Atrani where Netflix filmed hit series Ripley

Atrani braces for tourist surge following Netflix series Ripley

By Region News Southern Italy Travel & Tourism

The Atrani area of the Amalfi coast is expecting a surge in visitors following the Netflix hit series Ripley which was partly filmed there.

In the popular new Netflix series Ripley, Andrew Scott’s eponymous character embarks on a journey from Naples to the quaint village of Atrani. Along the way, the narrow road is eerily quiet, with only a solitary Vespa passing by in the opposite direction. When he finally locates Dickie Greenleaf at the beach, he finds the wealthy American and his companion enjoying the sun on the pristine sands, seemingly alone.

However, today’s visitors to the Amalfi coast would witness a stark contrast. Unlike in 1961, the road between Positano and Salerno is now notorious for its traffic jams. While Atrani may be less bustling than its neighbouring Amalfi, its beach is crowded with rows of umbrellas and sunbeds during the summer months. Only a small fraction of the space remains designated as public beach.

In the village itself, which boasts only one four-star hotel and a handful of B&Bs and holiday rentals, some businesses welcome the attention brought by Netflix. However, there are concerns about the sustainability of this newfound fame.

Luisa Criscolo, a property manager at Chiara’s House, told The Guardian she shares these concerns: “If tourism continues to grow unchecked, there is a risk that it will not be managed properly. Our village simply cannot handle large numbers of tourists. The traffic congestion caused by cars, buses, and motorcycles often brings the village to a standstill. Authorities must ensure that a decent number of establishments remain open for longer periods, allowing visits to be spread out over the year. Additionally, they should promote the use of water-based transportation and increase the frequency of smaller bus services.”

From Mongibello to Atrani

In Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 novel The Talented Mr. Ripley, Greenleaf resides in the fictional Mongibello. The television production team opted for Atrani after an extensive search along the coastline for a location that suited their black-and-white period style. Inspired by the 2018 illustrated book Neorealismo: The New Image in Italy 1932-1960, the series’ production designer, David Gropman, was particularly drawn to Atrani’s “incredible geography,” including its main square’s proximity to the beach and the maze of stairs and corridors.

Although the opulent villa is not actually located in Atrani but on the nearby island of Capri, the release of Ripley prompted a surge in Airbnb bookings to the Atrani area, including Ravello, a larger town a few miles northeast.

The production of Ripley closed the centre of Atrani for a month in October 2021 to recreate the ambiance of the early 1960s, compensating local businesses for any disruptions.

In later episodes of the Netflix series, Ripley’s actions lead him to Naples, Rome, Palermo, and Venice. Writer-director Steven Zaillian employs paintings by Caravaggio in each city to reflect the 20th-century con artist’s descent into violence and, perhaps, his suppressed sexuality.

The White Lotus led to a leap in tourist numbers from the States following its second series based in Taormina, Sicily.

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