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Many Amalfi Coast visitors spend their time in the three most famous resort towns—Amalfi, Positano, and Ravello—with little thought of the less-heralded villages in between.
Halfway from Positano to Amalfi, Praiano is a nondescript old fishing village with a small beach; it's secluded enough that few tourists hop off at its bus stop.
Spilling down the hillside in a series of lush garden terraces and rural structures converted into secluded rooms, the Costa Diva was opened by the Milo brothers, Pino and Filippo.
They named the rooms after film divas of the mid-20th century who vacationed or shot movies here, such as the Sophia (Loren) and the Marilyn (Monroe).
Pino, who tends the gardens, leads the way through the tangle of flagstone pathways and tiled terraces cutting though the foliage; he points out grape vines, prickly pears, red hibiscus, palms, rosemary, and pink roses, as well as the lemon, lime, orange, and fig trees.
"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."