How to Drive on the Amalfi Coast, and what to see along the way

It happened again.  At a party last weekend, we found ourselves enthusiastically in conversation with friends who are planning a trip to Italy in October and who want ideas about places to visit.

The Amalfi Coast or costiera amalfitana, is one of our favorite places in Italy.  The dramatic mountain cliffs rise up against the emerald-blue sea sparkling in the sunlight below.  Pastel colored villages carved into the mountain-side shine vibrantly against the landscape, while scented lemon groves and a salty sea breeze fill the air.

The drive along this spectacular coastline is simply breathtaking.  It’s not, though, for the faint of heart.  With steep rock on one side and a dramatic drop to the Mediterranean on the other, the narrow road clings to the mountain and follows the twisting shoreline, resulting in winding roads and sharp curves.  Equipped with a sense of adventure and some solid advice, you can drive the coast and experience one of the most beautiful drives in the world.

If you already know this and want to skip directly to the driving lesson, scroll to the bottom of this post.  Otherwise, read on for our recommendations on where to go and what to do on your trip.

The Amalfi Coast is the 60 km (37 mile) stretch of coastline between Sorrento and Salerno, located just south of the Bay of Naples.  The most charismatic part of the coast is between the cities of Positano and Vietri sul Mare.  36 km (22 miles) separate the two cities.

1.  Vietri sul Mare
2.  Ravello
3.  Amalfi
4.  Positano

Arriving from Rome or any other northern Italian city, take the Autostrada A1 south toward Naples.  Just past Naples, exit onto the Autostrada A3 headed toward Salerno-Reggio Calabria.  Follow the A3 past Mt. Vesuvius, the volcano whose eruption in AD 79  buried the cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum, to the Vietri sul Mare exit.  Follow the road down to toward the city of Vietri sul Mare.  As you drive down the hill, you will have your first glance at the sea down below.  As you enter the town, you will see a municipal parking lot.  If space is available, this is your best parking option.  There is a parking ticket machine at one end of the lot.  Pay in advance and place your ticket on your dashboard.  If there is no available space in the lot, look for street parking.

Vietri sul Mare
Vietri sul Mare is famous for its hand-painted ceramics.  Ceramic-tiled storefronts line the main street of the village.

Inside there are dishes, vases, urns, wall-tiles and countless other items hand painted in vibrant colors in the traditional style of the Amalfi Coast.  Stefano and I began a collection of dishes years and years ago, and each time we go back we acquire a few more pieces.

From Rome, it’s a 2 and a half to three-hour drive to Vietri sul Mare.  Plan to arrive in the morning and do your shopping before lunch.  Stores will close at approximately 1:00.

Leave Vietri sul Mare and proceed west along the coastal road.  Stop for lunch at Torre Normanna for spectacular coastal views and perfectly prepared seafood in an amazing location.

Proceed along the coastal road through the villages of Maiori and Minori, stopping for a caffè or a gelato if you wish, and on towards Amalfi.  We will save Amalfi for tomorrow, however.  When you arrive at the village of Castiglione, turn right and follow Via Castiglione up the mountain to the city of Ravello.

Ravello sits high on the mountain overlooking the Amalfi Coast below.  It is a quaint town, and has been home to many famous artists, musicians and writers, the most notable of whom include Richard Wagner, who found inspiration for his opera Parsifal,  and D.H. Lawrence., who wrote Lady Chatterley’s Lover, here.

Ravello is home to two villas with striking architecture and gorgeous gardens.  Villa Rufolo, originally a watchtower, is an oasis of serenity with it Moorish cloister that reflects the Arab cultural influence and its immaculately cured garden on a terrace overlooking the Mediterranean.  Wagner loved this garden, and each summer during the Ravello Festival concerts are held in this garden, with the sea as a spectacular backdrop.  Villa Cimbrone is equally beautiful, with its lush gardens, temples , statues, and fountains and its famous terrace named Belvedere of Infinity for its view out over the coast and the vast expanse of sea below.

Spend the night in Ravello.  There are many hotel choices at a variety of price points.  Some hotels are located just outside the gates of the city just off of the main road, and are quite accessible.  Others are tucked away inside the town, often down narrow cobblestone paths.  Before making a reservation, ask about parking (there essentially is none inside the city walls), and also about luggage services.  Be specific about where the nearest parking is, what parking costs, how far there is to walk, whether it is up or down hills, and if there is help with luggage.  And of course, request a room with a sea view.

We stayed Villa San Michele years ago and were very satisfied.  We have also stayed at Villa Amore.  This more cost effective hotel is located deep into the heart of Ravello.  A simple and clean place, it has a few rooms with small gardens overlooking the sea.  Ask for a room with a full sea-view, vista sul mare, and don’t accept a partial or blocked view.  Don’t be afraid to not accept a room if the view does not meet your expectations, and even to leave for a different hotel if they cannot offer you a different room.  You are on the Amalfi Coast and a full-sea view is a must.

Many hotels along the Amalfi Coast offer a full- or half-pension.  A full-pension includes breakfast, lunch and dinner.  The half-pension, which we prefer, includes breakfast and either lunch or dinner.  You need to let the hotel manager know each morning which meal you plan to have there.  Our recommendation is to take advantage of the half-pension, eating lunch away from the hotel while you are exploring the coastline, and having dinner back at the hotel.  We’ve always enjoyed the hotel dinners we’ve had on the Amalfi Coast; well prepared meals that take advantage of the fresh seafood, sun-ripened tomatoes, and amazing mozzarella di bufala native to that part of the country.

In the morning, have a caffè, hop back in the car and take Via Castiglione back down to SS163, the official name for the coastal road, and proceed toward Amalfi.

