I went to Atrani in October a couple years ago. It was excellent. Atrani was perfect. It was not touristy in anyway, was very cheaply priced and we were accepted as locals for the most part. I was backpacking and stayed at the only hostel in town. We were just about the only tourists in early fall. There are a couple restaurants, a barber, a butcher and that was about it there on the cute town square. Wine was one Euro a bottle and the backpackers drank on the beach each night and we had the best times. We began to make friends with locals who would recognize us after a few days. It is just a short walk from the super toursity Amalfi and it was one of the favorite locations in a four month backpack trip around western Europe. Come when there are few tourists.
Fondest memory: Atrani is down on the ocean but if you walk up the trail in the back of town you will pass anciet villas remains, past a waterfall and eventually up a small mountain to Ravello, where the view of Atrani below is breathtaking. The walk back down the cliff through a maze of steps is gorgeous. On a walk back down we walked past a small lemon tree garden in someone's backyard terrace. They invited us in and gave us all sandwiches and drinks. We did not speak the same language but had a very fun and sweet hour together. The people were all very nice, the scenery was great, prices cheap and food wonderful. I keep in touch with a couple people from Atrani/Amalfi to this day.
Favorite thing: Walking over to Amalfi you will discover that that the streets and alleyways of Atrani have maintained their medieval structure with flowers and lamps decorating the narrow alleys and adding splashes of colour to the peeling pastel walls of the storied houses.
The walk to Amalfi from Atrani did not take long - only about 20 mins but we kept stopping to look at the architecture of the houses and views from the coast once we 'd climbed up out of the old houses and onto the balcony path around the cliff.
It almost looks impossible to squeeze throught this alleway don't you think, and i liked the lions on the dorrstep of the house on the left. The houses this side dropping down into Amalfi looked more well maintained too.
Fondest memory: One of the best views of Amalfi was from the path coming from Atrani. The beach was bustling with activity of the weekend sunworshipers aand the view around the bay was magnificent. Just at the edge of the pic you can see the path dropping down into the town - great photo spot here.
Fondest memory: Once we'd enjoyed peaceful Atrani it was onto the hustle and bustle of Amalfi. Its only a short walk around the bay - some 500m. Don''t take the busy Amalfi coastal road which goes through a litttle tunnel and full of traffic fumes but look for the sign in Piazza Umberto I near a shop which points through a small archway directing to Amalfi. This is a pleasanter route up through the houses and over a cliff path to Amalfi.
We enjoyed walking down to Atrani from Scala where we were staying, down the old stepped path - pics and info on my Scala page if you are interested.
As we reached the top of the town we were met by many whitewashed paths meandering everywhere - which all eventually lead down to the small square of Piazza Umberto I.
This beautiful, almost totally enclosed square
is a twin to that of Capri, but often used by the film-makers as a substitute. Ignored by mass tourism its an idyllic place to unwind at a cafe here with a drink and to taste typical cakes " PASTICCIOTTI".
Favorite thing: Atrani, situated at the bottom of the Dragone valley, is the twin town of Amalfi, residence of the Nobles. It is also the smallest village in Italy. In 15th Century the rebel "Masaniello" was born here and later as a fuggitive lived in the grotto that still bears his name.
Fondest memory: Aa favourable view of Atrani was this one taken looking back from the cliff path as we walked over to Amalfi - the only way to get peaceful, car-free vistas such as this.
Favorite thing: At the far end of Piazza Umberto is an old fountain. This used to be the only source of drinking water in the olden days.
Favorite thing: From the piazza the arches lead through to the sandy beach - which most unusally is free of charge. Hence its gets crowded, especially so at the weekends when the locals come out to play.