Amalfi, which are located just a few steps from the sea, on the seafront of Cavalieri. There you will find charming objects and super original ideas for your Christmas gifts.

This market starts its activities on the first days of December from around 10 am to 8 pm. It is ideal to visit after strolling through the beautiful streets of Amalfi, or after a tour of the coast, because even in winter, you can not miss the best beaches of Amalfi.

The association La Soffitta in Piazza is responsible for organizing this market that offers small antiques, vintage objects, vintage collectibles and creative crafts, highly recommended for the curious and passionate seekers of artistic and cultural objects of the past.

More info

  • Location: Lungomare dei Cavalieri Street 84011 Amalfi, Salerno, Italy.

  • Hours: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., first days of December.

6. Participate in the race La Panoramica in Sorrento with your family

People at the finish line|©Napoli Running
People at the finish line|©Napoli Running

In December, as in all the winter months, the races that we can do in the high season Amalfi Boat Tours that we can do in the high season, are usually suspended due to the weather and the rough sea, but if you like sports, you can participate in a 27 km race that starts in Sorrento, a town located 30 km from Amalfi.

The Sorrento-Massalubrense-Positano Panoramic is held every year in the first week of December, and consists of a magnificent route between the two gulfs of Campania, where you will see very beautiful landscapes all the way, until you reach Positano. It is one of the best excursions from Amalfi that you can do.

Moreover, it is a race that is not only designed for athletes, but in which families can also participate. That is, you can sign up to run (or walk) only 2.5 km and enjoy this experience with your family or friends. Please note that children under 10 years old and people over 65 years old do not have to pay any fee to participate.

This race is considered one of the most awaited events in the region. Both Italians and foreigners can participate, with a previous registration on the La Panoramica website. In addition, if you sign up in advance, its value is quite lower, as it increases as the date of the race approaches.

More information about the race

  • Price: from 35 € to 60 € per participant approximately. 5 € for the family race for adults, and children under 10 years old and adults over 65 years old are free.
  • How to get there: you can take bus 5070 from the Largo Piccolomini stop to the Positano Chiesa Nuova stop.

Explore nearby places on an excursion from Amalfi

7. End the year celebrating in Amalfi

New Year's Eve dinner|©John Samson
New Year's Eve dinner|©John Samson

New Year's Eve in Amalfi offers you the chance to take part in the town's celebrations, which blend tradition with the contemporary. These celebrations take place from a few days before December 31 until January 6, with events that are very entertaining for both locals and visitors.

The custom on New Year's Eve, after dining on a traditional Amalfi meal, is to go out around 11:30 p.m. to watch the parade of folkloric groups through the town. Joyful music plays for the last half hour of the year and culminates right at midnight, with an amazing fireworks display over the sea.

After this beautiful show, you can stay in the square enjoying the music, singing and dancing until dawn. The next day, the groups resume their performances in the squares, greeting tourists and residents to the New Year with satirical verses and ancient tarantellas.

The celebrations in Amalfi don't stop until January 6, the day of the Cabalgata dei Pastorelli in the morning; performances by folk groups in the afternoon; and then the Calata della Stella and the repositioning of the Infant Jesus in the Cathedral. So if you're still in Amalfi in January, you can take the opportunity to take part in these traditional events as well.

8. Explore the sacred art in the Diocesan Museum

Amalfi Diocesan Museum|©Cedric Suzman
Amalfi Diocesan Museum|©Cedric Suzman

December, the month of the Catholic tradition of Christmas, is a special month to delve a little into the history and art of this religion, so it is a good time for you to visit the Diocesan Museum of Amalfi, the museum of sacred art that preserves the works of art of the basilica and the Cathedral, and which is located in the Basilica of the Crucifix.

This museum, inaugurated in 1995, operates next to the Cathedral of St. Andrew, in a medieval structure of the twelfth century, which is accessed through the Cloister of Paradise.

The museum is divided into four sections:

  • The Cloister, which was built between 1266 and 1268.
  • The mural paintings, dating from the 13th and 14th centuries.
  • The treasure of the Cathedral, which are precious ornaments and ceremonial objects.
  • The paintings and sculptures of the basilica and the Cathedral.

If you profess the Catholic religion, or the Christmas spirit drives you, you can not miss the sculpture of the Virgin and Child, a Renaissance high relief of the sixteenth century that is placed on the back of the marble slab of the Cathedral, and whose author remains anonymous.

More information

  • Location: Piazza Duomo, 84011 Amalfi SA, Italy
  • Hours: Every day from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Amalfi temperatures in December

Streets of Amalfi|©Petri Karvonen
Streets of Amalfi|©Petri Karvonen

December brings the last days of autumn and the first days of winter in Amalfi, and compared to the previous month, the weather is quite drier, but the maximum and minimum temperatures usually drop a little and vary between 8 and 15° C, and keeping the usual average at 14° C.

As for sunlight, it usually lasts about 9 hours. In general, sunrise is around 7.30 am and sunset starts around 4.30 pm, so it is important to start the day early to make the most of your stay in Amalfi.

If you wear the right winter clothes, the weather will be quite pleasant and, although it is usually cloudy most of the time, the rainfall is quite low, so you can enjoy this beautiful city a lot.

Amalfi tourist arrivals in December

People sitting at the table|©hagger71
People sitting at the table|©hagger71

Of the winter months in Amalfi, December is the one with the highest tourist influx. This is due to the number of celebrations and festivities, especially Christmas and New Year's Eve, which traditionally enjoy great prestige throughout Europe.

Although the weather at this time of the year may not be to some people's liking, the Amalfi coast landscapes take on a particular beauty with the fog and wind, which turn the Mediterranean Sea into a spectacle worth photographing.

Although prices in December are a little higher than in the other months of the low season, they are not as high as in the high season. In addition, many businesses, such as stores, restaurants and lodges that usually close during the winter season, open their doors during the month of December. Transfers from the airport are also usually cheaper.

What to pack to visit Amalfi in December

Suitcase with clothes|© Paige Cody
Suitcase with clothes|© Paige Cody

The most important thing is to bring clothes that are suitable for winter temperatures, no matter if you stay 2 days in Amalfi or more days. You can't miss thick long-sleeved shirts, sweaters, thick pants and, of course, hat, scarf, gloves, and a good raincoat in case it rains.

It is important that you take into account that the footwear is adequate, that is, not only warm, but also comfortable for walking and climbing stairs, which with the humidity can be a bit dangerous.

Of course, your luggage would not be complete without an umbrella and, if you want to capture the breathtaking scenery in high quality, a good camera.