Once a the capital of the powerful Maritime Republic of Amalfi, but later ravaged by years of natural disaster and poverty, Amalfi is now a quaint, if very touristy, town.  As you enter the town you will see several municipal parking lots near the shore, often with city traffic officers directing tourists into parking spaces.  Be prepared to pay the high parking fees – there simply is no alternative.

Head up the hill into Piazza Duomo, the town square.  Admire the cherubs and chuckle at the nymph’s water-jetting bosom at the Fontana di Sant’Andrea in the center of the square, and then turn to your right and visit Pasticceria Pansa for a Neopolitan-style pastry and a cappuccino or a cup of tea.

Make a mental note to return to buy some chocolate-dipped candied citrus peel or babà al limoncello to take away with you.

Adjacent to Pasticceria Pansa is the impressive 10th century Duomo di Sant’Andrea with its Arab, Norman and Gothic influences.  Climb the 62 steps up to to the cathedral and admire its bronze doors, cast in Constantinople  in AD 1044.  Inside the Duomo frescos cover the walls of the Baroque interior.   Be sure not to miss the Cloister of Paradise on the left side of the cathedral’s portico, with its Moorish white marble arches and beautiful garden.

After exiting the Duomo, stroll up the the streets of Amalfi and into the small alleyways of the village.  Although the small shops are often over-priced, some fun items can be found.  Look for confections of limoncello, the lemon-infused liquor made popular by the Amalfi Coast, or glass jars of tuna canned in olive oil.  We promise you it will be the best tuna you’ve tasted.  Before returning to your car, stroll down to the shoreline to see the quaint fishing boats and the sometimes impressive yachts docked in the harbor.

Have lunch in Amalfi, or find a spot further down the coast on your way towards Positano.  Two highly recommended places are Ristorante Eola, which is along the coast  in Amalfi, and Hostaria il Pino, which is further along the coastal road near the town of Praiano, just over half-way between Amalfi and Positano.

Positano is a jet-set and touristy village built dramatically and steeply into the side of the mountain in stunning pastel colors that glow in the evening sunlight.

Parking in Positano can be challenging.  If you plan to spend the night in Positano, be sure to find a hotel that offers parking.  In the best case scenario, you will pull off on the side of the road in front of your hotel, go in to check in, and hand your keys over to a valet, and not worry about your car again until you are ready to leave Positano.  Luggage service is another thing to ask about.  Steep staircases unlike anything you have ever seen have been cut into the mountain to allow locals and tourists to move about through the village.  However, you don’t want to try to go up and down those with heavy suitcases!  If you are not staying overnight, you will need to pay 20-30 Euros per day to park in a garage.  It is outrageous, but simply part of the cost of experiencing the beauty of the Amalfi Coast.

In Positano, stroll up and down the charismatic labyrinth of streets.  Shopping is one of the highlights of this little town, and hand-crafted, made-to-measure strappy leather sandals are what Positano is famous for.  You can choose from a variety of styles and leathers and in about 10 minutes you will have your sandals made exclusively for you.  They will cost a pretty penny, but will also last forever.

Wander down to the beach to soak up some Mediterranean sun, or simply for a stroll.  There are two beaches: Spiaggia di Marina Grande is the busiest of the two, while Spiaggia di Formillo, a little further west, is quieter.  Don’t expect white sand; both beaches are made up of small, round pebbles.  You will want sandals to walk in, and if you plan on spending time on the beach it is worth renting chairs and an umbrella.  From the beach you can see Li Galli, the archipelago of little islands just off of the coast that are said to be where the Sirens seduced Ulysses and other ship captains in Homer’s Odyssey.  The coast is home to dozens of spots to grab a drink, an afternoon aperitif, or dinner.

If you prefer action over relaxation, consider taking a ferry to the islands of Ischia or Capri for a day trip.  You will see a lot of advertising about the Grotta dello Smeraldo, the sea cave full of stalactites and stalagmites that fills with emerald-glowing light.  Most reviews suggest that it is an excursion to pass on.

Directions out of the Amalfi Coast
When you are ready to leave Positano and end your stay on the Amalfi coast, get back onto the coastal road SS163 and follow it west.  It will eventually take you inland in the direction of Sorrento.  Follow the signs to Sorrento; the road will eventually turn into SS145.  Stop and stay in Sorrento for a night, or follow the SS145 until you see signs for E45 Napoli/Roma.  Take the E45 Napoli/Roma, which will turn into the Autostrada A1 headed toward Rome.

How to Drive on the Amalfi Coast
By now you are enamored with the costiera amalfitana, appreciative of the flexibility that a car offers, and enticed to experience the amazing coastal drive yourself.  You can; just follow the advice below.

