All There is to Know in Praiano
HOW TO GET TO PRAIANO
FROM ROME'S FIUMICINO/LEONARDO DA VINCI AIRPORT
Take the main road toward Rome. After about 6 miles or so you will see the sign for the highway to Naples, the A-1 (the highway signs are green). Turn right, following the Naples A-1 signs. You are now on the Grande Raccordo Anulare, or GRA, which is the highway ring around Rome. After about 10 miles you will see another sign for the Naples highway (A1). Take the A1 South, direction Naples
FROM NORTHERN ITALY
Enter the A1 (Autostrada del Sole) direction south toward Rome. Pass the Rome exit (keep left) following the signs for Naples and stay on the autostrada going south. At Caserta, DO NOT take the highway for Salerno, stay on the left and just keep on going south toward Naples, following the Penisola Sorrentina brown signs. After the Naples toll booth keep going toward Naples (still staying left) - Penisola Sorrentina. You will pass the exit for Bari. Follow the sign for the Salerno A 3 highway. You will go through another toll booth (you will have to pay there). Stay on this two-lane highway until you see the sign for the Castellammare exit (which comes immediately after the Pompeii exit). Go through the Castellammare toll booth (no need to pay there) and keep to the left. After about ¾ of a mile the road will split. Take the left toward Sorrento and the Costiera Amalfitana. You will go through a tunnel and then see signs for “Costiera Amalfitana (to the right) and Costiera Sorrentina (a mild left), go LEFT and you will go through another tunnel. Keep on the main road following the signs for Sorrento and the Costiera Amalfitana. After about a half hour, the winding road will go down and then pass through the town of Meta - the main church on the left, then ESSO gas station on the right. Continue through through part of the town center. Very soon after a large yellow sign for an International Camping I Pini on the right make a left (there will be a sign for the Costiera Amalfitana) up a very steep hill. Toward the top of the hill vere left and continue a short distance to a stop sign. Turn right and keep going, following the main road and signs for the Costiera or Positano and Amalfi. You will first pass Positano (after about 15-20 minutes) and after another 10-15 minutes you will reach Praiano. After a short tunnel and a left turn you will enter the center of town. If there is no traffic on the coast (the costiera) the trip takes about three and a half hours from Rome (159 miles, mostly highway – the A1 autostrada) or one and a half hours from Naples (34 miles).
BY TRAIN AND BUS
Take the Intercity or Eurostar train from Rome Termini station to Naples Centrale station. Remember to validate each train ticket using one of the yellow machines at the beginning of each track.
Once you arrive at Napoli Centrale, look for the signs for the Circumvesuviana (it’s on a lower level, so you have to take the stairs down). Buy a ticket for Meta di Sorrento. Prepare yourself for a rugged journey as the Circumvesuviana train looks like an old tramway (by the way the Circumvesuviana will also stop at Pompeii and Ercolaneum.) The trip to Meta will take one hour. From the Meta station you can take a taxi to Praiano. An alternative way is to take the Circumvesuviana to the last stop, Sorrento, and then take a SITA bus to Praiano (http://www.sitabus.it).
Between June 1st and September 30th there is a bus from Rome to Praiano. It leaves from the Rome train station of Tiburtina. For further information you can call (+39) 089 871009 - 089 875555 or visit the SITE
THERE ARE THREE DIFFERENT BUS SERVICES IN TOWN (their schedules are in “military time”, that is with a 24 hour clock. For example, 18:30 is 6:30 P.M.)
1) BUSES FROM/TO SORRENTO, AMALFI, RAVELLO & SALERNO SITA is the regional bus company. Its buses run year-round and all-day long from Sorrento to Amalfi via Positano, and back (marked in blue on the map above). They pick passengers up on the main road at the marked stops. In Amalfi you can change for buses to Ravello or Salerno. The buses are not always on time. They leave the main stations in Sorrento or Amalfi at the scheduled departing time but their punctuality depends on the traffic. In Praiano tickets for SITA buses can be purchased at the Dimensione Futuro shops. If you are going toward Amalfi, stand on the sea side of the road. If you are going toward Sorrento stand on the mountain-side. If you are at the stop alone signal the driver to stop. Large luggage goes in the trunk, on the side of the bus. You have to load it on your own. Small luggage can go in the rack above the seats.The bus terminal in Sorrento is outside the train station. The terminal in Amalfi is at the Marina. Positano has two stops: Positano-Chiesa Nuova (at the entrance of town coming from Sorrento) and Positano-Sponda.(at the opposite end of town). If you are going to visit Positano from Praiano, get off at the "Sponda “. Drivers do not sell tickets, so tickets must be purchased in advance.. There are four different tickets, valid for 45 minutes, 90 minutes, 24 hours, and three days.
2) FLAVIO GIOIA BUS FROM/TO POSITANO This bus, run by the Flavio Gioia bus company, goes to the beach of La Praia in one direction or to Positano in the other (marked in red in the map above). Ask the driver before boarding.Local buses are run by a different company and require a different ticket. We recommend you pay attention to the letters above the scheduled times because not all buses make all scheduled stops:
"G" means that the bus stops at that station every day at that time "F" means that the bus does not stop at that time at that station on Sundays or holidays "H" means that the bus stop at that time at that station only on Sundays and holidays "S" means that the bus stops there only on school days.
3) LOCAL PRAIANO BUS (Interno) This orange bus, called "Interno Praiano" (marked in orange on the map above), runs through town.
