it en


July is an important month for the small village of Atrani. On July 22 the whole village celebrates St. Mary Magdalene, and for the event the people of Atrani prepare a very tasty traditional dish: the sarchiapone!

by Roberta Cascone

The patron saints' days on the Amalfi Coast are always an opportunity for locals to gather as a family and share traditional dishes. Among the villages that celebrate their patron saint in the summer is Atrani, the smallest town in Italy. Here, on July 22, the feast of Santa Maria Maddalena is held, and for the occasion sarchiapone, a tasty main course with seasonal vegetables stuffed with minced meat and cheese, is prepared. This is a dish with a somewhat long and laborious preparation, but once you taste it, it will repay you for your effort! Read on to learn more about it!

share this article

Atrani sarchiapone. Ph. by

A big celebration for a small village

In Atrani, the feast of St. Mary Magdalene kicks off as early as July 21, with a parade of the band through the main streets of the town and a musical performance in the evening in Piazza Umberto I. The statue of the saint, the work of local craftsmen from the 18th century, is placed on a throne and led through the alleys of the town accompanied by prayers and liturgical chants. The next day, in the morning, there are holy masses, during which parish choirs perform. At sunset the procession of the statue starts, in which it is carried down to the beach for the customary blessing of the sea. The event ends with one of the most beautiful fireworks displays on the Amalfi Coast, with the lights of the fireworks reflecting off the sea water in a riot of color. The Atranesi also move ahead to prepare sarchiapone: here's the recipe!

The statue of the saint and the fireworks display. Ph by Piero Ruggiero

The origins and recipe for the Atranese sarchiapone

The origins of sarchiapone date back to the 1960s when Don Proto, a traveler from Atrani, decided to pay homage to St. Mary Magdalene with a recipe he had known in Calabria, which was later revisited together with some of the village's restaurateurs. The name sarchiapone was also not entirely new: actor Walter Chiari had used it for one of his characters, but in Atrani it was chosen in memory of the protagonist of the “Cantata dei Pastori”, whose tall, thin figure referred precisely to the long pumpkin used in the recipe. 

Tradition has it that sarchiapone is cooked in the presence of the elders of the family and later distributed to relatives and friends: find out how to prepare it!


  • 2 bottle gourds
  • 180 gr. of minced meat (veal and pork)
  • 50 gr. of grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 diced mozzarella 
  • diced salami or ham
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper to taste

Breading ingredients:

  • flour
  • 1 egg

Ingredients for the sauce:

  • 200 gr. of tomato puree
  • 1 onion
  • salt to taste
  • 1 spoon of olive oil


  • Remove the ends of the long gourds and cut them into pieces of about 10 cm. Empty the resulting cylinders of seeds and inner pulp.
  • In a bowl, mix the minced meat with the mozzarella cheese, cold cuts, egg, Parmesan cheese, salt and pepper until you have a firm mixture.
  • Fill the cylinders with the mixture.
  • Flour the pieces, then dip them in beaten egg and finally fry them in plenty of oil.
  • Separately, prepare tomato sauce, with onion, oil and salt, and cook it for a few hours, until it thickens.
  • Sprinkle the bottom of a baking dish with tomato sauce. Then arrange the stuffed gourds in it. After that, use the sauce to cover the gourds as well. 
  • Bake the baking dish at 180 degrees for about 40 minutes, and turn the gourds occasionally while cooking.
  • Serve your sarchiapone still warm and enjoy!
Tra.Vel.Mar S.r.l.

The Sarchiapone. Ph by

share this article

  • The festivities committee of the Parish of St. Mary Magdalene of Atrani has published the program of the 2023 event: read it up here to get all the details of the celebration!

2023 event