  1. Choose a smaller-size car.  It will be easier to handle on the curves.  Too much luggage is a hassle on the coast anyway.
  2. Consider automatic vs. manual transmission.  Most Italian cars have manual transmission (cambio manuale), and if you know how to drive a straight-stick, the manual transmission is a lot of fun.  Be prepared, however, for frequent shifting between first, second and third gear as you speed up and slow down on the winding roads.  If this isn’t your thing, get a rental car with automatic transmission (cambio automatico).
  3. Keep an eye out for the scooters.  Locals, especially the youth, use motorini and Vespas to travel up and down the coast.  Their driving will seem reckless to you, especially as they pass you on the right, squeezing between your car and the mountain wall.  Keep your cool and stay in your lane.  Don’t be tempted to veer into the oncoming lane to go around them.  They’ve driven this road hundreds of times, and you haven’t.  They know when they fit and when they don’t.
  4. Don’t get too adventurous and rent a scooter yourself.  You’re not ready for that yet.  If you get really good at driving the road in a car, then you could maybe consider it.
  5. Don’t drive too fast, but don’t drive too slow, either.  It’s very frustrating to be stuck behind a tourist who is creeping along the road, holding up traffic behind him or her.  This is especially frustrating for the locals.
  6. Be mindful of cars flashing their lights at you; this is a form of communication in Italy.  If an oncoming car flashes its lights at you, this means “watch out” or “get out of my way.”  If a car behind you flashes its lights at you, this generally means “hurry up.”
  7. Slow down and hug the walls as you go around curves; you can’t see what is coming around the corner from the other direction.  At some point, you’ll be surprised when you see a larger vehicle or a tour bus in the other lane and realize that you both don’t fit.
  8. When you encounter a tour bus on a curve, the tour bus has precedence.  Slow down or stop if necessary to let it get around first.  If you encounter a tour bus on a curve and you both cannot fit, you will be expected to carefully and slowly back up to allow the bus through.  Put your car into reverse so that the cars behind you see your reverse lights and understand that they also need to back up, and slowly move backwards until the bus can get by.  It will be scary the first time, but you’ll be fine and the cars behind you will understand that they need to back up, too.
  9. If you are approaching a curve and you hear a deep horn honk, it is likely a tour bus approaching from the other side.  Hug the wall and slow down, so that hopefully the bus can get by and you can avoid #8 above.
  10. You will encounter men and women with small fruit stands in little enclaves along the side of the road.  They will be selling what appear to be gigantic lemons, but are actually citrons, which are more for attention-grabbing that anything else.  You can stop, but you need to pull off the road into the enclave so that you are not blocking traffic.
  11. When you park, allow your passenger to get out of the car first so that you can park tightly against the side of the road and the wall.
  12. Before getting out of your car, look very carefully behind you to be sure that you are not opening your car door in front of an oncoming car, or even worse, a scooter.
  13. When you close your doors, take a moment to turn your side mirrors in against the car door.  On this stretch of road, every inch counts.
  14. Finally, go easy on the white wine and limoncello if you are hopping back into your car after lunch.  This isn’t the time to play Mario Andretti.

Have you been to the Amalfi Coast?  Tell us about your experiences and recommendations.

Have you driven on the Amalfi Coast?  We welcome your comments and feedback on our advice above.

More on the Amalfi Coast:

The Amalfi Coast is an UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Read what National Geographic says about the Amalfi Coast Roadtrip.

View this YouTube video of driving on the Amalfi Coast.  It’s the real deal, with delightful music in the background.  Our only comment is that the filmperson was so focused on the road itself, the video does not do justice to the spectacular coastal views.

TripAdvisor has a forum on driving on the Amalfi Coast, with advice for drivers and for those who prefer to hire a transport service.

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50 Responses to How to Drive on the Amalfi Coast, and what to see along the way

  1. I could not have found your blog at a better time- we’ve been traveling all over Europe on weekends for the past year and Amalfi is top of my ‘to do’ list. I’ve also had the loveliest time reading through your archives- thank you!

  2. duespaghetti says:

    Thanks for visiting Due Spaghetti, Eat-Tori. We’re glad that the post will be useful to you. What a fantastic way to taste your way through Europe – makes me want to quit my job and tag along! We’d love to hear from you again after you’ve been to the Amalfi Coast.

  3. Rachel S says:

    The Amalfi Coast is GORGEOUS! We live about 45min – 1 hr north and we still don’t get down there often enough. Vietri is great for ceramics and if there isn’t parking at the top of town, there are lots at the bottom of the hill by the beaches. It will be a bit of a hike back to the top.

    Positano is beautiful but very expensive. We stayed the night in Priano, a town next to it, parked the car and took the bus back and forth. That saved
    a lot of $$$.

    There are also lots of agriturismi on the coast. These are similar to B&Bs but are actually working farms. They can range in price, but tend to be more interesting than most hotels. Plus, they usually have homemade products for sale!

    And if you like to hike, there are some good trails and amazing views! I can’t wait to return and explore again!

  4. duespaghetti says:

    These are fantastic tips, Rachel. Thanks for sharing! Staying in Priano and taking the bus is a great idea. We’ve been on those public buses that race up and down the coast – the local drivers are fearless! All things considered, though, it is a safe and efficient way to get about. We’ve stayed at agriturismi in other parts of Italy, but never on the Amalfi Coast. That is an idea for a future visit.

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  8. Rutvij says:

    Thanks Duespaghetti for such wonderful information… We are planning trip to Amalfi coast and would have car for the entire stay (as we are driving from bari to Rome and amalfi in between) So, it helped me a lot to boost some confidence in driving amalfi coast….

    Since, you have been to amalfi coast many times and have also driving experience… It would be great if you review my rough itinerary I prepraed for 2 days by bus/ferry/car…

    We will have 2 days so I am planning the stay at Vietri with free parking hotel..
    Day1 – use bus to amalfi/atrani and to positano and ferry back to salerno then bus to Vietri
    Day2 – Explore vietri, hotel check out, with car drive to Ravello with some stop at Minori/Miori and then finally drive to Rome…

    How feasible this itinerary looks like? Some expert comments?
    Would drive from Vietri to Ravello provide us enough good views or other way is better? To admirre view, can we pull out the car at otherside of the road? I heard that people just park the car outside of the town on the coastal road in line (for free) and admire the town… isn’t this a possiblitiy?

    Kindly, give your expert suggestions on the same… Thank you very much…

  9. duespaghetti says:

    Ciao, Rutvij. Thank you for your questions! Your trip sounds wonderful. Here are a few thoughts on your itinerary:

    The only problem we see is that if you are travelling to Rome from the Amalfi Coast, it is better to pick up the Autostrada (highway/motorway) from Vietri, rather than from Ravello. From Vietri, you can directly access the Autostrada A3 which brings you to Rome. From Ravello, you would need to drive through kilometers and kilometers of mountains to access the A3. You can see this on the google map here:,14.6341282,12z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x133b95759806ec37:0xfc15a139e8011360
    It is because of the easy Autostrada access that we always use Vietri as our arrival and departure point to the Amalfi Coast.

