Praiano was an ideal village to have a relaxing vacation in a stunningly gorgeous setting without giving up being in the thick of things. After all the more crowded, touristy towns of Amalfi and Positano are a 20 minute drive by car or the Sita Sud bus line in either direction from Hotel Onda Verde.
To reach Ravello from Amalfi and Sorrento from Positano would take 15 to 45 more minutes more, respectively. To travel to Capri by ferry, the routing involving the least amount of time would be from the Positano harbor.
Remember that access to boats to travel to Amalfi, Positano, and nearby spectacular secluded beaches is right down the steps from Hotel Onda at Marina di Praia. For example, the close by secluded “Spiaggia delle Praie beach” can only be accessed by boat and it is perfect for romantics.
Another nearby beach, Conca del Marini is known for its amazing Emerald Grotto which can be explored by boat.
This description of Conca dei Marini is from the 5/3/16 NY Times article, “36 Hours on the Amalfi Coast” by Ingrid K. Williams, “To refresh, head straight to the central village of Conca dei Marini, which has relaxation options for every budget. For the high-end, ascend to
an exclusive cliff-top resort in a former monastery with a new bliss-inducing spa. Book a massage featuring aromatic Santa Maria Novella oils, and a session of thermal bathing in the sauna, steam room and restorative hydrotherapy pool (from 90 euros, or about $100). For the low route, literally and figuratively, descend hundreds of steps leading from the main road to Marina di Conca, a small cove with a pebble beach from which you can freely soak up the sun or wade into the emerald Tyrrhenian Sea.”
La Gavitella, the other main beach, is becoming the most entertaining beach of the coast. The Gavitella is also one of the few beaches of the Amalfi Coast facing West meaning the best exposure to the sun rotation enjoying the longest sun light on the Amalfi Coast until 8:00pm during the summer.
Wikipedia notes, “The town of Praiano has a number of beaches, including the only beach on the Amalfi Coast to enjoy the sun until it sets. The nearby village of Furore, famous for its fiord, hosts a spectacular diving competition, each summer.”
Positano.com blog writes the following description about Praiano:.”
- “In addition to the maze of little lanes, the narrow flights of steps and the pretty, pastel colored cottages, one of the most characteristic features of Praiano is the majolica tiled votive shrines, which can be seen throughout the town. The shrines were constructed by the local families in order to both claim their ownership of a particular property and to obtain its divine protection. The history and churches of Praiano, the name of which derives from “Pelagianum” (Greek for ‘open sea’), has managed to conserve its authenticity, despite having become one of Italy’s favorite tourist destinations.”
- According to Wkipedia, “During the Angevin period, a fortified tower, the Assiola, was constructed to defend the town. Praiano had an important local silk industry, however, it disappeared during the 19th century. With the discovery of corals in the vicinity around the 1800s, Praiano’s economy was revitalized, mainly focusing on the fishing and tourism industries ever since.”
- “In times past, the men of Praiano were famous for their skill as coral fishers and, like the Saracen pirates, used to wear a ring in their left ear.”
- “During the height of the Amalfi Republic, the serenity and beauty of Praiano led to the town becoming the preferred summer residence of the Doge.”
- Here are excerpts about Praiano from the blog, “My Far & Away” by Julie Gilley: “By day, the town (of Praiano) features numerous historical and architectural sites such as the Church of San Luca the Evangelist, the 13th century Baroque-style structure with a beautifully tiled floral motif floor and the (Parrocchia Di San Gennaro’s) Church of Church of San Giovanni Battista, (featuring a well-preserved maiolica tiled floor, dating back to the 12th-13th centuries); located in the center of town and dating back to the 11th century. “Wonderful coast-line views are enjoyed simply by walking around Praiano and the small picturesque harbor, Marina di Praia, a fiord bay situated between two rock walls. From the harbor, take the promenade around the cliff of La Praia to the tip of the promontory to find Torre a Mare, a medieval watchtower once used to protect the town from pirates.”
(NOTE: The Torre a Mare, an 800 year old limestone watchtower is now home of the artist, Paolo Sandulli and his gallery. He does have hours when you can visit. It can be reached via the Sentiero sulla Scogliera pathway)
“Most surprisingly, it is after sunset that this quiet little town (Praiano ) comes to life offering some of the area’s leading night-time attractions.”
“The discotheque, (bar and restaurant) Africana dates back to the 1960s and is a trendy haunt for the chic celebrity crowd. Located in a rocky grotto on the seashore, you can dance the night away steps from the water.”
For those wishing to eat at the sea’s edge, try Trattoria da Armandino. Located on the pebbled beach Marina di Praia, this restaurant serves up some of the town’s finest marine cuisine.
This is what Lonely Planet writes about Africana: “This club near Marina di Praia (And Hotel Onda) makes for a memorable boogie-though beware of the pricey drinks. Africana has been going since the 1950s, when Jackie Kennedy was just one of the VIP guests. It has an extraordinary cave setting, complete with natural blowholes and a glass dance floor so you can see fish swimming under your feet.”
(On the Marina di Praia, there is the lounge and restaurant set on a stone terrace with tables beside the sea, Il Pirata. It is the perfect place for a drink and some snacks.)
For those who enjoy hiking, there is the “Path of the Gods” or Sentiero degli Dei,” a 3 hour (one way) designated pathway with breath taking, awe inspiring views. This trail which an be accessed between Praiano and Positano, is used by thousands each year.
- Inside the Path of the Gods | The path of the Gods: serious infos… www.pathofgods.com/into-the-path/inside-the-path-of-the-gods/ Because whether keen on hiking or not, the Path of the Gods, is set in stunning natural beauty, must see, …. You can find a link to a Path of the Gods map.
- Praiano Journal: By the Sea Where the Sirens Called, an Italian Town …http://www.company-detail.com/…/praiano-journal-by-the-sea-where-the-sirens–called-an-it…Praiano, on the Amalfi Coast, has transformed itself into an open-air … By the Sea Where the Sirens Called, an Italian Town Beckons Tourists With Art.