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Praiano, Province of Salerno, Campania

It is one of the main centers of the Amalfi Coast, located at the tip of a peninsula separating the bays of Amalfi and Positano
The small town rises on the hills of the promontory, and the beautiful beach of Marina di Praia along the sea. Its privileged position allows to see both sunrise and sunsets on the sea, a feature for which Praiano is deservedly famous.

Info

  • Population: ca. 1900 inhabitants
  • Zip/postal code: 84010
  • Phone Area Code: 089
  • Patron Saint: St. Luca, celebrated on 18th October, San Gennaro, celebrated on 19th September
  • Frazioni & Localities: Vettica Maggiore.

History

The name derives from Pelagianum (from the Greek pelagos, meaning sea); for centuries a fishing and agricultural village, it was chosen as the summer residence of the Dogi of Amalfi, and was for a long time under the control of the Mariner Republic.

In the 14th century it was granted the title of Universitas and became more independent, while the manufacture of silk, linen and fishing nets developed, as well as the coral trade. In recent decades the town underwent a remarkable development of tourist activities.

What to see

  • The parish church of San Luca Evangelista, built in the baroque style in 1588 on a previous temple of the 12th century. The church dome is covered of majolica tiles, as well as the floor where St. Luke is represented surrounded by flowers and birds.
  • The Suppraiano Grotto, which can be reached by boat
  • The many sighting towers built to protect the harbour against saracens and pirates, as the Torre a Mare, Torre de Lo Grado, Torre della Gavitella and Torre Asciola
  • The many chapels in the streets and along the flights of steps of the town, small temples called "riggiole" usually placed at crossroads and transit points by popular devotion, most of them made of brighly hand-coloured tiles made by the majolica masters of Vietri.

Events

  • The Luminaria di San Domenico, from 1st to 4th August, when in the evenings the central San Gennaro Square shines with the light of 3000 candles, and all terraces, windows and balconies of private homes are decorated with oil and wax lamps, and huge bonfires are lit. The tradition commemorates the coming of the Dominicans to Praiano in 1599, and the legendary dream of St. Dominic's mother, of a dog bearing a torch, interpreted as a symbol of her son's mission to bring light to the world.

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