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‘This coast is saturated’: Italian village braces for post-Ripley crowds | Italy



When Andrew Scott’s eponymous character within the hit new Netflix collection Ripley travels from Naples to the village of Atrani, the rickety bus has the street nearly to itself; a solitary Vespa passes going the opposite means. When he tracks down Dickie Greenleaf on the seashore, the wealthy American and his girlfriend are the one folks sunbathing on the pristine sands.

Guests to the Amalfi coast at present will be aware the distinction. Not like in 1961, the street between Positano and Salerno is now referred to as a lot for its visitors jams as for the views. Atrani could also be much less busy than its neighbour Amalfi, however in summer season its seashore is taken over by rows of umbrellas and sunbeds. A small space, maybe a fifth of the house, is public spiaggia libera.


Within the village, which has one four-star resort and some B&Bs and vacation lets, some companies are happy in regards to the Netflix publicity. Antonio Buonocore, who runs the beachside restaurant Le Arcate, stated: “The impeccable pictures has actually introduced our little village further publicity.”

However others fear how sustainable this will likely be. Antonella Florio, of Maison Escher residences, stated: “This coast is saturated with overtourism. If extra guests come due to the collection, I sincerely hope they arrive in off-season.”

Luisa Criscolo, property supervisor at Chiara’s Home, agreed: “If tourism does develop, the danger is that it’s not managed intelligently. Our village can’t address big numbers of vacationers. Vehicles, buses and motorbikes depart the visitors paralysed. The authorities must preserve an honest quantity of locations open longer so some visits may be channelled to different instances of 12 months, and should additionally encourage use of waterborne transport, and provide extra frequent providers on smaller buses.”

Dakota Fanning, Johnny Flynn and Andrew Scott in a scene from Ripley, which premiered on 4 April. {Photograph}: Courtesy of Netflix/AP

In Patricia Highsmith’s 1955 e-book The Gifted Mr Ripley, Greenleaf resides in fictional Mongibello. The TV crew switched to Atrani after looking the coast for a location to go well with their black-and-white interval fashion (impressed by the 2018 illustrated e-book Neorealismo: The New Picture in Italy 1932-1960). The collection’ manufacturing designer, David Gropman, instructed Netflix he liked Atrani’s “unimaginable geography … the connection of the principle sq. to the seashore, all of these unbelievable paths, that maze of stairs and corridors”. These all assist make early episodes visually arresting. “Su, su, su [up, up, up],” says submit workplace operator Matteo, directing Tom Ripley as much as Greenleaf’s home.

That opulent villa, nonetheless, shouldn’t be really in Atrani, however on the close by island of Capri. Villa Torricella was in-built 1902 in eclectic fashion – turrets, Moorish colonnades, pointed arches and twisted columns – for an earlier pair of American socialites, Kate Perry and Saidee Wolcott, who hid their homosexual relationship by portraying themselves as sisters.

The villa, whose onion-domed tower is definitely noticed from the ferry, is privately owned, however a one-bedroom condominium with panoramic terrace and the attractive tiled flooring Johnny Flynn as Dickie is seen pacing round on, is for lease on Airbnb from £189 an evening. There’s nonetheless some summer season availability, and many in autumn, although this will quickly change.


After Ripley was launched, Airbnb stated it had seen a 93% improve in bookings to the Atrani space, which incorporates Ravello, a bigger city just a few miles north-east.

Canny beachgoers can keep away from the crowds, although. The London-based musician Adam McCulloch visited final October, taking a bus to Positano – “the seashore was rammed” – then a ferry to Amalfi. “We left the crowds behind and walked to Atrani over hills by way of Torre dello Ziro. Up there, you see nobody. After steep steps right down to the village, we had a swim, and a drink at Bar Nettuno, then walked the coast street again to Amalfi.”

The makers of Ripley closed the centre of Atrani for a month in October 2021 to take it again to the early 60s, paying native companies for the disruption. (A 12 months later the cameras descended once more for filming of The Equalizer 3, additionally starring Dakota Fanning, who performs Dickie’s girlfriend, Marge.)


Later within the Netflix collection, Ripley’s misdeeds take him to Naples, Rome, Palermo and Venice. In every metropolis, writer-director Steven Zaillian makes use of work by Caravaggio to reflect the Twentieth-century con artist’s descent into violence, and maybe his repressed sexuality.

However Rome and Venice aren’t any strangers to movie crews or mass tourism. Atrani, everlasting inhabitants of about 800, is braced for change.

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