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Hotel At A Glance
Hotel At A Glance
Explore Praiano

Amalfi Coast’s best kept secret

Words by Devorah Lev-Tov
Is The Amalfi Coast’s
Best Kept Secret
restaurants and ancient history,
this small town can’t help but charm.

I could feel the sun on my back as my husband and I made our way up the winding path that led away from the beautiful majolica tiled blue and white dome of the Parrocchia Di San Gennaro, which was built in 1589. We were in the small Italian village of Praiano, nestled on the Amalfi Coast between Positano and the city of Amalfi. Soon, we started to notice artistic tiles dotting the tangle of narrow and steep pathways, with stunning views of the Tyrrhenian Sea peeking through every few feet. These hand-painted ceramic tiles, which each depict imagery like ships, fish, and other sea life, tell the ancient story of Praiano through pictures. We learned that there are 150 of them, by eight different artists, sprinkled throughout the sprawling town.
These tiles were part of a 2016 project to draw people to the town, but lucky for us, the crowds still hadn’t come.

‘’Instead of being in an Amalfi tourist hotspot like Positano, Capri, or Ravello, we were in an under-the-radar, small-town gem that serves as an antidote to the moneyed crowds of the surrounding area‘’

It was August, said to be one of the busiest times to visit the Amalfi Coast, but the crowds were nonexistent in this gorgeous pocket of the coast. In fact, we hadn’t even seen another person since we’d left our hotel, Casa Angelina, about 10 minutes ago. Instead of being in an Amalfi tourist hotspot like Positano, Capri, or Ravello, we were in an under-the-radar, small-town gem that serves as an antidote to the moneyed crowds of the surrounding area. The scenery was just as beautiful, with the turquoise-blue waters glistening below and the picturesque cliffside towns of the coast spilling down the surrounding hills. That night, we stumbled upon what felt like a classic Italian hole-in-the-wall pasta spot, called Kasai. Unpretentious, with gorgeous views and delicious food, it became the place we returned to several times during our stay.

‘’But Praiano is more than a quaint town‘’

But Praiano is more than a quaint town. t is also home to an 800-year-old brick and stone tower called Torre a Mare, filled with the artwork of contemporary artist Paolo Sandulli; the charming Il Gusto della Costa Limoncello distillery where you can learn about and taste the liqueur made from all of the lemons you’ll see growing in town; and it is situated directly on the Path of the Gods, the famous hiking track that spans from Amalfi to Positano. Still, most visitors already know about those highlights. But when you stay at Casa Angelina, as we did, you have access to the knowledge of their local experts, including ANITA SESSA, Head Concierge. Here she shares some of her best-kept secrets of Praiano.

Where do you send guests who want to avoid crowds but still enjoy the magic of the Amalfi Coast?

“Praiano has two centers, Vettica Maggiore, which is higher on the cliffs, along the main corniche road, and Marina di Praia, tucked into a cleft in the cliffs at sea level, a little further east towards Amalfi. Both centers are small, but each have little shops, cafes, bars, and restaurants. Around them wind narrow lanes and steep steps, in between prettily colored houses.

Explore either way along the coast from Marina di Praia and you’ll find Praiano’s small beaches, some sandy, some pebbly, but all quieter than the beaches in Positano! Vettica Maggiore’s appeals include several very lovely churches: the Church of San Luca Evangelista has a beautiful majolica floor, and the Convent of San Domenico is high above the town with breathtaking views.

Praiano is also the closest town to the magical Grotta dello Smeraldo, a vast sea cave that glows a magical emerald when flooded”.

What are your favorite restaurants with the best views in Praiano?

“After a tasty aperitivo, guests can reach our fine dining restaurant Un Piano nel Cielo – the perfect setting for an unforgettable 360° sensorial experience to celebrate very special moments. Located on the fourth floor of the hotel, our fine dining restaurant offers an unrivalled setting to dine, watching the sunset in the west, while savoring the very best dishes that our chef has to offer. Our menu takes a seasonal slant and borrows from the rich cultural tradition of Campania, with our chef sourcing the bulk of his produce locally to be used in reimagined classic dishes.

La Moressa has a friendly and very welcoming atmosphere, characterized by a decor entirely dominated by shades of white. The restaurant has a lovely terrace, where you can dine under the moonlight during the summer season. La Moressa offers bar, restaurant and pizzeria service.

La Strada is an informal restaurant and pizzeria that’s just 5 minutes’ walk from Casa Angelina. This family-run restaurant is known for its handmade pastas and panoramic terrace overlooking the village of Positano.

Another great place that is located just 2 km from Casa Angelina is the marvelous cove of Marina di Praia where there is a pebble beach, and at the foot of the cliff, Torre a Mare takes pride of place. It is from the beach of Marina di Praia that one of the Amalfi Coast’s most romantic coastal walks begins, taking visitors all the way around the cliff and beneath the tower. The beach is the perfect location for a delicious dinner under the moonlight. The restaurant that I highly recommend here is Da Armandino where, since 1986, they offer the best specialties of the local tradition, like a tasty linguine dish with seafood, delicious fried seafood, and the typical Squids Praianese Style”.

Where do you recommend going shopping for souvenirs in Praiano?

“In terms of shopping, here in Praiano, people will find La Bacheca, a really beautiful ceramic shop and a few other little shops selling things like handcrafted jewels and sunglasses”.

Why would you recommend Praiano to a visitor?

“I recommend Praiano to everyone who is looking for the authenticity of the Amalfi Coast. Once a visitor arrives in Praiano, they will immediately realize that this picturesque village is an oasis of peace, rich with history and full of amazing stories.

It is immersed in a tranquil atmosphere and surrounded by the spectacular union of the green of the mountains and the blue of the ocean.

Another reason to stay in Praiano? Praiano boasts the best sunsets of the entire Amalfi Coast! Thousands of shades of pink, orange, and purple characterize these wonderful sunsets that can be appreciated from one of the cozy and intimate balconies of our Seascape Cocktail Bar or the world-famous Bar del Sole”.