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In late June, the seaside village of Cetara celebrates its patron saint, St. Peter. Lights, banners and flags invade the village, and the festive atmosphere makes it even more incredible! Mark this event in your diary and come and enjoy the celebration!

by Roberta Cascone

Summer on the Amalfi Coast is not only the perfect time to go to the beach and hang out at trendy clubs and restaurants in a magical place; in fact, during this season there are many events that make it possible to immerse oneself in the culture and tradition of a wonderful corner of Southern Italy.

From Amalfi to Cetara to Atrani, many coastal towns celebrate their patron saint in the summer months and for the occasion organize processions, celebrations and fantastic shows that everyone should attend at least once in their lives.

In particular, June is an important month for the small but quaint seaside village of Cetara, which celebrates St. Peter on the 29th in what is also known as the fishermen's festival. Let's find out all the details!

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St Peter feast in Cetara. Ph by

The fishermen’s festival

St. Peter is the patron saint of Cetara precisely because of the strong connection of the saint and the town with fishing and the sea. Here devotion to the apostle whom Jesus himself had chosen to become a "fisher of men" is very strong and is celebrated at different times of the year. On Feb. 22, the wooden statue of the saint is taken from the niche, adorned and placed at the side of the high altar; on June 19, however, a banner depicting the patron saint, popularly called the "cloth," is raised at the end of the village's main street. Along with the so-called "raising of the cloth" another apotropaic rite takes place, namely the bathing of the Saint. On this occasion the statue is taken to the beach, prayed for by the parish priest and the faithful, and finally bathed by the village boys who dive into the sea, in a wish for an abundant fishing season. 

Finally, June 29 is the date of the most heartfelt religious festival for the people of Cetara, which attracts not only locals but also tourists and citizens of neighboring towns, all of whom are ready to participate in the traditional events planned.

A marriage of religion and tradition

The day of the Patron Saint begins with celebrations in his honor, followed by the marching band that proceeds merrily through the streets of the town. It is in the evening, however, the most evocative moment: the procession starts from the church of St. Peter the Apostle, often preceded by some women who, barefoot, carry devotional candles for the patron. The procession proceeds with traditional folk songs accompanying the statue of the saint, next to which there is always a group of Cetarean sailors. After passing through the upper part of the village, the bearers of the statue make their way to the marina, where the saint is brought to bless the beach to wish for rich fishing. Finally, again as with St. Andrew the Apostle in Amalfi, the procession ends with the final run by which St. Peter is brought back to the churchyard. The evening ends with a fireworks display over the sea that will leave you breathless!

The fireworks display on the beach. Ph by

The feast continues in the kitchen

A number of typical dishes are prepared on the occasion of St. Peter's Day, including “scapece” anchovies and spumone, a characteristic ice cream. 
It is precisely the anchovies that are the main dish of the village, already world-renowned for its colatura, and they are the undisputed stars of the Cetarese summer. In this flavorful dish, anchovies are fried and then sprinkled with vinegar and mint-a delicacy you can enjoy to have a well-rounded experience of Cetara's culture!

Tra.Vel.Mar S.r.l.

St. Peter's statue. Ph by

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On the occasion of St. Peter's Day, the fast ferry company Travelmar has arranged some extra runs so that everyone can participate! 

  • On the outward journey, departing from Salerno, there are continuous runs from 7:00 pm to 10:00 pm. 
  • Also for the return to Salerno, there are continuous runs until 2:00, at the end of the fireworks show! 
    Purchase your tickets here!

2023 event