    With this in mind, your Day 1 itinerary looks great: Travelling by bus is a good way to get used to the area. The best views come from looking out over the Mediterranean on the coastal road, so try to get seated on the left side/driver’s side of the bus, especially since you won’t be returning by bus.

    Here’s what we would suggest for Day 2: Wake up and explore Vietri, as you indicated. As you probably read, Vietri is famous for its hand-painted ceramics. The town is quite small and consists of a main street lined with shop after shop filled with ceramics. Within an hour or two you will have seen everything, unless you want to schedule a tour of one of the ceramic factories. We’d only recommend that if you were highly interested in the ceramic-making and painting process.

    Get your car and drive up to Ravello, also as you indicated. If you wanted, you could stop for lunch at Torre Normana. It is located just before Maiori and Minori. Here’s the map:,14.6499935,13z/data=!4m2!3m1!1s0x0:0xf30e31873128be7. It is an AMAZING restaurant. We reviewed it on Due Spaghetti:

    Maiori and Minori are very small seaside towns. There’s not much to stop and see, unless you just want to park and get a gelato or an espresso.

    Continue up the road to Ravello. You will be driving up into the mountains, because Ravello sits high up above the coast. There is ample public parking near the town’s main square. It is well-marked. You will have to pay for parking. Ravello is a beautiful city to explore, especially Villa Rufolo, which offers the best views of the sea below.

    Instead of leaving for Rome from Ravello, get in your car and drive back down the mountains to the coastal road, and return in the direction toward Vietri. You will actually save time by driving back to Vietri and catching the Autostrada A3 to Rome, rather than navigating the slow mountain road from Ravello to the A3. Plus, your views will be nicer driving from Ravello back toward Vietri. It’s a beautiful way to say goodbye to the Amalfi Coast!

    As far as pulling over to the side of the road – sometimes that is possible, and sometimes it isn’t. The road in general is very narrow, with two lanes and virtually no shoulder. There are a few designated “look out” places on the sea-side of the road where there is room to pull over and get out of the car. On the mountain side of the road, you will see locals who have set up small fruit and vegetable stands, and in particular will be selling what look like over-sized lemons, but are actually citron fruits, called “cedro” in Italian. There is space near their stands to pull your car over, as well. Anytime you do pull over, just be sure that you are not obstructing traffic, and be very careful opening your car door. in many places near the towns you can park up against the mountain, also. Typically you will need to let your passenger our first and park tight against the mountain. You will see that people often turn their side mirrors in, as well.

    Have a wonderful trip!

  10. Cindy says:

    THank you Due Spaghetti for your wonderful information. We are planning to visit Amalfi this coming August with our 2 young children. They are 5 and 7yrs old. I heard that in August traffic is very bad for driving from Rome to Amalfi. But with 2 young children, we thought car is the most comfortable way to travel. Is there any recommendation on the transportation choice? Thank you!

    • duespaghetti says:

      Hi, Cindy. Thank you for your comment! We agree that traveling by car will be the easiest. Traffic between Rome to the Amalfi coast can be bad, but with a little planning you can avoid it. The highest traffic times of the month of August are the beginning of the month, on and around August 15th (a national holiday in Italy), and toward the end of the month. We’d recommend driving on a weekday, rather than weekend. The worst areas of traffic will be Rome, then near Naples, so just plan to work around rush hour. It’s roughly 2 hours from Rome to Naples. Once past Naples, it’s only about 30-45 minutes to the Amalfi Coast. Either plan on departing Rome in the early morning, around 7 a.m., to avoid the morning rush hour in Rome, but to reach Naples 2 hours later once the worst of it is over. Or, wait until mid-to late-morning to depart Rome. The same is true on the return trip. You may want to just wait until after the evening rush hour to depart the Amalfi Coast so that you don’t get caught up in traffic around Naples, or depart early enough so that you avoid the evening rush hour in Naples and in Rome. Also, you referenced Rome to Amalfi. We strongly recommend using the exit to Vietri Sul Mare, which is a little further down the coast than Amalfi. It’s the perfect place to begin your tour of the coast, and a much easier access point off of the main motorway, the A1. Have a wonderful trip! Buon Viaggio!

  11. Jay Turk says:

    i am planning a trip to Italy with 4 days in Siena and 5 days in Poaitano and Priano. my question is whether to drive from Siena to Positano or take the train. Will i need the car in Positano (aside from getting to the airport in Naples)? How long is the drive from Siena to Positano?

    • duespaghetti says:

      Hi, Jeff.

      Thanks for your question. Siena and Positano are two of our favorite cities in Italy – it will be a fabulous trip. The decision to travel by car or train is a matter of travel preference, travel plans, how much luggage you will have, etc. There are pros and cons to both options. We’ll try to provide some context that will help you make the best decision for you.

      Technically, you cannot travel from Siena directly to Positano by train, as Positano does not have a train station.

      Your best bet would be to take a regional train from Siena to Florence (Firenze, S.M.), and then a Freccia Rossa train from Florence to Naples (Napoli Centrale). From Naples, you can catch a regional train on the Vesuviana line to Sorrento. From Sorrento, you will need to take a bus to Positano.

      Estimated times are as follows:
      Siena -> Florence -> Naples: 4.5 hours; (76 Euro)
      Naples -> Sorrento: 70 min
      Sorrento -> Positano: 40 min

      Considering transfer time, the entire journey may take 8 hours.

