In the middle of the Amalfi Coast, between Positano and Amalfi, is the lesser-known but beautiful village of Praiano. It is a seaside resort that has retained its atmosphere as a quiet fishing town throughout the centuries. It is an ideal base for a vacation on the Amalfi Coast, as the other towns can be easily reached from here by bus or boat. It's well connected to Sorrento, Positano, and Amalfi by the regional SITA bus, and by ferries, as well.
It has a long reputation as a hospitable and fashionable resort, having been the favored summer residence of the powerful Doges of the Maritime Republic of Amalfi. Nowadays, it attracts visitors from around the world, drawn to its crystal-clear seas that are awarded the Bandiera Blu (Blue Flag) for cleanliness, and the encompassing views. The ambiance here is friendly and laid-back. Praiano has the feel of a village while offering the cafes, shops and restaurants of a resort.
The main draw, of course, is the sea and the panoramas. Praiano's main beach is the small, enchanting Marina di Praia, which is situated at the end of the wild Praia valley, surrounded by erosion-marked cliffs. The pretty, cylindrical Torre a Mare sits on a promontory, still standing guard over the town and coastline as it has for centuries. The medieval structure served against attacks by pirates. Other beaches are reachable by boat, making them the ideal place for a peaceful day. The steep cliffs around Praiano are ablaze with flowers and eye-catching views.
The town's cathedral is dedicated to Saint Luke the Evangelist. Originally built in 1588, it was redone in Baroque style in 1772. It is accompanied by a squat, square bell tower and is decorated with hand-painted maiolica tiles, a traditional craft all along the Amalfi Coast. The church and convent of Santa Maria a Castro is set on the hillside outside Praiano at 365 meters above sea level. It rests amidst the natural landscape and is a peaceful, solitary spot, as the monks intended it to be centuries ago when they came here for contemplation and prayer. The entire area around Praiano is a nature-lover's dream, with lots of trails and quiet coves.
In town, there is an abundance of restaurants and coffee bars, for enjoying a cappuccino or glass of wine and to taste the local specialties.
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Explore nearby towns
Following the hairpin curves of the road cut along the coast between Amalfi and Positano, it's easy to miss Furore, but you should be on the look-out for it and stop.
Bomerano, a small village in the upper hills above Conca dei Marini is a lovely alpine-like town above the Amalfi Coast.
Nocelle is a sleepy ancient hamlet near Positano, where you can enjoy a peaceful stay far away from traffic and noise.