Bolt of Blue in Amalfi
When I think of the Amalfi Coast, I think in blues, an infinite palette from lights to dark, just as moody as the Mediterranean, turning from a dramatic phthalo of a morning temporale (rain storm) into a vibrant indigo in the afternoon sun. From the sky to the sun, Amalfi is a liquid blue playground with salt water and sunburns. But at Casa Angelina there is a new color palette to enjoy.
Casa Angelina is a cascading, white-washed palace on the coast of Praiano. And when I write white, I mean 15 or more shades of white that hotel constantly curates to create a harmonious counterbalance to the hotel’s precarious position on the cliffs.
P is for Praiano
Everybody knows Positano, but just a 15-minute drive south and you’ll spy Casa Angelina even before entering tiny Praiano. The white modernist building stands out on the cliff in auspicious position that when on site, showcases guests an unobstructed view of the Mediterranean panorama. From here, you can even see Capri’s Fariglioni.
Amalfi Coast is one of the busiest areas of Italy, especially in the summer months. For some reason, Praiano maintains more of a low profile. The entire region is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its spectacular and dramatic landscape in Campania’s cliffs.
White on White
White on white on white. Casa Angelina is an ongoing battle for the perfect white and for that the hotel is painted everyday with more than 15 shades. Each day, the staff is on site with bucket and brush to paint white. Each hue is different depending on exposure and position of the white walls and pavement. And the effect – an all-embracing peacefulness and tranquility.
The vibe is minimalist, though there are accents of color and contemporary art. Casa Angelina’s goal is to make sure you have a never-ending views, which means floor-to-ceiing windows and glass walls are throughout the space.
Casa Angelina has 39 rooms and suites, all with seaside views. Each room is a ceiling-to-floor celebration of white and contemporary design with Philippe Starck lighting, Flos bed, and Driade chairs — all white, light chrome, and clear polycarbonate. Amenities include Etro cotton linens and plush robes and Jo Malone products, and tech from Apple, Bang & Olufsen, and Nespresso.
Standout suites include Eaudesea rooms: four beautifully designed rooms built into old fishermen’s caves. A walk down from the main hotel, the Eaudesea are completely separate from Casa Angelina and for good reason. They are private and come with two full-time butlers on site for all needs. The butlers set up a fabulous, open-air breakfast on the private terrace area each morning. Guests have access to Casa Angelina’s private boat for wherever they want to go.
Head to the the hotel’s rooftop restaurant Un Piano nel Cielo (a floor in the sky). It is the epitome of casual rootop chic, or grab a signature, Amalfi-inspired cocktail at Marrakech Bar, a gorgeous open lounge inspired by Morocco with a tobacco-colored humidor Cuban stocked.
Onsite are an outdoor pool and deck with a Japanese garden vibe, a sea-facing gym with the latest Techno gear so you can treadmill into the sunset, lap pool, sauna and small spa. Casa Angelina can organize yoga and personal training sessions and often organizes yoga retreats.
From the white on white and the gorgeous design elements to the ever-present, impeccably dressed staff in their cashmere sweaters, loose-fitted linen pants, and Positano slides who deliver everything from a warm welcome and local intel to fresh almond milk, every detail is impeccable.
Casa Angelina is the perfect spot for a sexy getaway or a secret affair but not ideal for families. In fact, Casa Angelina’s golden rule is no guests under 12 years of age, and, frankly, it’s a great idea. The gorgeous hotel, with its meters of white on whites and hundreds of steps, is an accident waiting to happen for anyone in the primary school crew.
All of the Costeria Amalfitana is rocky coastline, so to get to the beach you have to walk down. From the hotel, there is a 200-step walk to La Gavitella, a private beach club with an area dedicated exclusively to Casa Angelina guests. The west-facing position guarantees optimum sunlight through the day and into the evening.
Take a Hike, By Land or Sea
You’ll want to walk around the charming town of Praiano but also this is one of the most coveted areas for a hike. Il Sentiero degli Dei, The Path of the Gods, begins here for a five-mile nature trek of stunning gorges, cliffs and precipices. Inland adventures can also plan a daytrip to archaeological sites Pompei, Ercolano, and Paestum.
Make time to visit Amalfi’s greatest hits – Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, Ravello- and also its tiny fishing towns Maiori, Minori, Cetara, and Furore. My advice? Go by boat. You can also swing o islands Capri and Procida.
Getting to Praiano is easy but requires a little planning. You can fly into Naples Airport (NAP), or take a train to Napoli Centrale from any of Italy’s major cities. From Naples, you’ll enjoy a very winding 90-minute drive. Keep in mind, timing depends on the crazy Amalfi Coast traffic.
Do you need a car in Praiano? Yes and no. Praiano itself is an easy walking town, and you can rent scooter. There are also public transport and taxi. Casa Angelina provides an hourly shuttle service to Positano. However, if you are interested in coast-hopping, take advantage of the hotel’s private boat. For any inland day trips, you will need to hire a car.
A version of this article appeared in Fathom.