Garrett and I were possessive of our first month of travel in Greece. We wanted to be alone to adjust to our new lifestyle, to sink into the reality that this nomadic habit was our new normal. Our weeks spent in Corfu and Santorini were exactly what we needed. We ended our time there feeling refreshed, happy, and ready for more company.
From Greece we went to London to spend five days with my cousin Brian and his fiancee Claire, and then went on to Italy. It was a lovely stopover, and it was nice to be in a place that felt familiar. We’ll end our summer abroad with a night in London, so I’ll write more about our collective time there then.
On the afternoon of our fifth day in London, Garrett and I took the Gatwick Express train out of Victoria and hopped on a British Airways flight to Naples. We met our friends Dave and Michelle at the airport, got into a shuttle, and began the two-hour trek to the first stop on our Italian tour: Praiano.
Praiano is a pristine little town that sits on the Amalfi Coast just south of Positano. Michelle picked this destination; originally, I wanted to go to Positano, but Michelle had been warned that it was too touristy. I’m so glad that we listened to her, because Praiano has been my favorite place that we’ve been to so far. I think we loved it so much because it felt real. Untouched by tourists. We spent so much of our days walking along ceramic-lined paths and climbing up and down stairways without seeing any other people. We got drinks at the local watering hole and stuck out like sore thumbs. We danced with line cooks and servers in restaurants at the end of their shifts. We worked our way into the culture instead of stepping into a culture that felt like it was manufactured for us.
Praiano is one of the most beautiful places that I have ever been. Its 2,000 residents take great care of their home; they beautify the streets and put a strong emphasis on recycling and composting. It was refreshing after our month in the Greek Islands; Corfu has an especially hard time with trash management.
Anyway. Praiano was clean and quiet and stunning. I would return there in a heartbeat; I was sad to leave.
The three couples in our group stayed in different places: Grand Hotel Tritone, Casa Angelina, and Casa Gentile, an Airbnb. Garrett and I stayed in Casa Gentile and absolutely loved it. The location was perfect, in a quiet residential area about 30 minutes of a walk away from Casa Angelina. It was an uphill walk, but so was everything in Praiano. That’s one thing that I will note: you need to be in relatively good shape to get around Praiano, because there are a lot of stairs. We climbed an average of 100 flights a day.
Our favorite activity in Praiano was doing a private boat tour of the Amalfi Coast, which I booked in advance through Airbnb. We spent three hours zipping along the coastline from Amalfi to Positano, drinking Prosecco, swimming, and jumping off of cliffs. I think that three hours was the perfect amount of time; any longer and we would have been wiped from the sun. I will note that if you want to go to Capri you will need to book a boat excursion that lasts 6-8 hours.
Like I mentioned before, I was sad to leave Praiano. I could’ve spent an entire summer there. Maybe I will one day. But then we arrived at our villa in Taormina, Sicily, and all of the sadness washed away!
If you are planning on visiting the Amalfi Coast, I very highly recommend booking your stay in Praiano. You can easily visit the other towns along the coast (Amalfi, Positano, Sorrento, etc.) if you like; since there’s one road that connects all of the towns, it’s more efficient (and fun!) to travel around by water taxi. If you’re staying at a hotel they can arrange this for you. I’d also recommend these bars and restaurants:
La Brace is a no-frills restaurant right in town that had my favorite pizza and pasta in all of Italy
One Fire Beach if you’re in the mood to sip on an Aperol Spritz in between ocean dips
Bar Del Sole appeared to be the local hangout; the view and the drink prices are unbeatable
Really, I’m sure that any meal or any drink had in this wonderful little town would be good. If you have the chance to visit Praiano, take it!