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This is Praia A Mare
From Jesse's Journeys in Italy

Population: 6,307 (2004)
Official website:
Praia A Mare
Wikipedia:
Praia A Mare
Map:
MapQuest

Praia a Mare is a magical town on Italy’s Cedri Riviera - the Citrus Coast - filled with natural wonder, legend and history.  The town is home to Dino Island, whose sandstone circumference includes mystifying cave grottos, in which an indescribable colour of blue, created by light which comes up through the water, has caused Dino Island to be given World-Heritage site status.  

Praia a Mare is a naturally inspiring destination that has gone un-noticed by most travelers who unfortunately have passed up the town’s treasures which include: pedestrian only tree-lined streets and a stunning church, known as “La Madonna Della Grotta” built inside an enormous cave behind the town (look for sign near the Arcate hotel that indicates the Archaeological Zone).

Travelers have been by-passing Praia a Mare on route to Sicily, but from May to October, when the weather is good Praia should be considered a "must see"  destination for anyone traveling in Southern Italy. 

The town is impeccably clean, well served by trains and buses, and because empires throughout the centuries have laid claim here, it is home to numerous historical ruins including a prominent Byzantine guarding tower that lies in front of Dino Island and a Spanish Castle.

Praia a Mare is small, and easy to get around with a car or without.  There are numerous hotels, bed and breakfasts and restaurants which are relatively low-cost for what you receive in comparison to other parts of Italy.  Praia is an optimal place from which to explore numerous other villages on the Cedri Riviera. 

Dino Island, the main attraction which draws visitors from around Europe each year, is approximately one mile in circumference and is home to six magnificent grottos, easily accessible by paddleboat or canoe that can be rented by any number of beach lidos in operation from May until September.  In the off-season, boats can be rented at hotels.

The Madonna Della Grotta sanctuary is easily accessible throughout the town and admittance is free of charge. There are in fact, two churches within the cave, the smaller one, built inside a smaller cave, in which limestone deposits have formed an alter of sorts, used by local priests for Catholic ceremonies carried out here.
 

Region of Calabria

The Cedri Riviera

 

Distances

Maratea - 10 km;
Altomonte - 110 km;
Cosenza - 144 km;
Potenza - 144 km;
Lamezia Terme (airport) - 150 km;
Salerno - 161 km;
Catanzaro - 166 km;
Tropea - 186 km;
Naples - 200 km
Crotone - 226 km;
Reggio Calabria - 260 km;
Rome - 422 km

Directory

Places to stay
Agrinappi B&B
Al Vecchio Pioppo B&B
Hotels, Bed and Breakfasts, Villas, Camping Facilities
Town Directory
Sporting Facilities
Night Life
Shopping
Bars, Restaurants and Cafès
Internet Cafés


Coat of Arms of Praia A Mare

Santuario Madonna Della Grotta a fascinating Church overlooking Praia a Mare located within an enormous cave and home to numerous archaeological excavations.  It's free to enter and open on a daily basis.


Staute at the Arcate Hotel, Praia A Mare
by Jesse Andrews

Contributions

Tell us about your trip to Praia A Mare.  What were your favorite places to visit, stay, and dine.  Talk Italy Forum