PRAIANO: Amalfi Coast's Best Kept Secret

Positano and Amalfi are perhaps the most famous towns in the Amalfi Coast. A lot of people would probably prefer to stay in either places because I must admit, Positano, with its pastel-coloured houses perched on a cliff, is a sight to behold. It is indeed dramatic and elegant. This only means that Positano is very touristy and if you are looking for a peaceful place to stay whilst on holiday, maybe it is better to choose the least heard-of towns nearby. Amalfi town, on the other hand, is a major transportation hub and therefore very busy, too.

There is however, an equally picturesque town half-way through Positano and Amalfi town that is apparently often overlooked. The tranquility of the town provides that perfect place for much-needed rest and relaxation after a tiring whole day of exploring neighbouring towns. Despite not knowing much about this place, we chose to book our Air BnB accommodation here anyway. It was one of the best decisions we have ever made during this trip, as Praiano is definitely Amalfi Coast's best kept secret.

We spent our first full day in the Amalfi Coast exploring Praiano, which was a good idea as it was too hot during that day. First on our list was the quaint church Parrochia Di San Gennaro, famous for its beautifully decorated ceramic floor tiles. They also have the annual Luminaria di San Domenico Festival from the 31st of July to the 1st August wherein Piazza San Gennaro is illuminated by candles and the Chiesa by colourful lights.

Praiano is famous for its sunset because the town is facing west. Saying that, we were not able to watch the sunset properly because our accommodation was out of the way. Either that or we were exploring other places nearby. Apparently, the best place to watch the sunset in Praiano is at the La Gavitella beach. Be prepared to go up and down the challenging 400 steps, but I can guarantee you that it's all gonna be worth it as you will be rewarded with beautiful sceneries all the way- from narrow maze-like streets, to fish figurines, to a view of the colourful Positano from a distance. If you are not up for a swim just like us, there is always the Cala Gavitella Beach Club where you can sit, relax and enjoy some Cafe Shakerato.

Another place in Praiano that is worth visiting is the Marina di Praia beach where Torre a Mare is also located.  Torre a Mare is a medieval tower that houses the sculptures and artwork of the local artist Paolo Sandulli. Unfortunately, we were unable to visit the tower as we didn't have enough time. The Fiordo di Furore is also a place that you must see when in Praiano.

On our last day in Praiano, I made an effort to wake up early in the morning to catch the sunrise up the hill. Watching sunrise has become one of my travel routines since I found myself wandering around Venice one cold winter morning a few years ago.  There is something about the stillness of the morning that somehow inspires me. It is not necessarily because my mind is clear and fresh ideas come in, but it has more to do with exploring an unfamiliar place in a peaceful morning by myself. This brings me comfort and confidence, knowing that I am able to do something on my own whilst the world is still asleep.

So, as I opened our apartment door, the cool morning breeze touched my skin. There was the unfamiliar floral scent from the neighbour's garden. I continued to walk up the steep steps of the narrow street, examining each house that I passed by. Everywhere was quiet at half past six in the morning. Then I started counting the steps. As I ascended to the top of the hill, a lovely cat greeted me. The cat purred and I said "hi" as I continued to walk. The cat followed me, and we both walked up to Parrocchia San Luca Evangelista, a church dating back to 1588. When I finally reached Piazza San Luca, I heard laughter echoing from a distance. The world was starting to wake up, but the piazza remained empty. I stood by the fence and watched small boats floating in the sea. It was a delightful sight indeed. I was totally absorbed by the beauty that surrounded me that I literally jumped when the church bell rang. That's when I realised that I have been out for almost an hour. I walked back to the apartment with my heart full and my mind refreshed, ready for the day ahead.

Where we stayed:
Casa Aurelia (Aurora), Via Umberto I, 48, I-84010, Praiano
- We had a very pleasant stay at Casa Aurora. Not only that it is spacious, but also very clean and close to amenities. There is a gym at the bottom of the hill. The bus stop is a few yards away. Two of the best restaurants in Praiano are just around the corner. There is also a grocery store at the bottom of the street. On top of all that, the view is magnificent. But most importantly, our host Anna was amazing. She was very kind and helpful. Check out her collection of ceramic plates which her husband apparently makes in his shop in Positano.

Where we ate:
1. Kasai- via Umberto I, 84, Praiano
- Kasai easily became our favourite restaurant in Praiano. The food was delightful and very affordable. The servings came very big, even the mussels for a starter. We also didn't make any reservations both times but we were seated quite quickly. I cannot really fault the service as everyone was very friendly and accommodating. Between the three of us in two days, we had a selection of some of the most delicious meals I've had in my travels: Trofie el Pesto, Tartufo Pasta, mixed grilled seafood, Cozze con Pomodoro and Polpette.

 2. La Moressa, Piazza Moressa,1, Praiano
- This restaurant was recommended to us by our host. It was the first restaurant we ate at in Praiano and we were not disappointed. It is quite a walk up the hill, but definitely a good one. I ordered Spaghetti "the ancient way" because I haven't had pasta with anchovies before, so I was very pleased that it was delicious. It was perfectly salty and the pasta was al dente. I would say, you must put La Moressa on your list of restaurants to try in Praiano. 
Photo by Farrah

3. Ristorante M'ama- Via Umberto I, 72, Praiano
- A fine dining rooftop restaurant boosting one of the most stunning views I have seen in Praiano. Their mouth-watering tuna steak that J had was unforgettable, it was cooked to perfection. My seafood risotto was very well seasoned and Farrah's fresh Tagliatelle with Squid Ink was delectable. Their dessert was impressive especially the four shades of chocolate. Besides the great food, customer service was efficient. We were also treated with some fireworks from the top of the hill. It was indeed an amazing food experience at Ristorante M'ama.

4. La Brace, Via Gennaro Capriglione, 146, Praiano
- La Brace is one of those restaurants that do not reflect their low rating on tripadvisor. With 3.5 stars, I didn't expect the food to be that good. First of all, their catch of the day which was grilled orata fish tasted so fresh. The grilled squid was such a treat I ate it all by myself. I would definitely recommend this restaurant for the good food, friendly atmosphere and the view.



Popular posts from this blog

2018, Thank You For The Roller Coaster Ride!

The Southern Clifftop Track and Whitireia Walkways in Porirua

Afternoon Tea in London: My Experiences in 2022