      Another option to consider is arranging private car transportation directly from the Naples train station, or from the Sorrento train station. A google search will turn up several options, or we are happy to point you in the direction of a few.

      It’s about 5 hours from Siena to Positano by car, if you are able to plan your travels so as to avoid traffic around Rome and Naples.

      If once on the Amalfi Coast you are only visiting Positano, you won’t really need a car. You can walk everywhere you need to go, although depending on the location of your hotel, it may involve walking up and down steep hills or stairs.

      However, the Amalfi Coast is spectacular, and with a car you can drive up and down the coast to visit other towns. Also, you mention also visiting the city of Praino. which is about 10 minutes by car from Positano. There is public bus service that you can take to travel between towns on the coast. A car just provides more freedom.

      Parking will be an issue to contend with if you have a car. Definitely check if your hotel in Positano has parking options. Street parking can be very hard to come by. There is ramp parking and public parking options, but it will cost pretty penny. If you drive up and down the coast, be prepared to pay for public parking.

      Another important consideration is your luggage. As you probably know, Positano is build into the side of a mountain, which means that there are lots of steep streets and steps to climb. This can be a challenge with luggage. Be sure to ask if your hotel has luggage transportation assistance – this means that some one may meet you at the bus station with a car or covered mo-ped to assist with bringing your luggage to the hotel. This is especially important if you opt for train/bus service. If you drive, you can likely pull up to the hotel, unload, and then go park.

      We hope this helps, and are happy to provide more information as helpful as you begin to narrow down your choices.

  12. Vivien says:

    How many days do you think we should stay at the Amalfi coastal towns if we are to take a drive down in mid – September ?

    • duespaghetti says:

      Hi, Vivien. Thanks for your question. Gosh, a lot depends on how much time you have, what activities you enjoy, whether you wish to add beach time, excursions, etc. If you wish to be very leisurely, you could spend up to a day per town between Ravello, Amalfi and Positano. A more moderate pace would be Vietri sul Mare and Amalfi one day, Ravello one day, and onward to Positano a third day. If you wanted to be really quick, you could cover the entire coast in a day. Good luck!

  13. Hello Due spaguetti, amazing blog you have, its very usefull…im planning with 2 freinds a trip by car driving from Turin next Sunday 3th of August, we are gonna start driving at 4 am so we can arrive early to pompei and see it, we have 3 more days after and the day 4 we are driving to Grottaglie to visit a friend and pretending arrive by dinner time, what would you recomned us to do to see as much as we can? where should we stay the first days to see pompei and ischia and capri?..should we choose one of both islands?..we were thinking cause we are driving a lot stay 2 nights in pompei where we found a triple room for 2 nights for 150 euros..and if we are lucky to see pompei on sunday after we arrive, go to ischia next day from Napoli and come back to pompei that night and rest and than we gotta plan the next days to Amalfi Coast and here is where we need some advices from you guys…..we will really appreciate your help..we found an agriculture hotel for 75 euros per night in Agerola…do you think it is a good idea to stay at least 2 nights there and move from Agerola with our car or bus? is there buses for Agerola to places at the coast? or better stay at Vetri sul mare o Salerno? and move to some places by bus and others by car? What would you recomend us? we are really gonna appreciate your help, have a nice day guys!! looking forward to read your advices

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  15. LoveItaly says:

    Dear DueSpagetti, please help us find a good area to spend few days on the beach when combining with Amalfi coast trip. We would like to spend 2-3 days exploring Amalfi area and then stay another 2-3 days on the beach. Can you recommend a good destination. Sicilia seems not far away, but again never been to this area before

  16. Kevin says:


    I’m trying to decide when to head from the UK to the Amalfi coast (and possibly beyond!).

    How much busier would it be both on the roads and in terms of accommodation first 2 weeks of June compared to the last 2 weeks of May?



    • Kevin says:

      Any thoughts? Anyone?

      • duespaghetti says:

        Hi, Kevin. We thought we’d replied to your first comment, but there must have been technical difficulties and it didn’t post. Sorry about that! We honestly don’t think that there will be too much of a difference between late May and Early June in terms of road traffic and accommodations. It may be slightly more likely to rain in late May than in early June, and slightly more busy in early June than in May, but all in all there isn’t much difference. June 2nd is a national holiday (Festa della Repubblica), and it falls on a Tuesday this year so some may take a 4-day weekend, which is commonly referred to as “fare ponte” or to “take a bridge” in Italy. You may wish to plan around that. Good luck and let us know what you decide and how it goes!

  17. Sarah says:

    Hello Due Spaghetti! What a wonderful site!
    I’m wondering if anyone has any tips/iternary ideas for where to stay and explore on a 10 day trip in early July, flying to and from Naples. We are wanting to spend about 2 days per place and are hoping to hire a car so will not mind driving 1-1.5 hours per place. We definitely want to see the Amalfi Coast!
    Any ideas welcome!

    • duespaghetti says:

      Hi, Sarah. 10 days is plenty of time for a leisurely stay in Naples and the Amalfi Coast. Here’s an itinerary you can use as a starting point. Good luck and keep us posted!

      Days 1 and 2: Visit Naples.
      Day 3: Visit Pompeii, and proceed to Sorrento.
      Day 4 and 5: Visit Sorrento.
      Day 6: Depart Sorrento for the Amalfi Coast. Visit Positano and spend the night there.
      Day 7: Proceed to Amalfi. Visit Amalfi, and perhaps take a boat tour of the Amalfi Coast. Stay the night in Amalfi.
      Days 8: Depart Amalfi for Ravello. Spend the night in Ravello.
      Day 9: Visit Ravello then proceed to Vietri sul Mare to shop the lovely hand painted ceramics. Depart Vietri sul Mare and take the Autostrada A3 back to Naples. Spend the night in Naples, before flying home the next day.

