One of Italy’s most memorable coastlines is often one of the least well explored. That is to say many travelers speak of the Amalfi coast, yet only end up exploring a simple section or seeing it from the vantage point of one town or a guided tour or even a ferry ride. The Amalfi coast in its entirety is something that can stun and impress at every twist and bend of its marvelous layout.
The best way to see as much of the coast as possible is simply to rent a vehicle. The roads are well marked and although tight in some spots, they are in great condition and slow driving is a must to deal with the turns and to appreciate the spellbinding views with all the roadside attractions that are art of the experience. Seeing a stand of fresh lemons and peppers or waving to an elderly local couple are things you can’t package.
The best way to proceed if coming down from Rome or Tuscany is to use Naples as the starting off point. Once one departs Naples the major A3 highway will follow the scenic curvature of the bay of Naples. From here continue down onto the splendid wonders of Pompei, which need no introduction. This can be a great spot for a day of touring and then an overnight. From here the next day can be spent driving and exploring the wonders of the land that as a rugged cliff marked peninsula juts out into the sea.
The main road one will take here is SS145 which one can follow to the beautiful city of Sorrento. Again the drive here and the city itself can take up altogether another full and lovely day on the Amalfi itinerary and Sorrento is full of amazing restaurants, abundant historic architecture, lively piazzas and nightlife.
For the following day a first option is to go out to the furthest point take a smaller road to a spot called Termini or the Punta Campanella state park. This is where the strip of land is at its narrowest and from some high points one can see the sea on both sides as the land forms a ridge between two beautiful deep blue gulfs. Probably the most underrated spot on the tour.
Moving on from here follow the SS163 road with signs signaling for Positano and further on to the city of Amalfi. Each of these cities sits like a beautifully polished jewel between the Safire blue sea, the verdant mountain peaks and the towering cliff walls. The cities each have small but lively streets with boutique hotels, marvelous seafood restaurants and intimate local traditions which are sure to fascinate and charm. Amalfi is of course a historic highlight because the whole coastline is named for it.
Once one has seen these two marvelous towns the quickest and the most scenic is to follow the SS163 road back inland, it is stunning driving that follows every twist and turn of the mind-blowing landscape but it is one not soon forgotten. This moves back inland where one can again meet up with the A3 road that is a main highway between Naples and Salerno.