It was my second trip to the Amalfi Coast, and I went to Praiano again because of it's fantastic location (smack-dab between Positano and Amalfi) it's wonderful ability to cater to tourists without feeling like a touristy town, and it's lovely people.
My first visit was for a month in October '07 and the second was 2 weeks in August '09, and I stayed in a villa called Il Gradillo (apt. La Praia) on the south end of town. It's 232 steps up from the main road, but not too difficult to get to from the Tutto per Tutti market (about a 10 minute walk on a pedestrian walkway, mostly stairs leading down). Our private terrace showcased the amazingly blue sea and high cliff walls behind us, and the villa was a perfect haven for cooking and relaxing. I rented through Ville in Italia, and Alessandra was more than helpful in answering questions and arranging the paperwork! Our keyholder, Fortunata, was a gracious hostess, and helped with any situation we had, from having groceries delivered the day of our arrival, to arranging a luggage carrier on the day of our departure. We were even able to get photos of a cat that we took care of sent to us!
This trip in August for two weeks was just as perfect, although we had some rainy days mixed between sunny ones. The beach at Marina di Praia is a 20 minute walk down, and has sunbeds and umbrellas to rent for the day. The beach is a bit rocky, so bring flip flops or water shoes to get in and out of the water. There are a handful of restaurants right there on the beach, and offer fresh-from-the-sea fish. We saw someone from the restaurant head down to the water with a net, coming back a few minutes later with a squid! I recommend Da Armandino for a relaxing dinner, be sure to sit outside.
In town, the proprietor of the lounge at Le Fioriere welcomes you with a smile. We came to love Luigi, and he was never without a kind word or even some advice about things to do around town. The drinks are great, and come with a bowl of huge green olives and chips. The atmosphere at the outdoor balcony is lively, and full of people watching opportunities.
Getting around can be difficult, so check in at the Tourist Info Office in the main part of town (across from San Gennaro church) early on and pick up the schedules for both the Flavio Gioia bus, which goes through Praiano twice, then over to Positano and back, and the SITA bus, which runs along the whole Amalfi Coast from Sorrento to Salerno. Tickets for both can be bought at any Tabacci shop that has the big T sign outside. We found it helpful to buy a handful of Flavio Gioia tickets to have with us for getting around Praiano and Positano.
Dinner at the Onda Verde hotel is divine. Overlooking the beach and small fishing boats, you get a beautiful view of the coastline heading south. There are many seafood delicacies, and locally grown vegetables on the menu.
Another restaurant of note is Il Pirata, right below the Onda Verde (so you have the same lovely view). The food is less expensive than Onda Verde, but top notch. Great seafood dishes. Il Pirata also has live music on some nights, so check out their schedule.
I can't forget to mention the market called Tutto per Tutti, which has a fantastic array of local and imported foods, great local produce, a full deli and bakery and a wonderful wine cellar on the bottom level. The wines are arranged by region, so you can taste from all over the country. The staff is very helpful, but it goes a long way to learn a little Italian. It's very much appreciated!
- Also Known As:
- Il Gradillo Praiano, Amalfi Coast, Italy