10 Things to Do in Amalfi in January

Amalfi in the month of January officially welcomes the winter season, celebrates the arrival of the Befana and offers some tourist activities. Are you ready?

Ana Caballero

Ana Caballero

10 min read

10 Things to Do in Amalfi in January

Amalfi coast en coche rojo |©David

On the shores of the Gulf of Salerno lies the beautiful Italian town of Amalfi, surrounded by a series of steep cliffs on the Amalfi Coast. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and, without a doubt, a must-see tourist destination.

Among the best things to do in Amalfi in January, you can enjoy the celebration of the Befana, attend a cooking class to learn how to prepare winter season recipes, take advantage of the low prices in the stores and markets, visit the Cathedral or the Arsenale of Amalfi without crowds or queues, among others.

1. Enjoy the New Year's Concert, parades and street performances in Amalfi

Brass band in the street|©Oleg
Brass band in the street|©Oleg

If you find yourself in this picturesque seaside town on January 1, after finishing your itinerary of the best things to do in Amalfi in December, you can attend the town's much-anticipated New Year's Concert. Also, throughout the day you will find parades and street performances to enjoy.

You can head to the Antico Arsenale della Repubblica di Amalfi, which is located in the center of this town. There, a New Year's Concert by the SCS Internationale Harmonia Chamber Orchestra, with a repertoire of traditional and classical music, is held annually starting at 11:00 a.m.

You will also have the opportunity to dance to the rhythm of the local New Year's folk band, which usually performs outside the Valle dei Mulini after noon. But if you are on via delle Cartiere, you will also see this spectacle, as the parade moves there and ends in Piazza Duomo.

You can also go to the Cathedral of St. Andrew the Apostle at about 6:30 p.m., as the bishop performs a special ceremony (solemn Pontifical Mass). You will live a unique experience and feel like a local, to continue the next day with one of the best tours of Amalfi during your stay.

2. Join the religious and civil traditions of Amalfi with the arrival of the Befana Witch

People with witches in their hands|©Susana
People with witches in their hands|©Susana

In case you are in Amalfi on January 6, you will have the opportunity to discover one of the most popular traditions in this town and in all of Italy. This is the arrival of the Befana Witch, who annually rewards good children with sweets, while those who have not behaved well, receive coal.

Definitely a fun activity aimed at children and adults, which you can incorporate into your itinerary of things to do in Amalfi in winter. You will enjoy a celebratory atmosphere throughout the city.

You will see the locals walking the streets wearing the characteristic costume of the friendly witch. You will also enjoy some of the troupes that accompany the Befana to walk through the emblematic historic center. You will have the opportunity to take pictures with her and, if you are lucky, receive some candy.

In addition, restaurants, bars, cafes and nightclubs join the celebration. In fact, if during this date you visit any of the tourist attractions or use any transfer service from Amalfi airport, the guide in charge or the driver, as the case may be, will surely tell you the story of the Befana.

3. Learn how to prepare Italian recipes from scratch in a private kitchen in Amalfi

Person making dumplings|©Farhad Ibrahimzade
Person making dumplings|©Farhad Ibrahimzade

If you are an Italian cooking enthusiast, you probably want to learn how to prepare some recipes from scratch during your 2-day stay in Amalfi or longer in January. Take advantage of the low tourist influx this month and participate in a gastronomic experience led by a professional chef.

These types of activities usually take place at the Amalfi Heaven Gardens a 4 minute drive from the city center, or at any other private kitchen in the locality. Whatever the case, the culinary expert will take you to collect some fresh ingredients.

Then you will go to a private kitchen to start the class. You will carefully observe the chef and follow his lead in carrying out each sweet and savory dish, according to the selected menu.

Although preparations often vary, generally the best cooking classes in Amalfi incorporate traditional recipes such as Italian bruschettas, homemade pasta such as stuffed lemon ravioli and zucchini flowers stuffed with anchovies. Also, lemon tiramisu, chocolate eggplants, among others.

Information of interest

  • Price: the average price of the cooking class is 109€ per person. However, this varies according to the type of sweet or savory preparations.
  • Duration: about 4 hours.
  • Advantages: you will learn how to prepare various traditional Italian dishes from scratch.

Book a cooking class in Amalfi

4. Embark on a scenic drive or bus ride along the Amalfi Coast

Carriages on the streets of Amalfi|©Rutger van der Maar
Carriages on the streets of Amalfi|©Rutger van der Maar

In January some of the best day trips from Amalfi by sea may not be available due to the season. However, you can embark on a scenic land tour at your own pace. You will be amazed by the incredible scenic charm of this region in winter.

