Praiano, Italy

Located midway along the Amalfi Coast in the province of Salerno, Praiano is a small, refreshingly un-touristy town in a part of Italy reliably crowded with visitors.

Praiano began as a resort town, a summer escape for the ruling class of Amalfi to the south.
For hundreds of years textiles were key to the economy. In addition to flax and linen works, the city was famous for producing the netted material needed for the gorgeous and elaborate hairnets favored by Renaissance ladies. Anchovies and coral fishing were also important to the economy, and white the textile trade has vanished and coral is no longer harvested, fishing still thrives. A treat for early risers is to be on hand when the boats come in with their catch, and local fishermen are quick to offer samples fresh from the sea.

Natural beauty, historic buildings and an unhurried atmosphere make Praiano a good stop or a final destination. Two churches, the baroque-style San Luca and renaissance era San Gennero are notable for their stunning maiolica tile work. No dour colors here: the tiles swirl with the whites, azures, and sunny yellows of the region.

Starting from central Praiano is the famous Sentiero degli Dei, or Walk of the Gods, that goes all the way to Agerola. The hike is not particularly steep but it is long and can take three or four hours for an average hiker to complete. Even those who go only part way will be rewarded with stunning views of the coast.

There are numerous grottoes along the base of Amalfi’s cliffs, and one of Praiano’s most popular features is the Grotto Esmerelda, or Green Grotto, whose pool reflects a phosphorescent glow. For comparison, one can visit the famous Blue Grotto on the nearby Isle of Capri, which can be reached by both ferry and private tour boat.

Sophisticated restaurants and good wine bars are part of life in Priano, along with one of the world’s most unusual discos. The Night Club Africana, built in caverns deep in the rock, puts a whole new spin on the word “underground.” Initially a haven for Kenyan musicians fleeing above-ground prejudice and rock and roll, the club opened in 1962. Today it’s the most famous night spot on the coast, a venue for shows, live music and disco, with a glass dance floor perched above the ocean.

Amalfi Coast is a good place to escape Italy’s crowds and searing summer heat. The maximum temperature in the hot months of July and August is only 82 F, and in the low-to-mid 70s in May and June. Other months are cool, in the 50s and 60s. Praiano is humid in general and visitors may want to avoid the rainy months of October and November.

Amalfi Coast, Italy




Naples Airport

Amalfi Coast













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