Friday, April 12, 2013

Travel: Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast begins in Sorrento and ends in Salerno, and the 30+ kilometer drive provides beautiful views of the Mediterranean Sea, its coastline, and several charming coastal towns.

Be warned: The drive is for experienced drivers only. Foreigners unaccustomed to driving narrow, curvy roads with traffic should take the bus. The drive becomes challenging in Positano, where cars are parked along both sides of the road and many corners are blind. Tour buses run all along the coast, and they always have the right of way. Also, Cole felt like he was on an endless roller coaster; passengers susceptible to motion sickness beware.

There are also few places to safely stop and sightsee, as fruit stands (they sell lemons the size of your head!) occupy most of the designated stop-over areas. You could tempt fate and park on the side of the road like the locals, but we're cautious, pro-life, and stopped to take photos and shop only where space allowed.

Of all the towns we encountered, Amalfi is the most accessible. A central market and various independent shops (to include several ceramic bars) are within easy reach. There's also a lovely promenade along the coastline, offering spectacular views. If we return, this will be the place we explore more thoroughly.

Once you've finished with the coast, reaching the Autostrade is a bit of an adventure. You have to go up and down a mountain and through multiple towns before reaching the on-ramp. In truth, it takes longer to do this than to drive the entire Amalfi Coast.

Fuel: No less than a 1/2 tank of gas

Tolls: 4 Euros

Time: Allow at least 4 hours

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