Amalfi Coast Series: Pretty Positano and Plain Praiano

Positano

Pretty Positano and Plain Praiano, welcome to Amalfi Coast.  We stayed in Praiano, thinking that it’d be easy to drive to places like Positano and Amalfi.  Situated centrally between the two areas, it turns out that even during an off season, going to either of these places can take 30-40 minutes despite a 13km drive due to the beginning of difficult roads to drive on, which will have its own special post as well.

That said, we did stay at Praiano, and perhaps it was the weather or the insufficient amount of time, so it’s pretty unfair for me to say how good Praiano was.  But given the number of things to do and my surroundings, I would say that Praiano is great to live residentially and away from all the touristy buzz in Amalfi and Positano, and it’s cheaper.  That said, it has its cons as well which I will discuss below.  We will first discuss Praiano and then Positano.

Praiano

Not much to say about Praiano… I think the pictures will do more of the talking.

 

Accommodation

Airbnb (website)

Situated at the higher terraces of Praiano, it is not easy to get around to the other places of Praiano.  There is a bus stop about a 7 minute straight walk from the apartment, but the buses that run from Praiano to Amalfi and back or Praiano to Positano and back is very infrequent, especially the former.  Take for example, when heading back from Positano, there was a 9:20pm bus (which we made) and then it was a 11:20pm bus.

Praiano AirbnbA map of where we stayed at

Not to my liking, but there were ants on the exterior walls (not inside) but there were some dead ants on the wall and one spider I had to catch.  I was understandable about it, and I’m sure all resident places were like that.  But some people may be turned off by this and may reconsider Airbnb places because of this.  The host told me during the high season, there tends to be even more.

Also, the host took away the aircon controller.  Thankfully it wasn’t that hot during our time there and to be fair, they did say it costs €10 to use the aircon.  I mean… OK it’s uncommon in America and Asia but I guess Europe is more stingy about aircon usage (and many other things, like charging for public bathrooms etc.)

Host was friendly and helpful.  Showed us where the bus station is, where to park for free, and even gave us a bag of free penne and tomato sauce to cook with (we cooked it for breakfast, but tomato sauce was too sour to my liking).  Everything was in order and worked, so fair enough.

I guess for me I thought it was quite inconvenient as buses are infrequent from the areas we went, and our free street parking was actually many stairs above the apartment, and carrying a 23kg suitcase up and down is not an enjoyable task to say the least.

Praiano Airbnb

Praiano Airbnb

Praiano Airbnb

Praiano Airbnb

Praiano AirbnbOh something cute happened… some cats were purring outside our door sometimes!  Not sure what they wanted… we had no food to offer them! 🙁

Praiano Airbnb

PraianoOur views right outside our apartment

Praiano

PraianoAnother picture of the view

 

Transportation

We were near the bus stop 15.  For all transportation, please visit praiano.org – how to go to.  For bus timetables to and from Positano, there is a route that says Autunno / Fall 2018 – Positano – Praiano – Positano.  For Amalfi, there is a PRAIANO – Amalfi & Vice Versa.  Once again, times change throughout each season.

Praiano

Again, buses were very infrequent.  You can buy bus tickets in tobacco shops – this practice is common in Europe.  For the bus to Praiano, we can even buy the tickets on the bus.  For the Amalfi bus, we had to purchase beforehand.

PraianoSorry for blurry pic, my phone camera got fuzzy

Funnily enough, we almost missed the bus to go to Amalfi since it was a weekend (Saturday), and none of the tobacco shops were open, which the host didn’t tell us, so we weren’t prepared.  We were asking people and I myself was panicking a little bit.  Some local Italians understood our situation and managed to ask an elderly that was living nearby to sell us the bus tickets and because the bus was late for at least 15 minutes, we managed to take the bus on time!  Remember to buy your bus tickets beforehand on weekdays when in Praiano!

PraianoWhere bus stop 15 is located

PraianoLemons we spotted on the way to our bus stop location

PraianoAnother pic of our bus stop location

PraianoAnother pic of Praiano

 

Restaurant

Ristorante Franchino (website)

A restaurant with a beautiful view, facing Marina di Praia, I was so glad that it was worth it after a difficult 30 minute trek walking steep stairs downwards, ultimately sacrificing our knees to get to this location.