  18. sakahn says:


    Thanks for the great post. It is really helpful. We will only have one day (10:30 am till 09:00 pm) to drive on the amalfi coast and back to Naples on a weekday in the first week of April? Do you think it is doable? and worth it? The drive seems incredible, and we would love to do it, and may be take small breaks at some scenic locations? How much traffic one can expect on a weekday? Thanks for the help.


    • duespaghetti says:

      Hello. Yes, it is definitely do-able AND worth it. When we’re back in Rome we often take a day trip to the Amalfi coast and drive home the same day. The traffic shouldn’t be very bad on a weekday in April. We would recommend driving from Naples to Positano. Work your way down the coast and end at Vietri sul Mare. From there you can hop back on the A3 Autostrada (highway or motorway) and take it back to Naples. You’ll want to pay a little attention to the time, as shops will close from around 1:00 until 4:00. Consider planning your lunch around that time, perhaps at Torre Normanna:
      Wishing you a wonderful trip!

      • sakahn says:

        Thank you very much for the reply. Will try to have a lunch at Torre Normanna if possible. It looks like a wonderful restaurant.

  19. Dave says:

    Thank you for this very helpful post. We are traveling from Rome to Amalfi Coast at the end of April. 5 adults have booked a flat in Praiano for 5 nights. I was originally thinking of arriving by train/bus, but now am considering a car. Here are my tentative thoughts.
    Leaving Rome, I am thinking of driving to Pompeii to visit the ruins and then take the route to Vietri Sul Mare and onto Praiano (do you think this is practical?).
    One day we are planning Ravello.
    Another day a trip to Sorrento and take ferry to Capri (is parking hard to find around the ferry terminal, and is a trip to Capri the best use of time?).
    Another day a bus trip to Positano and then ferry ride to Amalfi and bus back to Praiano. I’m interested to hear what you say about this. We want to relax, but we want to see these great places.
    Also, do you know anything about hiking on the coast and best place to park and access Paths of the gods?
    One of the reasons I am considering a car is to get to Naples airport at the end of our stay without relying on bus/train schedule.
    Any thoughts about this itinerary or other things we should see? I know I’ve asked a lot, but we are very excited about this trip. I greatly appreciate your feedback! Thanks

    • duespaghetti says:

      Hi, Dave. This sounds like a great trip! We’ll respond to your questions one by one.

      A) Car or Train/Bus?
      As long as you are comfortable navigating the windy roads, a car will be much more practical. It will afford you more freedom and flexibility. If you’ve read our post, you already know that most rental cars will be manual transmission. Specifically ask if you prefer an automatic. Driving is fun and a little breathtaking, (think – occasional white knuckles on the steering wheel) but quite frankly, taking a tour bus along that same road is a little nerve racking, too! The one downside of having a car is that parking is expensive pretty much everywhere. You’ll want to check about parking options with your accommodation in Praiano.

      B) The Route to Praiano
      We are not sure how long it will take you to get in and out of Pompeii, but we think it is ambitious but realistic to leave Rome, visit Pompeii and make it on to Praiano in one day. We’d suggest doing some additional research on the time frame for visiting Pompeii, and probably plan to leave Rome early and do your best to avoid peak morning traffic in both Rome and Naples. When we travel from Rome to the Amalfi Coast we do in fact follow the route you indicated – the A3 to Vietri sul Mare. However, if you do this, you will be back-tracking to get back up the coast to Praiano. From Pompeii, you could consider getting onto the SS145 toward Castellammare di Stabia, cutting across the Sorrentine peninsula to Positano and then on to Praiano. Google Maps shows only about a 10 minute difference. Give consideration to what time of the day it will be – if it is after dark, the drive from Vietri to Praiano along the coast may be a little nerve-wracking.

      C) A day trip to Ravello
      It is definitely worth it!

      D) Capri
      We’ve honestly never visited Capri. From what we know, it is lovely, and a bit expensive. We’re also not certain about parking at Sorrento to catch the ferry, but we anticipate that there will be parking, but you will need to pay for it, which you will find true pretty much everywhere along the coast. A quick Google search turned up this: It looks like it costs 25 Euro per day to park a small car.

      E) Boat trip Positano -> Amalfi
      We definitely think you should see Positano and Amalfi. A boat trip is a lovely way to see the coast. Have a back up plan, because if the sea is rough they won’t send boats out. The bus trip back to Praiano may involve some waiting and bus trips on the coast are an experience – think big bus taking the curby roads quickly! It probably makes good sense, though. The only other option would be to do a boat trip that starts and ends at the same destination, so you could get back to your car.

      F) Hiking and the Path of the Gods
      We’ve not hiked on the Coast as our kids have been young when we’ve visited and we’re more about the food and wine experience, so aren’t much help here. It seems that it will involve taking a city bus to Bomerano or Nocelle however. There’s a pretty good Trip Advisor forum on this topic here: Asking the locals once you arrive is a good idea, too. You are arriving toward the end of the rainy season, and landslides are a reality in that part of Italy, so be sure to be well-informed about the terrain and the state of the path before venturing out.

      G) Car to Naples Airport
      Again, we agree that a car is the way to go, if you’re comfortable driving the roads, and are willing to deal with the parking hassle and costs. An alternative option you could consider is hiring a driver. This allows you to have a car and someone who knows the coast well when you need it, but you could use the bus for shorter trips up and down the coast. If you decide to look into this, we recommend Davide Ferro of Benvenuto Limos:

      H) Itinerary/Other Things to See
      We highly recommend the restaurant Torre Normanna:, Pasticceria Pansa near the Duomo in Amalfi, and would also recommend visiting the ceramics shops in Vietri sul Mare. Mozzarella in that part of Italy is delectable – have a caprese salad and a simple pizza at some point. If you love seafood, you are definitely in the right place, too.

