A quick-witted week end in The Amalfi Coast

First Monday of May, bank holiday. I have been living in UK for 6 years by now and still I need to explain every year what ‘bank holiday’ means to my mum and my closest Italian friends. To me, it’s basically a way not to have any ‘bridge vacations’, as we call them in Italy! Like, if you have an official public holiday happening on the Thursday (for example Christmas Day), you can bet every single Italian takes the Friday off to go on vacation from Wednesday night to Sunday night…. kind of putting a ‘bridge’ between Thursday and Saturday! At the same time, with the bank holiday system you never have an official public holiday happening on Sunday, so you never miss it. 🙂

For the first time this year, back in February – when almost every Italian of London books its flights for the summer, to avoid crazy fees – we booked our first long week end of the year by the beach. Very British/German style.  As Italian, you never think of going to the beach at the beginning of May. Brits do it. And sadly enough, we did it too. So, last week I realized it might have been a bit early to go to the Amalfi Coast, but it was not at all!

30 degrees and sunshine all day long. Super!!

Selling lemons on the Amafi Coast

Selling lemons on the Amafi Coast

I ended up enjoying my time off the kids with a bunch of quick-witted fellows – all bankers, women too. I was the wild soul of the group, if we really want to forget my economic background and we only think about my three tattoos! 🙂

Anyhow, it was fun watching them out of their regular environment. Bankers, too, can have relaxing time 😉 !!

The reason why I am writing this post is because I feel like foreigners feel very stressed on going on vacation in Naples/Amalfi Coast. Indeed, I think they are right but it’s one of the nicest place in the world and people are so welcoming! You just need to be either quick-witted or going there with some Italians! 😉

Like when we went for dinner at ‘Il Pirata’ – Praiano.

We get there and we ask for our table. Of course we made a reservation. The lady there asks us if we are friend of Roberto and ‘yes – we replied- we know many Roberto indeed, so it might this be one of our friends of us?!’ 🙂  

Il Pirata Restaurant  (phote taken from their website - forgot to take a picture!)

Il Pirata Restaurant
(photo taken from their website – forgot to take a picture!)

If someone at the reservation desk asks you something like this, you better know Mr. ‘Roberto’!Of course she figures we are not ‘those’ friends of Roberto but we laugh together. The table is ready anyway.

Who knows if we could have had a better dinner as if Roberto’s friends?!

Actually,  it then came up that the owner knows my husband’s cousin. He actually sent us there a few years ago for the first time. Anyhow, food was fantastic and view amazing even withouth spending my cousin-in-law name.

Il Pirata Restaurant is in Praiano, a village between Positano and Amalfi. To get there the best thing is to follow direction for ‘Alfonso a Mare’. This sign leads you directly on ‘La Praia’ beach. From there, you walk by the beach to get to the restaurant.  (Whereas, directions for ‘Il Pirata’ make you climb one of those never ending stairs in the area).

Another takeaway is: never trust someone you don’t know who sends you to a restaurant of any type. For sure you are going to be ripped off!

The first night, we landed in Naples very late afternoon, tired and hungry we decided to have a quick bite on our way to Praiano – where our hotel was. We stopped at ‘Lo Stuzzichino’ in Sant’Agata sui due golfi. It was a  restaurant recommended by a very well acclaimed source and indeed it was super good! We ended up eating starter, first course, second course, fruit and dessert.. not really a quick bite but it was absolutely worth it.

Dessert at Lo Stuzzichino

Dessert at Lo Stuzzichino

So, we got to talk to the owner. We were the last one to leave the restaurant and we asked him for some good restaurants in the Praiano area. Our last night there we decided to go to Donna Rosa (in Monterpertuso, near Positano), which was one of his recommendations and – yes the restaurant itself was lovely – but food was terrible, none of us six was happy. Never trust a local who sends you somewhere. Period.

Beside this, I totally recommend our hotel Casa Angelina in Praiano. (10 minutes driving from Positano heading south).

If you are looking for a large American style hotel, that is not. You are better off going to Santa Caterina in Amalfi o San Pietro in Positano. This is a all white ‘hip’ hotel (kind of an ibizan hotel) with an amazing view of Positano and of ‘Faraglioni di Capri’ in the distance. 

View from Casa Angelina

View from Casa Angelina

It’s quite a small boutique hotel, rooms are not that big but the location is just perfect, (with sunshine until 7 in the evening – which for Amalfi Coast is quite rare, being all built on the side of a mountain and the sun sets behind it), and the staff is super nice and attentive without being in your face.www.casangelina.com



Categories: Italy, uh!


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