HI, question about the locations in the title. My grandfather was born in Salerno, yet it states he left from Atrani at age 12. Is this far?
Also, my grandmother always said they were "Napolitan" Does this make sense?
Atrani is a town and comune on the Amalfi Coast in the province of Salerno in the Campania region of south-western Italy. It is located on the outskirts of Amalfi, several minutes drive down the coast.
Naples is the capital city of the Campania Region, but in the province of Naples.
Atrani and Naples are about 30 miles apart "as the crow flies"...
Many immigrants from Campania area identified themselves as "Napolitan"because Naples is the most identifiable place in the area and the most recognizable to most people. My family from Benevento and Salerno called themselves as "Napolitan", but also were proud of their individual towns of birth.
The city of Salerno is the major city in the province by that name and Atrani is a small town to the west (in the very popular area called the Costiera Amalfitana or the Amalfi Coast). It's only about a 30 minute walk from my favorite town in the Amalfi area, Ravello, and I myself have walked along the cliffs to visit Atrani (I love taking long walks of italy, such a beautiful way to experience it!). Both towns are spectacular and worth a visit, so I highly suggest going one day! Probably the easiest way is from Naples or Sorrento, taking a bus or aliscafo (hydrofoil) to Amalfi town, then a taxi or bus to Atrani. You won't regret it!
We generally refer to Napolitani as Neopolitans in English. Hope that's helpful too, and enjoy researching your Italian heritage!
I'd also add a historical reason...till the XIX century, before the unification of Italy, its southern part was an independant state, popularly known as "regno di Napoli" (kingdom of Naples). So, may be it was usual to give the inhabitants of the kingdom, and particularly those living near Naples, the name "Neapolitans".
Atrani is a beautiful village, and has a peculiarity: as far as I know, it's the smallest autonomous Commune in Italy, with a surface of only 0,20 Kmq.
Giuseppe "Pippo" Moccaldi
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