If you know anything about Amalfi town, then the idea of a death-defying bus ride from hell sounds pretty normal.
If you haven’t heard of these two Amalfi Coast towns, read on for our take on the Positano vs Praiano debate.
Where is the Amalfi Coast?
The Amalfi Coast is a stretch of coastline on the southern portion of the Sorrentine Peninsula in the Province of Salerno in Italy.
The only land route to the Amalfi Coast is a narrow, windy 25-mile (40-kilometer) road along the beach. Expect a stunning view and a little bit of queasiness.
How do I get from Rome to Positano?
The easiest way to get from Rome to Positano is to take a train from Rome to Positano via Napoli Centrale, Napoli P. Garibaldi, and Castellammare di Stabia in around 2h 50m. Alternatively, Marozzi VT operates a bus from Roma to Positano 5 times a week. The journey takes 4h 30m.
Alternatively, consider taking a day trip from Rome to Positano.
Where is Positano Italy?
Positano is a cliffside village on southern Italy’s Amalfi Coast. It’s a well-known holiday destination with a pebble beach, and steep, narrow streets lined with boutiques and cafes.
Where is Praiano Italy?
Praiano is a town and comune in the province of Salerno in the Campania region of southwest Italy.
It is an Amalfi Town situated between Amalfi and Positano.
Do not drive the Amalfi Coast
Our first taste of Positano was not the best. According to my Amalfi Coast itinerary, I was to meet my parents in the center of town at a beach club picked randomly on the map.
As I drove the windy, tightly squeezed roads for 45 minutes up and down, down and up, I decided there was no way I was going to be able to find them and got out of there quickly. It’s a complete maze.
Where to stay in Praiano
Instead, I drove to our hotel rooms in Praiano.
I adored Hotel Margherita and its sea view.
Hotel Margherita is a family-owned boutique hotel nestled on the side of a mountain overlooking the town of Praiano and the spectacular coastline. It’s easy to see why visitors from all over the world flock to this area and we were fortunate enough to snap up a triple classic room with a terrace on the lemon garden. It was the perfect place to sit back and relax with a cool drink and soak up the wafting lemon scent.
You can check your dates here. Our read our complete review here.
However also highly recommend a stay at Casa Angelina on Fire Beach.
Praiano is a beautiful village situated on the Amalfi Coast, between the towns of Amalfi and Positano with a population of 2,069 inhabitants.
We stayed in Praiano for a few reasons. One would be it was less expensive than Positano. Two is that it was less busy.
And three, it was the best place to photograph the magnificent view of Positano. In my opinion, the best view of Positano is outside Positano as it sits nestled on sheer cliffs.
Praiano is a pretty tiny town. There were not many restaurants, but there was an amazing golden Church of San Luca Evangelista dating back to 1123.
Its bells rang out beautifully and we enjoyed dinner in a nearby restaurant one night listening to the chorus of bells and watching the sun fade into the blue Mediterranean Sea.
Is Praiano worth visiting?
As mentioned above Praiano is more of a relaxing destination with beautiful churches, fantastic views, and very good restaurants.
What is Praiano Most Famous For?
Church of San Gennaro
Marina di Praia beach
Footpath of the Gods
Torre a Mare
Does Praiano have a beach?
The town of Praiano has several beaches, including the only beach access on the Amalfi Coast to enjoy the sun until it sets.
What else is there to do from Praiano?
You could take a day trip to any number of other Italian picturesque towns. On our list next was Pompeii, which was NOT what we thought it would be.
How to Get to Positano From Praiano
My next taste of Positano was much better, despite the sick queasy feeling that came from the nauseating death race of the local bus system.
The bus driver had conquered the coast many times and while he drove much faster than I ever would attempt, it seemed he was much more capable. So I just sat back and took in the beautiful views.
The Sita bus from Praiano to Positano was €1.30 per person (over 1 meter tall) and lasted about 40 minutes.
The bus dropped us off in the center of town, at the top of a pedestrian walkway that wound its way down to the harbor at the bottom.
What is Positano like?
Famous author Steinbeck wrote about Positano “it is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.” And he sums it up perfectly.
When you’re driving to Positano you can’t help but admire the panoramic views all the while wondering if a coach is going to sideswipe your car or if the wind sweeps you down the cliffs.
The walk down the pedestrian mall feels quite surreal. The walkway is lined with shops on either side, many filling the air with that gorgeous citrus blend of the famous Limoncello.
What is Limoncello?
Limoncello is an Italian lemon liqueur mainly produced in Southern Italy, due to the giant head-size lemons that grow there.
Where to snack in Positano?
We stopped halfway down in a small café for some coffee and Sicilian cannoli. The little café smelled like freshly brewed coffee mixed with sweet tempting pastries.
The seats were in a garden with indescribable views looking up at the mountain, and the bill had a price tag to match.
The cannoli was not as great as the Sicilian cannoli we had experienced in Messina, but it was a welcome pit stop.
Where to stay in Positano?
As I’ve suggested I much preferred a stay in the less chaotic Praiano with views of Positano, but if you are keen to stay in this charismatic Italian city check out hotel prices here… You may change your mind. 😉
Tip: You are going to need a GoPro for all those boat day trips you’ll be doing. Get a discounted one here.
What to do in Positano?
Visiting the Marina Grande
At the bottom of the walk, we reached Marina Grande. Marina Grande is the main port of the island of Capri in Italy.
If you’ve never been, please make sure you include Capri Island in your visit. It is the most picturesque town.
Capri was one of my favorite stops when I visited Italy for the first time in 2001. It’s a little island off of the coast and I was excited to return.
We found a few boat rides that were hesitant to take us out the next day for a ride since the weather was not looking very cooperative.
We did finally book one cruise, however, it was canceled the next morning and I never made it back to Capri. I guess it will need to remain in my rose-colored memories for another time.
Where to eat in Positano?
We decided to eat lunch in the harbor overlooking the beautiful Mediterranean Sea and happened upon a delicious little place called Chez Black. The pasta was al dente!
Other places I recommend to eat? il Pirata and La Gavitella.
The problem with the bus
After lunch, we walked back to the top of the pedestrian mall to await the bus ride back to Praiano.
This was probably the worst experience we had in Positano. While the bus ride into town was harrowing, the bus ride out of Positano was manic.
There was a gaggle of people waiting to board the elusive and very late bus. When I say gaggle I mean a flock of people in no particular order or system, just waiting.
I decided if we were going to get on this bus I would need to plant myself at the front of the swelling mob of people and not be moved. I could do that.
But even with my fierce determination I still had several people shoved in front of me, which was then a case of shuffling backward once the bus arrived.
The crush to get on the bus was only saved by my unwavering determination to get my kids on that bus.
While I focused on my kids, my parents slowly edged to the back of the line. I didn’t even think they would make it on but watched them squeeze in as the last people on board.
I didn’t get to talk to them during the entire trip as a horde of people separated us. We shouted our goodbyes as they stepped off at their stop before mine, promising to be in touch on the morrow.
Is it better to stay in Positano vs Praiano?
Given the two options Positano – tourist crazy, expensive and Praiano – less touristy, more affordable and you still get a great view of Positano, I’d have to say I know which is easier to choose.
Which would you?
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