There's a group of Italian experts who've spent their entire adult lives studying all the towns and villages of Italy.
After years and years of research they've come up with a list of the loveliest towns throughout Italy and one of them is Atrani - the Amalfi Coast's best kept secret.
Well it is one of the best preserved medieval towns on the entire Amalfi Coast and it is full of beautiful buildings, churches and those charming little cottages with flower boxes that are so typical of this coast.
Locals say the town is the delicious filling sandwiched between sea, mountains and history.
I agree - the setting is arguably the loveliest of any town on the entire Amalfi Coast.
Santa Maria Maddalena and San Salvatore de'Birecto are the two churches you'll want to visit. Santa Maria Maddalena is the one I like most. You'll see it on a little hill to your left as you look out to sea. The views from the church are spectacular.
Inside there are beautiful artworks, silence and dark coolness. It is truly mesmerising when you enter one of these spectacular churches.
Well, it is one of the few remaining towns on the coast to have preserved an atmosphere of a genuine fisherman's village and there are far less tourists here than in towns like Amalfi or Positano.
Nearly forgot to mention Piazza Umberto; this piazza is simply fabulous, everyone falls in love with this enchanting little square. It's a great place to enjoy lunch too and family-run Mistral is the place to go.
If you enjoy walking there's a great walk that takes you to Ravello in around two hours (walking slowly and stopping often).
Discover where the best hikes and drives are before you go by getting a copy of the evergreen classic book Sorrento, Amalfi Coast & Capri: Car Tours and Walks (Sunflower Landscapes).
Atrani boasts a lovely little beach that's great during the day (except for having to pay for the best bits) and ever so romantic at night; which is when the fisherman go out in their little boats with their lamps lit to attract the fish.
The site of countless little lights bobbing about on the seas like a thousand stars is unforgettable.
The beach is right in front of the town so there are no difficulties getting to it or finding it. For more on the Amalfi Coast beaches click here.
I normally stay elsewhere on the coast, Liparlati in Positano is a favorite of mine, however, should you wish to stay in Atrani, then the B&B Viacampo6 is highly recommended.
If you're not staying in Atrani and are visiting from another town on the Amalfi Coast then don't bother driving as parking is impossible from June through August.
You're better off catching the Sita bus which runs up and down the coast from 6am to 10pm. They normally run every half an hour or so and if you're coming from Amalfi it only takes about five minutes to get here.
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