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Spectacular road trips. Amalfi Coast, Italy.
If you like your road trips short and perfectly formed, this one’s for you. Situated in the Campania region, the Amalfi Coast hugs the southern edge of Italy’s Sorrentine Peninsula. At only 50 km long, the Amalfi Coast is considered one of the world’s best road trips. There will be plenty of time to stop off, enjoy the view and sample local delicacies.
The coast is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. With dramatic cliffs, rugged shorelines, pretty beaches, lush forests (hiking is big here), grand villas and vineyards, it deserves the international acclaim.
From the highlands of Malaysia to the beaches of Australia, the intrepid travel team at Budget Direct Insurance has been celebrating the magnificence of the road trip in a series of posts. Here is our all-in-one trip planner to Italy’s Amalfi Coast.
Places to visit
A stunning village virtually falling into the sea. It’s terracotta houses and buildings are perched precariously on the mountainside and angle towards the beach where locals and tourists take in the sun.
This town literally did fall into the sea during an earthquake in 1343. Today the small town is a haven for visitors. Drive on round the headland to Atrani and take a stroll in the whitewashed alleyways and relax on the pretty beach flanked by tall arches.
A sophisticated town sitting in the hills above Amalfi, it is best known for the stunning views and beautiful gardens and list of celebrities it has attracted over hundreds of years - including the 19th century composer Richard Wagner and D.H Lawrence who wrote Lady Chatterley's Lover here.
Take it easy on the twisty 7km drive up the Valle del Dragone – try to stay overnight and catch the local market every Tuesday.
The nearest big city to the Amalfi Coast is Naples, but don’t pick up your rental car here as driving in Naples can be stressful. If you are flying into Rome, take the high speed train to Naples and then the local train to Sorrento and start your road trip from there.
Because of the twisting roads, driving on the Amalfi coast requires concentration and focus. Whoever is driving won’t get to see much of the view while on the move, unless you want to get close and personal with the cliff face! But there are lots of scenic places to stop and nowhere is very far away, so you won’t be driving long distances. Ferries between the coastal towns are a great way of seeing the coast from a different perspective (not strictly a road trip then!)
When to visit
This is an ideal place to visit out of season (October to April) as winters are mild and the roads will be quieter and parking much easier (it can be hell in the summer months of June, July and August). The Italians drive on the right and you will need to familiarise yourself with your new vehicle and the roads.
Useful Italian phrases for the road
destra – right
sinistra – left
dritto – straight
uscita – exit
pedaggio – toll