Praiano, Italy

Thursday, July 6, 2017

Even though we've been home from the Amalfi Coast over a week now, I'm still in vacation mode. We had such a wonderful time that Mr. and I are planning our next trip.  Everywhere you go you see breathtakingly gorgeous views of the beautiful Tyrrhenian Sea.  I've never seen more amazing water before.  Shades of blue ranging from navy to aqua and everything in between depending on the time of day and lighting.

Today I'm sharing a little about where we stayed in Praiano, places to dine, a few travel tips, and how we spent our first day.  Look for more Italy posts in the future about day trips, our next villa, packing, etc.

We arrived in Rome and a driver took us to our villa which was about 4 1/2 hours away.  The roads are unlike any I've been on before, ever.  They are narrow and winding, and many are on the edge of cliffs.  Scooters zoom in and out of traffic even when going into blind curves. Everyone yields to the buses.  Somehow it all works.  We called it Italian magic, lol!  After spending a lot of time observing our drivers who took us from city to city, Mr. and I believe we could handle a small rental car next time around.  We would schedule our trip in the off season when there would be fewer buses, vans, and people in general.

Our villa was tucked into the hillside up a steep flight of stairs.  When people tell you to be prepared to climb stairs, they aren't kidding!  Everywhere you go there are stairs, so comfortable shoes are a must.  After a while you really do get used to it and what a great workout!

one of the apartments in our villa

beautiful sunsets every night

the orchard/garden

the herb garden

We ate breakfast and lunch (most days) at home and went out to dinner.  Each day we stopped by the local market, Tutto per Tutti for groceries.  They had the best produce, especially the tomatoes!  One thing you should know, siesta is from 1-4:00 PM which means businesses are closed.  We had no idea until the day we arrived with no food and nowhere to shop...and a wee bit of hangry setting in.

We had lots of activities planned, but the first day was a free day which was nice considering we had been traveling nearly 2 days.  We explored Praiano and checked out the beaches...and climbed stairs, lol!

One of my favorite beaches was Marina de Praia.  It's like a scene from a Gray Malin print! There are several restaurants in the area and a few stores.  Beach chairs and umbrellas can be rented, but space on the surrounding rock wall is free.  The beaches are covered in stones, by the way.

my pirates at Il Pirata :)

Our sons enjoyed swimming and jumping off the walls into the water.

We walked everywhere in Praiano including to dinner.

There was something around every turn that caught my eye.

lemoncello spritzer at La Moressa 

Where we ate:

La Moressa was closest to our villa.  We all agreed that we could eat there every day, but made ourselves try other places.  They have everything from pizza to daily seafood specials and the view is perfect! 

Hotel Margarita was a little further, but still within walking distance.  The restaurant is on the rooftop with views of the sea.  They had lots of seafood options as well as traditional Italian fare.

Kasai offered indoor and outdoor dining.  The rustic Italian bread is served up in a brown paper bag. They offer daily seafood specials as well.  Everything we had was delicious. 

Il Pirata

Il Pirata is located in Marina de Praia and closest to the water.  We enjoyed the food and especially the location.  This is where we learned that the restaurant staff sits down to have dinner together at 6:00.  So no service for about 20 minutes, which was perfectly fine for us. They all work so hard "in season", really long hours.  One of our drivers said it best, "we work hard for 7 months, but we work".

This is a drone video we took from our patio.  Things to note:  everyone has their own garden and orchard full of lemon and olive trees, tomatoes, figs, and herbs.  Every square inch of space is used.

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