Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Driving the Amalfi Coast


We've all heard the stories about the highway along the Amalfi Coast, the hairpin turns, sheer cliffs, and skinny roads barely big enough for two Fiats side by side, never mind two buses. Let me just say that these stories do nothing to in fact prepare you for the true terror that the actual trip evokes.
Our bus inches by another bus

Dayne and I caught the bus in Sorrento and grabbed seats on the right side as all the guide books instruct. Normally Dayne always gets the aisle seat seeing as he is 6'6", but seeing that I have a insane fear of toppling over a cliff in a bus along the Amalfi Coast I tucked him next to the window with instructions to take photos as I knew I would spend half the ride with my eyes closed.

Everything you've heard is true. The scenery is lovely, when I did look. And the cliffs are sheer, the twists and turns dizzying, and the roads are indeed impossibly narrow. More than once our bus had to slow to a crawl to inch past the oncoming car. I think the bus is the perfect way to go, all of the show and none of the driving. Plus how could you look at anything other than the road if you were driving?

Our first stop was Positano, entirely built into a hill, they say you either are climbing or sliding when going anywhere here. The town has two bus stops, one at the top and the other at the bottom of the hill. We exited the bus at the second stop, the bottom one, and spent an hour or so wandering the town and the beach front.

And then we started to make our way up to the top, deciding to have lunch at a little pizza place we had read about, near the upper bus stop. Wow, what a climb this was! 500 steps up, past homes that seemed to be a part of the rock hill itself. Stopping along the way to admire the ocean views, the interesting lanes, the... who am I kidding? We stopped to catch our breath!!!

We finally made it to Il Saraceno d'Oro where we had a lovely lunch of wine and pizza (with an amazing sauce!) and then went on to the top bus stop which was literally on the side of the highway.

Next stop Amalfi, another adorable town with a busy center square, lovely shops, and pristine waterfront. Almalfi isn't thought of as hill-hugging as its neighbor but the locals here still know how to climb a rise! We sat for an Aperol Spritz and gelato and enjoyed the plaza. Our bus trip had been about 2 hours total.

We opted to take the ferry back to Sorrento, just 50 minutes and a chance to gaze at the gorgeous coast line. I think that was the perfect way to do the day; crazy road trip one way, relaxing boat ride the next.
Coming back into Serrento

Have you driven the Amalfi Coast?

All Almalfi Coast photos here.