You can travel along the Via Matteo Camera from Amalfi to Positano, passing through Conca dei Marini and Praiano. This is an approximate route of 56 minutes by bus or 37 minutes by car.

Alternatively, you can drive along the SS163 towards Via Giuseppe Mazzini from Amalfi to Vietri Sul Mare. This is a stretch by car (44 minutes) or by bus (1 hour and 10 minutes), which will allow you to discover the villages of Atrani, San Cosma, Minori and Cetara.

Whether you use a rental car or board the corresponding public bus route, you will have the opportunity to quickly tour the Amalfi Coast. You will get privileged panoramic views where the protagonists are the sea and the rich vegetation (pine trees, olive groves, lemon trees, oleanders) craggy among the rocks.

5. Visit the beaches of Amalfi and enjoy the magic of the sea in winter

Maiori, Amalfi Coast|©Ross Evans
Maiori, Amalfi Coast|©Ross Evans

Believe it or not, visiting the beach of the Mermaids or Il Duoglio Spiaggia, is a good choice during the month of January. You will enjoy a magical natural scenery in two of the best beaches in Amalfi. You can relax, take amazing pictures and even surf.

Take a stroll along the Amalfi beaches

If you want to feel the sea breeze on your face, while breathing the salty air and smelling the scent of the Mediterranean scrub, then you should take a walk on the beaches of Amalfi. You can lie on the sand, do yoga, relax and enjoy the nostalgic atmosphere of the season.

Take amazing pictures

The wintry atmosphere of the Amalfi beaches in January proves to be the ideal setting for photo enthusiasts. You will contemplate different perspectives of the sea merging with the sky, creating really special compositions. All this, thanks to the cool tones, shadows, effects of natural light, among other aspects.

Get on your surfboard for a few minutes

Although the average water temperature in Amalfi in January is 14ºC, this will not be an impediment for surf lovers. You'll be able to take advantage of the choppy winter waters, which give way to big waves. Of course, you should use the right equipment to avoid hypothermia and have experience surfing, as the sea is usually swollen.

Book a boat trip along the Amalfi Coast

6. Take advantage of the low January prices in Amalfi and buy some souvenirs while enjoying the Piazza Duomo

Street market in Napoli|©Yaxbalam
Street market in Napoli|©Yaxbalam

Whether you spend 1 to 4 days in Amalfi or even longer, you'll need to incorporate a visit to the Piazza Duomo into your itinerary. In this important commercial artery, you will find numerous stores with low prices in January.

Along your walk through this pedestrian area, which starts from Via Lorenzo, you will find dozens of stores where you can buy souvenirs and handicrafts. Such is the case of locally made paper, spices and herbs grown in the farms of the region.

You can also sit in a pastry shop or restaurant terrace to take a break and taste, for example, a lemon tiramisu with a delicious Italian coffee or drink a glass of wine. All this while enjoying the panoramic view of this picturesque city.

You can also take a close look at the Fountain of St. Andrew the Apostle, which stands out in the center of the square, just in front of the Cathedral. This is an emblematic marble monument, dedicated to the patron saint of the town.

7. Discover the Antico Arsenale della Repubblica di Amalfi during the cold days of January

Amalfi_Arsenale|©Pia M. - Vittoria S. //
Amalfi_Arsenale|©Pia M. - Vittoria S. //

Traveling to Amalfi in January you can discover the naval history of the city by visiting the Antico Arsenale, located in the historic center. You will see a series of exhibits with documents, artifacts and sculptures. All this, while you take shelter from the winter cold of the season.

When you arrive at this ancient armory, you will find inside the Museum of the Compass and the Maritime Duchy, which preserves collections belonging to the golden age of the ancient Marine Republic.

Among the objects to be observed are:

  • The Tabula of Amalpha: this is a maritime code written in Latin.
  • Several copies of Tarì: a coin minted by Amalfi for Mediterranean exchanges.
  • Collection of historical garments, made and used during the Byzantine New Year procession.
  • Nautical orientation tools such as the compass.

In addition, you will see pictorial works by Domenico Morelli. In them, you will see the pediment of the Cathedral of Amalfi and some apostles.

Information of interest

  • Price: admission is free.
  • Hours: Tuesday to Sunday from 10:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm (winter). Every day from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. (summer).

