Locanda Costa Diva ★★★

Room at Locanda Costa Diva, Positano. (Photo by Locanda Costa Diva)

A garden hideaway hotel in the Amalfi Coast town of Praiano, near Positano

Many people headed to the Amalfi Coast spend all their time in three most famous towns—Amalfi, Positano, and Ravello—without realizing that it's in the villages in between, where only locals get off the bus, that you can glimpse the Amalfi Coast as it was 60 years ago, before the fame.

Praiano—halfway from Positano to Amalfi—is a nondescript village with little to see beyond the majolica dome of its church, but it's just enough under the radar that few other tourists stop here.

The Costa Diva is exactly what a coastal retreat should be: spilling down the hillside in a series of lush garden terraces and rural structures converted into secluded rooms four years ago by the Milo brothers, Pino, 27, and Filippo, 23.

They named the rooms after Italian film divas who made movies on the Amalfi Coast in the 1950s and 60s, like the Greta (Garbo) and the Sofia (Lauren).

The only exceptions: the “Esther,” named for their 93-year-old grandmother, and "Rafaella," a little stone house with a balcony on the sea at the end of a long path lined by oleander and daisies; that one's named for their mother ("A bigger diva, you won't find," says Filippo with a grin).

Pino, who has also taken on the role of gardener, leads the way through the tangle of flagstone pathways and tiled terraces cutting though the foliage, pointing out the figs and grape vines, the lemon, lime, and orange trees, the prickly pear, red hibiscus, palm, rosemary, pink roses, and wild capers.

"I could have had a place in Amalfi—for much less money, too," he says. "But there's no tranquility there. I could only get guests who are passing through, not ones who will stay." He smiles. "Stay and then come back again."

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Via Roma 12, Praiano (Positano)
tel. +39-089-813-076
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Locanda Costa Diva
★★★Via Roma 12, Praiano (Positano)
tel. +39-089-813-076
» book

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