The Amalfi Coast --- known as Costiera Amalfitana --- is considered one of Europe’s most beautiful drives. It takes you along the rugged coastline from Vietri sul Mare to Sorrento. The narrow, hairpin turns meander the coastline through beautiful, scenic villages providing the traveler with a fascinating hair-raising, scenic motoring experience.
The city of Positano is the setting of many scenes of the film "Under the Tuscan Sun".
Unless you are a professional driver, this road trip is best turned over to bus drivers or local taxi/limo drivers who are familiar with every nook of the road.
This coastal trip will give you renewed respect for the Italian engineers who designed and built the road, and especially for the locals who drive it.
The drive will take you precariously along the edge of the Lattari Mountains with hairpin turns and 500 foot drop cliffs that drop down to the Mediterranean with cantilevered garages, villas, and picturesque towns that cling to the cliffs. he drive will also take you past terraced gardens and bright colored bays winding along the shoreline.. Traffic is so heavy that in the peak summer months of July and August, local cars are allowed to drive only every other day ---odd numbered license plates one day, even numbered plates the day after, though buses and ill-advised tourist drivers are exempt.
To begin the scenic drive along the Amalfi Coast it is suggested that you begin your journey in Salerno, a busy port that received notoriety during WW-II as one of the main Allied beachheads during the 1943 invasion of Italy. From Autostrada A3, take SS163 at Vietri sul Mare, a village with dramatic coastal views that is known for its ceramics.
The drive takes you along the Gulf of Salerno and skirts past the villages of Maiori and Minori with many 1st century ruins, past Capo d'Orso with dramatic views of the coastline, then onto the famous town of Ravello, perhaps the most romantic and beautiful small towns in southern Italy. Set on steep, terraced slopes, Ravello, at 1,198 feet (365 meters) above the coast below is a beautiful village with lush gardens, quiet side streets.
From there onto Amalfi when in 12th century it rivaled Venice, Pisa, and Genoa as important maritime ports. Amalfi is a popular scenic waterfront resort village with many cafes and shops. Take a break from the frantic pace of Amalfi and take a wake along the Valle dei Mulini, a deep ravine dotted with ruined water mills.
Continue on to Vallone di Furore, known for it's steep gorges. Get out, stretch your legs and explore it by foot.
Continue onto Praiano, a popular tourist town known for it's quaint cafes where you can relax and enjoy both the sunrise and sunset.
Next along the coast is Positano, a beautiful seacoast Village well known for it's steep cliffs with homes and villas stacked above each other. Here you will find many shops, colorful flowers, and fabrics.
Finally, your journey will end in the village of Sorrento on the Gulf of Naples. Sorrento is know for its inlaid wood art, and after some shopping, be sure to stop and relax with sip of Limoncello, a tasty alcoholic drink made from lemon rinds from the local citrus groves.