8. Experience the lively nightlife of Amalfi

Amalfi night|©Jenia Fabisuk
Amalfi night|©Jenia Fabisuk

Your 3-day itinerary in Amalfi or longer cannot be complete without a glimpse of the town 's lively nightlife. You will soothe the January winter chill with delicious drinks (alcoholic and non-alcoholic) from the local bars and restaurants.

This is a tour you can undertake on your own, always being sure to enjoy a warm atmosphere, surrounded by locals and other tourists, who, like you, want to have fun.

Some of the bar-restaurants you can visit include:

  • The Blue Mermaid Bar: located on Via Duca Mansone I. You will enjoy theme nights, snack bar, a beautiful terrace and modern music.
  • The Bar Masaniello Art Café, in via Matteo Camera. You will find a lively atmosphere, cocktails, beer and live DJs.

9. Tour the historic Cathedral of Sant'Andrea in Amalfi and contemplate its architectural richness.

Basilica di Sant Andrea|©cohodas208c
Basilica di Sant Andrea|©cohodas208c

The Cathedral of Sant'Andrea is a must-see destination in winter or summer. So, no matter if you are passing through this town because you are touring the Amalfi Coast, or you plan to spend more or less than 5 days in Amalfi, you should take a tour of this historic monument.

You can walk freely to the Cathedral of Amalfi, to contemplate its interior built in marble and decorated with baroque frescoes. You will see the main altar, the three internal naves in Gothic style and the amazing predominant details (mosaics, frescoes).

In addition, you will have access to other areas that make up the cathedral. For example:

  • The exterior facade in Gothic and Renaissance style.
  • The crypt, raised over the tomb of St. Andrew the Apostle, who is the patron saint of this coastal town. There, you will see some of his relics brought from Constantinople.
  • The 12th centurybell tower, which is located adjacent to the monumental cathedral.

On the other hand, there is the cloister, dating from 1268 and whose Norman style is evident through its six chapels. This area and the Diocesan Museum of the Cathedral require an entrance fee. However, they are usually closed in January.

Information of interest

  • Price: admission is free except for the cloister and the museum, for which you must pay an average price of 3€ per person.
  • Hours: from November to February (10:00 am to 1:00 pm and 2:30 pm to 4:30 pm). From March to June (9:00 to 18:45 hours) and from July to September (9:00 to 19:45 hours).

10. Walk through the narrow streets of Amalfi and discover the Rione Vagliendola neighborhood

Narrow street in Amalfi|©HARRISON GRIGSBY
Narrow street in Amalfi|©HARRISON GRIGSBY

Walking through an alley that runs through the heart of Amalfi until you reach the Rione Vagliendola neighborhood is definitely a must-do activity in January. You can enjoy the nostalgic atmosphere of the winter season, while contemplating a different perspective from the top of the cliff.

You should walk along Via Lorenzo D'Amalfi along one of the streets that connects to the side of Piazza dei Dogi. You will ascend a flight of steps with narrow arches to the Rione Vagliendola district, which in the 12th century served as a shelter for the noble houses of Amalfi.

You can stop to observe how the city, the rough January sea and the cloudy sky that gives way to some rays of light, manage to come together harmoniously to give you a postcard panoramic view. In fact, you can incorporate this activity among the 10 things to do in Amalfi at night and enjoy an even more breathtaking perspective.

Temperatures in Amalfi in January

Amalfi Port|©Tyler Kellen & Tara Alan
Amalfi Port|©Tyler Kellen & Tara Alan

January in Amalfi belongs to the winter season. Therefore, during this month the thermometer usually registers a minimum temperature of 7°C, while the maximum does not exceed 13°C.

Moreover, it is important to take into consideration that January days are not only cold, but also short, with approximately 9 hours and 35 minutes of daylight (sunrise at 7:24 am and sunset at approximately 4:59 pm). Average rainfall is 148 millimeters, for a total of 7 rainy days.

Alternative plans to protect yourself from the cold and rain in Amalfi in January

people in the mountains|©Rob
people in the mountains|©Rob

If you visit Amalfi in January you will have to protect yourself from the cold and the rains characteristic of this winter month. To do this, you will not only have to check the weather forecast. You will also have to put into practice some recommendations:

  • Dress in layers like an onion. Start with a thermal and close-fitting garment. Next, use a set of loose-fitting clothes (pants and T-shirt) and finish with a coat.
  • Wear closed-toe shoes with good traction. This way, you will keep your feet warm, protected and avoid unexpected slipping while walking.
  • Keepa raincoat or umbrella handy, as it may rain unexpectedly.
  • Drink coffee, tea and other hot beverages, so that your body temperature does not drop due to the cold weather.