The Amalfi Coast in Italy is definitely one of the world’s scenic drives.
Naples is the frenetic big city in this part of Italy. It’s a city worth seeing. You could stay there, experience the frenzy, and have a pizza in its birthplace…. But if you’re looking for more serenity and visual treats, make your way to Sorrento which is really the gateway to the Amalfi Coast. You can get to Sorrento from Naples with a rental car or on the Circumvesuviana train which is famous in this part of Italy.
What is the best time of year to visit the Amalfi Coast
There really is no best time to visit the Amalfi Coast. It used to be most crowded in summer, but stories about crowds and high temperatures have more and more people visiting in the spring and fall shoulder seasons. It is least crowded in winter, but it will often be overcast, and many hotels close from November to March.
In summer, traffic is so heavy that they allow local cars to drive only every other day: even-numbered license plates one day, odd the next. Buses and tourists are exempt from this system.
We’re focusing on the drive here; we will review the beautiful towns in the area elsewhere.
The official name is the Costiera Amalfitana. The scenic drive along this 30 miles (50 km) of dramatic coastline IS the attraction all by itself. The road twists and turns above the sparkling blue Mediterranean. You’ll be snapping pictures at every bend and be amazed at the Italian engineers who built this road clinging to the cliffs 500 feet above the sea.
What is the best way to get around the Amalfi Coast
There are three ways to travel along this coast: bus, your own car, and taxi.
The easiest is probably to take a bus. You can always sign up for a tour. There are also convenient and inexpensive buses — the SITA Blue Line Buses — that run many times a day between Sorrento and Amalfi or Salerno. Sit on the sea side of the bus (the left side if you leave from Sorrento). You can stop in Positano if you like. Once in Amalfi there are other buses (Check the Orange Bus Line) that can take you to Ravello or Salerno.
The bus is a good option, and it will it let you see the sights and marvel at how your driver negotiates the twists and turns. If you want to take the bus only in one direction, you can return from Salerno by train or you can return from Amalfi or Positano by boat or ferry. In the summer months the buses can fill up early in the morning.
You can drive yourself. You may not be able to do as much sightseeing as you would like if you are the driver. With that crazy traffic, all of your attention will be focused on the road… Some people say to beware, the solid center line in the middle of the road is merely a suggestion… Whoever gets to a lane first has the right of way.
Your own car will let you visit the towns of the Amalfi Coast at your own pace. However, be prepared to pay exorbitant parking fees if you can even find a parking place.
Another option is to hire a taxi. This is an expensive option, but local taxi drivers will pick you up at your hotel, stop when you want, give you great insights to the area, and deliver you back to your hotel relatively stress free.
No matter how you choose to travel along the Amalfi Coast, it will be a drive you never forget!