I arrived yesterday to Italy’s famed Amalfi Coast for a friend's 50th birthday party in a town called Praiano, near Positano. I've been twice before to the coast, although never to Praiano, and each time I marvel at its beauty. There are many gorgeous places in the world but this is surely near the top of the list.
My journey began with a Continental flight to Milan – mind you, a four-hour stopover in Malpensa airport is not a drag as there are terrific shops to explore. In September, you'll find great seasonal discounts. Check out the Bruno Magli, Armani, Gucci, and other spots where prices seem less than in the U.S. I love Italian fashion. Who doesn't?
I then took a short one-hour Lufthansa flight to Naples. From Naples my hotel arranged a transfer for the one-and-a-half-hour car ride to Praiano. By this time, I was pretty exhausted. However, the scenic drive is a good tonic.
We traveled along the coast, from the Gulf of Naples on to the Gulf of Sorrento. Here one passes by several towns, including Sorrento and Positano, and then my driver and I came upon Praiano, a small town just seven minutes beyond Positano.
The soaring cliffs, colorful painted houses, aqua Mediterranean Sea, lush greenery, and hairpin coastal road with its twists and turns altogether make for an awesome car tour. Finally, our car turned off the road and down a steep driveway with more sharp turns: I had arrived at Casa Angelina.
Casa Angelina is a romantic, modern, luxury boutique property with 38 rooms. It is a smart luxury pick, unless you prefer a more traditional, classic design. The hotel's all-white décor is modeled after Miami Beach's Delano Hotel – clean, modern, sleek. Service is top notch where the staff anticipates any need. Breakfast is sumptuous, and the hotel restaurant offers terrific lunch and dinner menus. Rooms are spacious and most have stellar sea views over the Mediterranean and the town of Positano.
The hotel has a modest-sized pool, and an elevator plus walkway lead to a rocky beach area. Note that if you don't like a bit of walking/hiking then you won't be jumping into the sea.
Casa Angelina boasts a mix of nice art pieces, and during my stay they featured a Cuban artist and his Murano glass sculptures. The glasswork led me to eventually decide to buy some Murano glass vases in Positano.
For general trip-planning information, see our Amalfi Coast Travel Guide.