Cruising the Amalfi Coast

Better than driving the coast road.

I’ve driven the Amalfi coast more times than I need to remember. I don’t really find it nerve-wracking, as long as you’re paying attention. There are guard rails the entire length and hairpin turns that require you to drive slowly. Even on the best stretches you rarely surpass 35 miles an hour — mostly you’re doing 25, and not much bad happens at that speed.

Nevertheless, for peace of mind I tend to start my drive at the southern end, taking the autostrada to Vietri Sul Mare and making my way north on the Amalfi coast drive. That way I’m driving on the inside rather than next to the edge. The entire journey from Vietri Sul Mare to Positano, the last of the coastal towns, is about 25 miles, although with all the stops at key destinations and the frequent traffic tie-ups, the trip cannot be done in less than 4-5 hours.

Now that’s not to say that at points it won’t be a little  gut-wrenching. You have to watch out for the Vespas as they pass you at sometimes stupid speeds, driving in the on-coming traffic lane around a blind curve. And there are places even on the inside drive that are difficult — the cliffs stick out just a little too much or the steps to a house are a little too close to the road. But still, I wouldn’t call it a very dangerous drive because I’m never going that fast, and again, because I’m paying attention.

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