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Which side of Praiano, Amalfi coast: Gavitella side or Marina did Praia?

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Jun 19th, 2017, 10:19 AM
  #1
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Which side of Praiano, Amalfi coast: Gavitella side or Marina did Praia?

So I've abandoned Positano villas due to concerns about summer crowds, and instead have narrowed it down to 2 villas in Praiano for my family of 4 (2 kids, 10 and 12). I plan to take water taxis to Positano and Amalfi, and a boat to Capri likely from Marina di Praia in Praiano. I know buses are available but I am planning to avoid the bus. Trying to decide if it's better to be on the Gavitella side or the Marina di Praia side?

The first villa is Villa Giardino rented through Carrington Italia, just down the cliff from the town square I think. It's twice the price of the other villa, but has more privacy, larger grounds, pool, is a little more upscale, and has views of the mountains and sea toward Positano. I don't like the price, but would splurge if it's worth the price. It's closer to the main square, so closer to restaurants. I assume we would have to go to the Gavitella lido, where there is no real beach. I don't like the vibe of One Fire, it's a little much for us. Not sure if water taxis could pick you up at Gavitella? Or would you have to walk all the way to Marina di Praia?

The other villa is Villa Giusi rented through Summer in Italy, for half the price of the first villa. It is by the Tutto per Tutti grocery store (or is it Tutti per Tutto, I forget). It is closer to the Marina di Praia. This villa is also updated, just not as much as the first villa. The kitchen in particular is smaller. But it gets great reviews. It has a great sea view but no mountain view. It also has a small dip pool. There are some restaurants on that side of town that we would visit, like Il Pirata and da Armandino. Probably quicker access to stand up paddle boards and kayaks, which we hope to rent while there.

Anyone visited Praiano and have a preference as to which side is better?

Many thanks!
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Jun 19th, 2017, 03:12 PM
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Sorry, typo: Marina Di Praia
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Jun 19th, 2017, 04:15 PM
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Bruebenow,

Have you been to Praiano? Ive stayed there twice and the last time was in 2005 so things may have changed. When I visited there were no water taxis, only fishing boats in the small rocky cove. It was just short of 400 stairs down to the beach from the only level walkway just below and north of the church piazza.

Cant help with the rental villa question. I stayed in hotels both times.
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Jun 19th, 2017, 04:44 PM
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Thanks Dayle! I have never been to Praiano, but have found at least 2 companies that provide water taxi service from the marina. The rental company mentioned it too. On which side of the village were your hotels? Gavitella or Praia?
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Jun 19th, 2017, 07:08 PM
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I have no idea since I have not heard those specifications before. First trip was in early April and the hotel was Il Fiore right on the Amalfi Drive across from Tramonto d'Oro hotel.

Second trip hotel was Le Sirene about 40 stairs roughly down from the church. Nice and quiet and the owners were lovely. Partial sea and Positano views. Nice and clean and very comfortable. My room was large with a small terrace, nothing fancy like some of the "name" hotels.
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Jun 20th, 2017, 04:09 AM
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Ok thanks Dayle. You were on the Gavitella beach side.
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Jun 20th, 2017, 06:04 AM
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We were in Praiano three years ago and stayed in Villa Michelina in the Marina di Praia. I can't recommend this area highly enough. There are water taxi's at the Marina along with several great restaurants. Il Pirata is not be be missed for the seating location along. Club Africana is a short walk away and we enjoyed a wonderful dinner there. You might also look into the apartment in Villa Maria Pia - we had friends staying there during our stay at Villa Michelina. There is a cave accessible by paddle board from the Marina. You can rent the paddle boards at the Marina as well - they'll direct you to cave. We also took our boat excursion directly to Capri from the Marina. We were a large group and were able to get our own boat for the excursion. If you are in good physical condition, then I'd highly recommend the Path of the Gods hike from Praiano to Positano. There is a monastery above the Praiano along the path that is incredible. You can likely arrange for the water taxi to pick you up from Positano later in the day and return you to the Marina . . . or just take a bus back. We were there with our two small daughters - just an awesome place all the way around. I really can't comment on the Gavitella side. I am sure it is wonderful as everything there is. But I don't think you'd regret the Marina di Praia setting.
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Jun 20th, 2017, 12:52 PM
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Thanks for all the details, Solarch! That's so very helpful. I'm leaning toward the villa on the Marina di Praia side for the reasons you stated. Do you remember who you used for the boat trip to Capri?
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Jun 21st, 2017, 05:13 AM
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I think we used Princess Positano. You can search them out on Facebook easily. There are several operators working from the Marina. La Sabilla is another one and they have a shop at the Marina. If I recall correctly, they run the water taxis. They run regular trips to Capri daily. You can buy individual seats, or charter the boat. We had a large enough group to charter the boat for ourselves. We made our boat reservation once we arrived at our villa. When are you going to be there? The Marina di Praia is a small village unto itself. I would plan to catch most of your meals there. Praiano is very small, easily walkable from one end to the other in under an hour, a bit more if you are climbing. The grocery store will come to pick you up and return you home for shopping. Make friends with them, they are a great resource for info. Also, we used Charmlimos for a car service from Naples. They just said "yes" to whatever we asked. I'd check into Villa Michelina for availability as well. It sleeps 5 - with a small pool. It's just unbelievably picturesque. The owner dropped in with food periodically for us to try. And home made limoncello! Get onto google earth and look at the photographs taken of the marina area posted there if you're still on the fence.
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Jun 21st, 2017, 05:28 AM
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Also, with regards to Capri, the journey out, swim time, late lunch at a restaurant on return are incredible. The actual time in Capri is short and was the least interesting part. If you want to really see Capri, you need to try to overnight it there. But in all honesty, the time in the charter boat on the water was worth it alone. It's an experience you will not get on the larger boats out of Positano or Amalfi. The captain stopped for us to swim, then had proseco and bruschetta waiting for us when we climbed back on board! Capri itself is very similar to all of the small towns along the Amalfi Coast. It's beautiful, but it's beauty really lies in what you see from sea!
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Jun 21st, 2017, 07:42 PM
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Thank you so much, Solarch! You've been such a great help! I've bookmarked Princess Positano and Charm limos. I did know about La Sabilla but I think they have gotten mixed reviews for the Capri tour because the captain is not the friendliest? But I think they are great for water taxis.

We aren't traveling until May of next year, but with a family, you really have to book way in advance to find a nice villa in a good location and the right size and price. I definitely think we'll be staying on the Marina side.

Thanks again!!
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