It’s a very romantic, intimate restaurant with excellent food.  We believe that coming here for the sunset or when the sun is up would be much more beautiful.

AfricanaAfricana Famous Club, apparently a famous club during the high season

Ristorante FranchinoRistorante Franchino

Ristorante Franchino

Ristorante Franchino

Ristorante FranchinoOverlooking Marina di Praia

Ristorante FranchinoDefinitely grab one of these outdoor tables for a romantic date.  Oh yeah they have their own label still water.

Ristorante Franchino

Ristorante Franchino

Ristorante FranchinoCalamari, Cuttlefish, Shrimps, Mussels, Clams.  One word – YUM.

Ristorante FranchinoBlack angus filet mignon cooked in red beer, served with baked potatoes and sweet and sour onion, without the onion

Ristorante FranchinoAmalfi Coast risotto, with shrimps and lemon.  Most exciting dish and very delish!

Praiano Map

 

Positano

Positano actually reminds me of a sleepy and charming town, one where certain Disney princesses would be born from.

Bus to AmalfiOn the bus to Positano

Positano

PositanoPositano from afar

PositanoWe left quite late for Positano actually… I think around 5pm

Positano

Positano

Positano

Positano

PositanoEntered in a store of porcelain

Positano

PositanoFunny story.  Right after I snapped a photo of them, the woman on the right, an American woman, asked me if I thought porcelain was very interesting to me as well.  I replied yes I think they look nice.  We ended up having a conversation where she was telling me how she’s a professor at the University of Hawaii and she was obsessed with porcelain.  One time, she came to Positano as a tourist and encountered upon this store.  She was so fascinated that she asked if she were to come back if they could teach her how to create porcelain, which the women (mom and daughter) replied yes of course.  So, now was her chance to finally take a sabbatical to come back to Italy to become a student of theirs.  This was her 10th day there.

Positano

Positano

Positano

Ceramica Assunta FactoryAnother ceramics shop

Positano

Positano

Positano

Positano

Positano

Positano

Positano

Positano

Positano

Positano

Positano

Positano

Positano

Positano

Positano

PositanoAgain as a friendly reminder, remember to check the bus timetables and bus stops for where they are located.  At 8pm, it was quite dark and kinda scary actually.  We tried to catch another bus at 9:05pm, according to Google Map, which never did came (or if it did, there was one that was heading to Amalfi at 8:45pm… but I thought it couldn’t be right since it was 20 mins early then no bus came even at 9:15pm, so we went to the original bus stop station; Google Maps may not always be right)

Positano

 

Restaurants

Ristorante Covo Dei Saraceni (website)

Near the beach side of Positano at the side, hotel Covo Dei Saraceni also has a fairly highly ranked restaurant inside with a beautiful ambience and a beautiful view overlooking the sea.  Meal was great and definitely got us more than stuffed.

Ristorante Covo Dei Saraceni

Ristorante Covo Dei Saraceni

Ristorante Covo Dei Saraceni

Ristorante Covo Dei Saraceni

Ristorante Covo Dei SaraceniMozzarella Cheese

Ristorante Covo Dei SaraceniPotato Gnocchi

Ristorante Covo Dei Saraceni

Ristorante Covo Dei SaraceniSome seafood stew

Ristorante Covo Dei SaraceniDessert

 

Other restaurants we didn’t try but nearby

Chez Black

Chez Black

Chez Black

Chez Black

 

Le Tre Sorelle

Le Tre Sorelle

 

Ristorante Pizzeria la Pergola

Ristorante Pizzeria la Pergola

Positano Map

 

Based on these photos and these descriptions so far, what are your initial impressions with Praiano and Positano?  Have you been to these places before, and what other tips or things to do would you recommend?  Our stroll around Positano was more than short, but even then we thought it was enough.

 

On my itinerary for Positano:

  • (Stay) Hotel Marincanto
  • Art galleries, shop
  • Santa Maria Church
  • (Night) Music on the Rocks
  • (Stay) Hotel Poseidon
  • Scooter around
  • Marina Grande
  • Spiaggia Del Fornillo
  • (Eat) Saraceno d’Oro (pizza); Il Fornillo, Da Vincenzo Positano
  • Fiordo Di Furore (water place nearby, can scooter over)
  • Hike the Path of Gods
  • (Beach) Bagni D’Arienzo
  • (Cave) Emerald Grotto
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