It was a Sunday.
As mentioned on Saturday on the Amalfi Coast Series: OG Amalfi, there were already no tobacco shops nearby us in Praiano to buy bus tickets from. On Sunday, not only are there no tobacco shops open, there literally were no shops opened, and buses were so infrequent that we may as well not go out.
But that didn’t stop us since we had a car to drive around, but boy was it difficult to drive there. Driving in Amalfi Coast is in itself an experience that I will dedicate a blog post on driving there along with other tips and strategies when traveling in Italy.
Anyway, so we’ve been to Sorrento, Positano, Capri Island, Amalfi, and now we still had some spare time to visit the smaller, less frequently traveled towns. Thankfully we left the smaller, less interesting towns, for this particular Sunday, as it was rainy and foggy like no other.
Perhaps it was the weather and that all the shops were closed, but if you’re on a tight schedule, these small towns are definitely optional to visit.
Marina di Praia
In photos, this place looks like a secret, lesser known beach. On the map, it is a place where you can stop by while driving, so it’s sort of along the way. I can imagine it to be a beautiful beach during better weather, but here was the result we got:
Up in the mountains from Amalfi, you drive along steep roads to get to the top to reach Ravello. I was pretty stressed out from driving with poor weather conditions, narrow Amalfi Coast roads, and aggressive drivers. I reach to where Google Maps have taken us, only for some old man to tell us to back off and that we can’t park here. So we backtracked to where we passed by a parking sign, followed the parking sign directions, and entered in this parking lot with just us and another car. We then exited the parking garage and entered a building where it was initially pitch black… only until it sensed our presence did lights show up. Still, water was leaking, building looks run down, it looked like it wasn’t maintained for centuries.
We shared an umbrella that pretty much fit half of our bodies each, so we were somehow pretty wet from the rain. The whole route and journey dampened my mood so much that I was ready to say, “Let’s just go home.” right after visiting Ravello. Also, I was hungry, so I became HANGRY.
So our first stop was visiting a restaurant called Ristorante Vittoria
So after getting my stomach filled and the rain having stopped a bit, and considering that I may never come back to this area ever again in my life, I decided that we should just suck it up and keep going to visiting the other small towns.
Minori wasn’t far from Ravello, about a 20 min drive. In fact, all these small towns were very close to each other, which was good, because I really hated enduring to drive at these difficult roads.
Minori was sort of clustered with many streets and hidden buildings hiding behind each other, as if they were too embarrassed to be seen by the public.
Just a 5 minute drive from Minori. I always saw Minori as Minor and Maiori as Major. Anyway, the overall vibe was that Maiori was a better and bigger town than Minori, with more open streets with large passageways.
Wow. So apparently the population of this place in 2009 was 83… Eighty three!! That is so small. Ok that explains why there is nothing to do in this sleepy fishing village. You curve down a steep downward road and reach to the bottom, only to have the sea as the dead end. And that’s it!
By the way, I know sometimes I say many negative things, but I keep it real and honest. Many times every site says everything is beautiful and gorgeous. But I am writing as if I was experiencing that moment with the weather condition I had, with all the shops closed, and with little to do, so you can see that my experience was definitely not “beautiful and gorgeous”.
Finally, we’ve reached our last stop. If we had kept going, we would have been to Salerno, but considering how tired we were and how many shops were closed, I thought that Cetara as a final destination for the day was good. Besides, it was already 4pm+ and by the time we drove back to our home, it would be 5:30-6pm, get a bit of rest, then dinner, so it’s all good.
Cetara, along with Ravello, looks the most promising given better weather conditions and on weekdays. They got Michelin starred restaurants and some interesting shops here and there.
So judging from the photos, which town was your favorite? Mine was… well let’s say least disliked, was probably Ravello and Cetara. I’m not counting Marina di Praia as a town. I think I am satisfied never needing to visit these places again for the rest of my life… I feel that my time can be spent elsewhere. Obviously if I pass by or am nearby Salerno then sure, especially if I don’t have to drive, otherwise I would be very hesitant in coming here again.