5 things to see in Praiano
Praiano boasts a long tourist tradition: it has been a holiday destination since the most remote times of the ancient Maritime Republic of Amalfi, when it was chosen as a summer residence by the Amalfi Doges. It is famous for the crystal clear sea and the splendid beaches, but not only. Its historic center is full of treasures of great artistic and cultural value that are just waiting to be discovered.
What to see in Praiano? We have selected for you the 5 things not to be missed.
The Church of San Luca Evangelista
In the upper part of the town there is the Church of San Luca Evangelista, dedicated to the patron saint of Praiano. It was built in 1588 in place of a previous church but owes its current appearance to an eighteenth-century renovation. Of elegant baroque layout, it stands out for the majolica dome grafted directly onto the apse. It boasts a magnificent 18th-century multicolored majolica floor decorated with flowers and birds framing the image of Saint Luke. Inside there are some valuable works of art, among which the following stand out: the painted panel of the Madonna del Rosario, created by Padovano De Montorio in 1582; and the canvases of Giovan Bernardo Lama, a well-known local painter of the 16th century.
The Church of San Gennaro Bishop and Martyr
In the hamlet of Vettica Maggiore, the Church of San Gennaro Bishop and Martyr is undoubtedly worth a visit, built between 1589 and 1602 on the remains of a previous 13th century church, also dedicated to San Gennaro. The building, in Renaissance basilica style, is surmounted by a beautiful and colorful majolica dome in traditional Amalfi style. Among the most significant paintings from an artistic point of view are: the one depicting the martyrdom of St. Bartholomew, created by Giovan Battista Lama in 1747; and the Last Supper by Francesco Saverio Corbelli from 1761. From the large square in front of the church you can enjoy a wonderful panoramic view.
The Church of Santa Maria a Castro
On the slopes of Monte S. Angelo a Tre Pizzi is located the Church of Santa Maria a Castro, with the adjoining Convent of San Domenico. It stands on a suggestive point of the mountain at an altitude of 364 meters above sea level, from which you can admire an enchanting panorama. The church, which preserves recently restored medieval frescoes, has five naves, built in various phases probably starting from 1430. Here every year, from 1 to 4 August, the Luminaria of San Domenico is celebrated, an ancient tradition of the rich historical and cultural heritage of Praiano. The complex is located along the famous Path of the Gods, one of the most beautiful nature trails in the world, and can represent the destination of a short excursion.
Cala della Gavitella
Not far from the center of Vettica Maggiore is Cala della Gavitella, a small corner of paradise nestled between the cliffs. Thanks to its happy western exposure with a view of Positano, the island of Capri and “Li Galli”, it is the only beach on the Amalfi Coast where it is possible to admire both the sunset and the rising sun. To reach it you have to take one of the very long stairways typical of the place but it’s really worth it. In the surroundings of the cove there are also: the splendid natural swimming pool of the Fontana dell’Altare; and the small Praie beach, reachable only by sea.
The beach of Marina di Praia
Another beach not to be missed in Praiano is that of Marina di Praia, nestled between two high rock walls overlooking the sea. It is an extraordinary place from a naturalistic point of view. Here, in addition to sunbathing and swimming, you can practice activities such as kayaking, windsurfing and diving. Furthermore, with short boat excursions it is possible to visit the surrounding coast and reach truly spectacular places such as the Suppraiano Caves and the Africana Cave. Guarding the Marina is the medieval Torre a Mare, also known as Torre Assiola, which currently houses the atelier of the artist Paolo Sandulli.