For roadside assistance, call 803.116. The service is available 24/7 for roadside repairs and towing but it is not free. -Seat belts are mandatory. -Police and Carabinieri can do random stops. Don’t drive without your driver’s license and identification papers. -Alcohol- the legal limit is .05. -Parking in season is difficult and expensive. Parking spaces usually are outlined in blue, white or yellow. You may only park in designated areas within these lines. Blue lines are metered spaces where you need to pay by the hour. Look for a parking meter machine nearby and after getting the ticket, place it on the dashboard. You may need a great deal of change or small bills as parking can cost from €2 to €6 per hour. White lines indicate free spaces. However, be careful because in some cases those spaces are for "residenti, i.e. reserved only to local residents with special permits. Pay attention to the sign at the beginning of the white lines. You will get a ticket if you park in space reserved for “residenti”. Yellow lines could indicate either handicap parking or parking reserved for “residenti”. Many hotels have free parking.
PRIVATE CARS WITH DRIVERS
Private cars with drivers and/or tour guides are available for tours along the Amalfi Coast and transfers to and from train stations and airports. There are vehicles that can accommodate up to 8 people.
Taxis are not cheap, especially after the bus service ends at night. To avoid surprises negotiate the price in advance. Restaurants can call taxis for you.
MOTORCYCLES AND SCOOTERS RENTAL
Rentals are available in every town along the coast. If you are thinking of renting, expect a challenging drive as the Amalfi Coast roads are winding and often busy with public and tourist buses. Helmets are required at all times for motorcycles and scooters. Motorcycles and scooters can be parked for free but usually in designated areas with diagonal white lines.
There are no sidewalks on the main road. Walk on the sea side of the road, possibly in a single line, regardless of your direction as it is easier to see people walking there. At night, a small flashlight, phone app flashlight or blinking light to make yourself more visible is recommended.
For trips to Capri or along the coast: -La Boa Capri Tours and Diving Center in Marina di Praia -La Sibilla, in Marina di PraiaPrivate boats can also be hired hourly or daily. Prices vary depending on the size of the boat.
US CELL PHONES
-Before leaving check with your provider for availability and price for international service. -Remember that you will pay also for incoming calls as the call is routed through a US service. -To call the US you need to dial 001, plus the area code and number. -When you are in Italy and you need to place a call to an Italian number, simply dial the local area code with no country code (in any case, Italy’s is 39).
ITALIAN CELL PHONES
Incoming calls to an Italian cell phone are free. You can purchase an inexpensive Italian prepaid SIM card (and a cell phone if yours does not work there). If you plan to stay for a week or more, it may be worth it. You can buy a SIM card (and a cell phone) at Sergio’s. The SIM cards will cost €10. Then you need to purchase a minimum of €5 of calling time. You must have an ID to purchase a card, which will be recorded. Calling the US from an Italian prepaid SIM card is expensive, but calls within Italy are not. Most tobacco stores and many bars on the Amalfi Coast allow you to purchase more credit. The SIM card remains valid for one year from the last purchased credit. The telephone company TIM offers the best coverage in the area.
Wifi is available in some bars, restaurants, hotels. In addition, there are four, marked, public hot spots in town. According to Italian law, you will need to register in order to access wi-fi.
INTERNET POINTS AND CAFES
Internet points have computers you can use. Many have WIFI also.
I-PAD SIM CARD/DATA PLAN
You can buy an Italian SIM card for the I-Pad for €10 and then add a data package. Telephone company TIM offers the best coverage in the area.
Remember to download Skype onto your phone, iPad or computer before leaving (or do it anywhere with access to WIFI.)
-General emergency number: 113 -Police: 112. This is the only number that has English language operators. -Ambulance: 118 -Fire Department: 115 -Coast Guard: 1530
Pharmacies have a sign with a large cross, either red or green.
An ATM machine is called “bancomat”. In Praiano there is one next to Tourist Office, on the main road (near the Bar del Sole), on the Vettica side of town. Your ATM card should work, but if you try to withdraw cash from a credit card remember you need your access code.
Like in most ATMs, there is a limit to the amount you can withdraw each day, usually €250.
Praiano has its own Post Office on via Capriglione n.80. The Post Office, or Ufficio Postale, sells stamps and mail packages, but you can also buy stamps at tobacco shops.
Cigarettes are sold only at Tabacchi shops, those with the dark sign with a white "T".
Shops are usually open between 8:30-9:00 am until about 1:30/2:00 PM and then again from 4/4:30 until 9 or later in season.
BARS: WHAT & HOW
-Bars serve coffee, sodas, drinks, pastries and panini. -"To order an espresso, just ask for “un caffè”. For an American style coffee, ask for a “caffè americano,".
RESTAURANTS: HOURS & ETIQUETTE
-Usual hours for lunch: 1:00-3:00 -Usual hours for dinner: 7:30-11:00 -Many restaurants have a "coperto", or service, charge of €1 to €3 per person. Because of this your tip should be limited to 5 or10%, of the total. -When you are ready to go, ask for, "il conto" - the check - otherwise it will not be brought to you. -There is no custom of a “doggie bag”, but some locales have adapted to it.
"Buongiorno" is good morning. "Buon pomeriggio” is good afternoon, “buonasera" is good evening, “arrivederci” is good bye. "Ciao" is much more informal and therefore used only with people you know well. and it can mean both hello and goodbye. For kissing Italian friends on both cheeks, offer the left one first.
US CONSULATE & EMBASSY
-The closest American Consulate is in Naples in the Piazza della Repubblica. Telephone 081 5838111; Web site: http://italy.usembassy.gov -The phone number of the American Embassy in Rome is 06 46741