Atrani is an isolated fishing village, away from the noise and bustle of other locations; it is also the smallest town in the Southern Italy. The distinctive white houses whose balconies are overflowing with flowers are built on the slopes of the surrounding mountains among the lemon orchards and reach down to the sea; the name of "Atrani" probably derives from the Etruscan word "atru" (dark, obscure) because it would correspond to the view of the village as a dark spot enclosed by steep walls of rock looming over the sea.
From the urbanistic point of view, Atrani preserves the typical structure of a medieval town, with alleys and narrow street with vaults and arches, small squares and courtyards.During the time of the Ancient Maritime Republic of Amalfi, Atrani was the place where the noble families of Amalfi lived and in the ancient church of St. Salvatore de' Birecto (century XI) the highest government authorities ( the Dogi) were crowned, with the solemn placing of the doge's "birecto", or cap, on his head. This church, with a neoclassical front, is very ancient and the handsome bronze doors were cast in Constantinople in 1087, commissioned by the noble Pantaleone Viaretta, who twenty years earlier had provided Amalfi with the doors of its Cathedral. The collegiate church of St. Maria Maddalena with its glazed tile dome, is important too. Not so far from this church there is Masaniello's Cave, and below there is the home where Masaniello, the popular neapolitan revolutionary leader, was born. The Piazzetta, the central square, not so far from the beach of Atrani and surrounded by the typical houses of the Amalfi Coast, for its fresh and lively atmosphere brings to mind the well known square in Capri.
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