      You have every reason to be excited about this trip!

  20. Dave says:

    Wow – Thank you so much for the information. More and better info than expected. You have been very helpful. And yes, we are renting a car to have the flexibility. Thanks Again!

  21. Dan Kuechenmeister says:

    Hey Due Spaghetti,
    Fun to read the comments posted here.
    My wife and I will be in Massa Lubrense Oct 1 – Oct 6 and Furore Oct 6 – Oct 9. We will have car.
    We are using Massa Lubrense as a base to go to Pompeii/Herculaneum, Capri, Sorrento. We will be looking for a day or 2 to relax as will have flown from USA on Sept. 30.
    We were wondering, as we check out of Massa Lubrensa lodging 10:00 AM and can’t check in to lodging in Furore (we have a place to park at our lodging in Furore) until mid afternoon do you have a recommendation which town to visit during that day. It looks like Positano is “on the way” from Massa Lubrense to Furore. Also is it possible to visit both Vietri sul Mare and Amalfi in one day by taking bus or is better to drive. It sounds like parking can be some what inconvenient and expensive. (we hope to eat at Torre Normanna). Also we plan on taking a day to check out Ravello and Scala. Are buses convenient or again is a car better. We have tried not to cram too much into any one day so we have time for bus travel. Finally, when we leave Furore on Oct 9 we are heading east to Matera. Do you have an opinion as to whether it is better to double back toward Sorrento and catch A3 near Pompei or wander the coast toward Salerno.
    Thanks in advance for any help you can provide.

    • duespaghetti says:

      Hi, Dan. This sounds like a great trip! We’ll answer your questions 1 by 1.

      Positano would be the logical town to visit on your way fro Massa Lubrense to Furore. Just be prepared to pay for parking, or to find street parking on the road prior to or immediately following the village, but be willing to walk a bit. Positano is full of fun little shops and restaurants. There are also steep steps leading up and down through the village, so wear comfortable shoes!

      It is definitely possible to visit Amalfi and Vietri sul Mare in a single day. Both bus and car are options. There are pros and cons of each. A car provides more freedom, but for the driver, it’s harder to enjoy the scenery because you’ll need to be watching the road. You’ll need to be prepared to pay for parking in both Amalfi and in Vietri, but there are accessible, city-owned parking lots in each town. We are not as familiar with bus service from Furore to Amalfi, but you certainly could consider driving to Amalfi and parking in the lot there near the port, and then leaving your car there while you visit Amalfi and then take the bus to Vietri and back. You’ll want to check bus schedules here: Also, plan your trip so that you are in Vietri either before or after the afternoon closure of shops, between about 1:00 and 4:00 p.m.

      It is possible to take the SITA bus from Amalfi to Ravello to Scala and back again. It seems that buses depart every hour. A timetable link is here, just scroll down to Autolinea: SCALA – RAVELLO – AMALFI.,d.cGU

      We have a very definitive answer for your last question. You definitely don’t want to back track towards Sorrento and Pompei to catch the A3. You’ll be driving through the mountains. Instead, drive the coast towards Salerno and pick up the A3 there. It will be a nice final drive along the coast.

      Good luck and let us know how your trip goes!

  22. ank says:

    I would like some advice on a 7 day itinerary of the amalfi coast , i have based it on your great article and the blogs. We fly in to naples and will be hiring a car for a week. can you tell me what you think about thus itinerary please.

    1. day one drive fly into naples and start at the Vietri sul Mare, then drive on to amalfi and spend one night there.
    2. drive up to ravello, spend a night there.
    3. drive down to priano and spend 3 night there. I have chosen priano as it is close postiano, a lot cheaper hotel with free parking, and easy to get to postiano by bus or taxi.
    4. stay priano.
    5. leave priano and drive down to sorrento and stay there for 2 nights.
    6. sorrento
    7. drive back to naples and fly home.

    What are you thoughts on the above itinerary? It all looks amazing, so have tried to fit in 4 places. Do you think 2 night is too much in sorrento? we wanted to stay in capri, but as we are travelling by car, may do it as just a day trip.
    Look forward to your response.


  23. Brooke says:

    Hello! I will be in Italy the first 2 weeks of June with two friends and will be on the Amalfi Coast the last 3 days (think we’ll be renting a car in Naples to drive down to the coast… Though I’m pretty nervous about that drive since I’ve never been and have been reading mixed reviews of how dangerous it is to drive along the coast. I won’t be the one driving but my friend who will be has no experience driving there either). We’re planning to stay in Furore (renting an apartment). We will be flying home to the US from naples on June 12 (a Friday) at noon, and were planning to stay in Furore the night before rather than going back to Naples the night of the 11th. We could leave Furore early on the 12th, at 7 am or so. Do you think this is a bad idea? Are we taking too much of a risk on getting back to the airport and returning the car etc in enough time for our flight? Thank you!

    • duespaghetti says:

      Hi, Brooke. We understand your concerns about driving along the coast. We’d like to offer that it is not so much dangerous, as it is thrilling and requires attentiveness. If the driver is up for it, you’ll be fine. If the driver is really nervous it may be stressful, and in that case you could consider hiring a driver to tour the coast. If you are interested in that option let us know, and we can provide a referral.

      As far as making it from Furore to the airport Capodichino in Naples – in all honesty we’ve not flown into our out of that airport, so we can’t offer first hand experience. If possible, this would be a good question to ask of the people who are renting you the apartment in Furore. However, our opinion is that you will probably be okay, but that it might not hurt to leave even a little earlier – say 6:00 or so – to account for the traffic you may encounter approaching Naples and the unknowns around rental car return timelines. Efficiency is not always their hallmark! If you end up arriving early and you have extra time, you can enjoy a rich espresso, a hearty Neopolitan breakfast or one last pizza before you depart.

