Praiano, known in antiquity as Pelagium (Open sea), among all the towns along the Amalfi coast is the one offering the widest views of the sea.
Starting in the 12th century AD, the traditional activities of agriculture (in the higher part of town) and fishing (in the lower portion) were joined by handicraft activities, such as the production of the “twisted thread”, linen, and coral fishing, and, in more recent times, the production of salted anchovies and the characteristic hair nets, very popular in the past along the entire coast.
The renowned “Path of the Gods” starts out from Praiano. This ancient mountain path offers spectacular views to hikers.
Among the architectural highlights, don’t miss the Church of St. Luke, with the characteristic dome covered by Vietri ceramic tiles, the relics, the bust of the saint, and the paintings by famous artists of the 1500’s.
Church of St Luke
The church, in Baroque style, dedicated to the Saint Patron of Praiano, LuKe the Evangelist, is dated 1588, and was restored in 1772; it is implanted on a previous structure dating back to 1123, as the Code Porris and other historical documents report.
The front of the church was recently restored, and it is complemented by a three-storey bell tower with the last floor characterized by lancets. The interior part of the church is developed on three naves, with six chapels each, with rounded arches; the central nave is covered by a barrel and scratched vaulted ceiling, and the side ones by crossed vaulted ceilings in plaster. The church, that is very particular and rare in the Amalfi Coast, has a majolicated dome, grafted on the apse.Also the floor is created with majolica, and was decorated in 1789, with flowers and birds, and in the center with the portrait of Saint Luke in the act of painting.
Of the church’s rich assets, it’s important to mention the silver reliquary bust of the Saint and two important paintings on wood: the first dating back to the second half of the fifth century, is attributed to Giovanni Bernardo Lama, and it represents the Circumcision, the second one is attributed to Padovano De Montorio, and represents the Virgin of the Rosary, dated 1582. Extracted from “The Restoration of the Bust of St. Luke the Evangelist” by Vincenzo Bove.