      Good luck and enjoy your trip!

  24. Mariana says:

    Loved your roadtrip recommendations!
    Im getting married on November 14th, and we always had in mind doing this roadtrip for our honeymoon, we only hesitate on the weather, do you think mid november will be a good time for this trip?

    • duespaghetti says:

      Hello Mariana, and congratulations on your upcoming wedding! We love the coast so much we’ll go any time of the year. We’ve been there in December and loved it. Average temperatures in November range from 12°-17° C, or 53°-63° F. It is the highest precipitation month of the year, so rain is possible. If you have a sunny day, it will be gorgeous. Because you’re at the sea, the humidity is always high. If it’s overcast, rainy and/or breezy, you’ll note the chill. However, the coast is beautiful even in those conditions. It’s probably not the right season to take boat excursions out on the water, but you’ll be fine driving the coast and stopping to strolling through the many small villages.

  25. Ronan Parkhill says:

    Great reading, staying at La Medusa Boutique Hotel and spa for 6 nights, have a car so hoping to follow some of your suggestions, beginning of June cannot wait thanks again

  26. kalia says:

    Hello!! great tips!!
    we are traveling end of june 27 until 3 july at the amalfi coast. we have 6 nights. we would like to include capri and Pompey as well as the beautiful towns on the coast. can you suggest us a 6 day itinerary? thank you!!!

    • duespaghetti says:

      Sure, Kalia. However, it would help to know where you are arriving from, and how you are planning to to travel.

      For example, will you be driving? If so, what city are you staring from? Or are you taking the train or flying into Naples and then taking a bus?

      Also, how are you planning on leaving the coast again? Do you have a flight out of a specific city?

      This will help us know where on Coast to start and which direction to advise you to travel up or down the coast.


  27. Malorie Barker says:

    Wow thanks for all the tips. We are planning on doing this in August. How much money would you think is smart to bring for spending for 2 people doing this trip?
    Thank you.

    • duespaghetti says:

      Oh gosh, it depends a lot on your standards for lodging and restaurants. There is a wide range of viable lodging options from economical to very high end. Plan on 90 Euro/100 US dollars per night as a low end cost. Prices increase from there to very exclusive places. Trip Advisor will give you a lot of options. As far as meals, you can get a pizza for as little as 7-9 Euro/8-10 US dollars, all the way up to much more expensive three course meals. Be sure to calculate parking costs if you plan to drive (up to 5 Euro per hour), costs for any excursions you wish to take, and any shopping you might want to you. If you do some research you should be able to plan a trip within your budget. Good luck!

  28. Silvia says:

    I am impress with all tips! My husband and I are going to Amalfi for a week in june. My question is: Drive a car from Rome (he is a very good driver! 🙂 ) and stay with the car down there or take the airport transfer from hotel and rent a scooter down there? I saw that my hotel charge 15 euros per day for parking….way too much many for a week.

    • duespaghetti says:

      Hi, Silvia. I know parking is expensive, but we’d still recommend a car over a scooter. Driving is thrilling enough. Unless you are very, very nimble on a scooter and accustomed to the style of driving on the Amalfi Coast, we’d honestly not recommend it. In addition, a car is helpful if you happen to encounter a bit of rain, plus if you do a little shopping you have somewhere to place your bags. What town are you staying in? Perhaps you could do a little research on less expensive parking options. Finding street parking is not impossible, but it’s also not easy and you would need to be prepared to walk a good distance. Otherwise, you may be able to find a ramp, or even someone just renting out a parking space. The price you quoted is a pretty typical daily rate, though. Another idea would be using the airport shuttle, and then just taking the bus from town to town.

  29. AS says:

    Hi there. My family of four are flying into Naples early March and intend renting a car at the airport and driving to Positano where we will be renting a villa for 5 nights. Are we right to assume that driving the AC at that time of year will not be as difficult as during high season? The villa has parking but will we able to find parking in the other towns when we visit them? We don’t mind paying for it. Also, will there be enough restaurants and bars open on the AC that time of year? Thanks.

    • duespaghetti says:

      Hello! There will be less traffic along the coastal road in early March. It sometimes rains in March, so be mindful of wet roads and fog. Also, there are tour buses and trucks delivering produce, etc. throughout the year, so just be mindful of the guidelines for meeting a bus or a truck on a curve.

      There are municipal parking lots with paid parking in all of the other towns. You may also find street parking for free in March. If you opt for street parking, park tight against the side of the road (you’ll need to let your passengers out first) and turn your side view mirrors in. The lots will be an easier option, though, if you don’t mind paying.

      You will definitely find bars and restaurants open. Keep in mind that many venues will have a “riposo” or certain hours in the afternoon when they are closed. Restaurants will be open for lunch roughly between noon and 2:30, and again from around 7:00 p.m. until late. You will find many bars that do not close at all, and probably a few restaurants that open earlier, but as a rule of thumb dinner begins on the later side.

      Have a great trip!

  30. Madhu says:

    Hello!! Thanks for sharing the great tips!! Really helpful !!
    We are a group of 6 adults ,planning to drive down from Florence to Amalfi around the second week of July. We have planned to stay at Amalfi for a night and next day we will be heading to Rome. Could you please suggest us a suitable itinerary which we can follow within this duration? Or any other tip that we should follow would be really helpful. Thanks in advance 🙂

    • duespaghetti says:

      Hello. We’d love to help you, but we’re not sure we understand your question. Are you looking for a suggested itinerary for the one day while you are in Amalfi? Or, are you looking for an itinerary to follow on your trip from Florence to Amalfi? If so, how much time do you have?

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