Driving to the Amalfi Coast

How to drive to Amalfi Coast

First, a warning: It is not particularly fun to drive the Amalfi Coast itself, for reasons explained here (in brief: narrow, impossibly twisty road with oncoming buses taking up both lanes; also, limited parking).

However, if you do wish to stick with your own car, you can drive either to Sorrento and then down the coast, or—again, less desirably—up the coast from Salerno. (Or, even less desirably for most, over the mountains directly to the Amalfi area.)

How to get to the Amalfi Drive by car

There are two main road access points to the Amalfi Coast.

If you want to see the best of the Amalfi Coast, start from the Naples and Sorrento end. That way, you get to drive the fabled Amalfi Drive from west to east, on the outside lane, affording you the best sweeping panoramas down the coast—and the most vertiginous views straight down into the waters below. » more

  • Via Sorrento
    • Take the A3 south from Naples.
    • Get off at the exit for Castellammare di Stabia.
    • Take the SS145 toward Sorrento.
    • In Piano di Sorrento—just after the road takes a sharp bend to the right—turn left up Via dei Platani/Via Cavone, following the blue signs for Sorrento, Positano, and Amalfi.
    • At the next T intersection, continue straight (do not turn right toward Sorrento).
    • When the road ends, turn right towards Positano and Amalfi.
    • Congratulations. You are now on the SS163, which—after a few frightening switchbacks—will become the famous Amalfi Drive along the Amalfi Coast.
      • Note: If you are actually coming form Sorrentojust follow Corso Italia east out of town and turn right when you see signs for Positano and Amalfi.
         
  • Via Salerno
    • Stay off the highway (the A3). Follow the SS18 (Corso G. Garibaldi/Via Benedetto Croce) west out of town toward Vietri sul Mare.
    • In Vietri, soon after passing the remarkable ceramic-studded facade of Solimene factory, you will need to fork/turn left to follow the SS163 "Amalfitana" road (lots of destinations are listed in the blue sign, the first shuld be Cetara, the last Positano).

The mountain roads to the Amafi Coast

There are also a few impossibly twisty, sometimes scary, seemingly interminable—though beautiful—roads that wend and wind their way up over the mountains and lead—eventually—to the coast either just east or west of Amalfi town.

However, few tourists use those as they take quite a long time to navigate, and you miss out on the coast itself (not that the Latteri Mountains aren't lovely). A big part of touring the Amalfi Coast is driving the Amalfi Drive coastal road.

The SS366 is an exit off the SS145 in Castellammare di Stabia (signposted in blue for Gragnano, Lettere, and Agerola, and in brown for "Costiera Amalfitana"). Soon after the looping exit, you'll want to follow the main road as it turns right to head up into the mountains, climbs up over the peninsula, dives through a tunnel near the top, then switchbacks its way down through the villages of San Michele and Furore and—eventually—hits the Amalfi Coast road a few miles west of Amalfi.

The other two mountain roads start at Corbara (just east of the Angri exit off the A3 Autostrada), shortly after which they split. The right fork leads over the mountains to Scala, Ravello, and Amalfi; the left fork—eventually—ends up in Maiori.

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Useful Italian phrases

Useful Italian for car travel

English (inglese) Italian  (italiano)  Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
car automobile ow-toh-MO-bee-lay
scooter/motorboke un motorino oon mo-tair-EE-no
gas station stazione di servizio stah-zee-YO-nay dee sair-VEE-tzee-yo
gas benzina ben-ZEE-nah
diesel gasolio [or] diesel gah-ZOH-lee-oh [or] DEE-zell
Fill it up, please al pieno, per favore ahl pee-YAY-noh, pair fa-VOHR-ray
Where is... Dov'é doh-VAY
...the highway l'autostrada lout-oh-STRA-dah
...the state highway la statale [written "SS"] lah sta-TAHL-eh
...the road for Rome la strada per Roma lah STRA-dah pair RO-mah
to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
keep going straight sempre diritto SEM-pray dee-REE-toh
to cross attraversare ah-tra-vair-SAR-ay
toll pedaggio peh-DA-jo
parking parcheggio par-KEH-jo
road map carta stradale kar-ta stra-DA-lay
where can I pay the fine? dove posso pagare la multa DOH-veh Po-so pag-GAR-ray la MOOL-tah


Typical road signs / terms » more

English (anglais) French (français) 
Stop Stop
Exit  Uscita
Staffic light Semaforo
One-way Senso unico
Dead-end Strada senza uscita
Parking prohibited No parcheggio or parcheggio proibito
Pedestrian zone Area pedonale
Limited Traffic Zone (you pay to drive in) ZTL or Zona Traffico Limitato

Basic phrases in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) pro-nun-see-YAY-shun
thank you grazie GRAT-tzee-yay
please per favore pair fa-VOHR-ray
yes si see
no no no
Do you speak English? Parla Inglese? PAR-la een-GLAY-zay
I don't understand Non capisco non ka-PEESK-koh
I'm sorry Mi dispiace mee dees-pee-YAT-chay
How much is it? Quanto costa? KWAN-toh COST-ah
That's too much É troppo ay TROH-po
     
Good day Buon giorno bwohn JOUR-noh
Good evening Buona sera BWOH-nah SAIR-rah
Good night Buona notte BWOH-nah NOTE-tay
Goodbye Arrivederci ah-ree-vah-DAIR-chee
Excuse me (to get attention) Scusi SKOO-zee
Excuse me (to get past someone) Permesso pair-MEH-so
     
Where is? Dov'é doh-VAY
...the bathroom il bagno eel BHAN-yoh
...train station la ferroviaria lah fair-o-vee-YAR-ree-yah
to the right à destra ah DEH-strah
to the left à sinistra ah see-NEEST-trah
straight ahead avanti [or] diritto ah-VAHN-tee [or] dee-REE-toh
information informazione in-for-ma-tzee-OH-nay

Days, months, and other calendar items in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
When is it open? Quando é aperto? KWAN-doh ay ah-PAIR-toh
When does it close? Quando si chiude? KWAN-doh see key-YOU-day
At what time... a che ora a kay O-rah
     
Yesterday ieri ee-YAIR-ee
Today oggi OH-jee
Tomorrow domani doh-MAHN-nee
Day after tomorrow dopo domani DOH-poh doh-MAHN-nee
     
a day un giorno oon je-YOR-no
Monday Lunedí loo-nay-DEE
Tuesday Martedí mar-tay-DEE
Wednesday Mercoledí mair-coh-lay-DEE
Thursday Giovedí jo-vay-DEE
Friday Venerdí ven-nair-DEE
Saturday Sabato SAH-baa-toh
Sunday Domenica doh-MEN-nee-ka
     
Mon-Sat Feriali fair-ee-YAHL-ee
Sun & holidays Festivi feh-STEE-vee
Daily Giornaliere joor-nahl-ee-YAIR-eh
     
a month una mese oon-ah MAY-zay
January gennaio jen-NAI-yo
February febbraio feh-BRI-yo
March marzo MAR-tzoh
April aprile ah-PREEL-ay
May maggio MAH-jee-oh
June giugno JEW-nyoh
July luglio LOO-lyoh
August agosto ah-GO-sto
September settembre set-TEM-bray
October ottobre oh-TOE-bray
November novembre no-VEM-bray
December dicembre de-CHEM-bray

Numbers in Italian

English (inglese) Italian (italiano) Pro-nun-cee-YAY-shun
1 uno OO-no
2 due DOO-way
3 tre tray
4 quattro KWAH-troh
5 cinque CHEEN-kway
6 sei say
7 sette SET-tay
8 otto OH-toh
9 nove NO-vay
10 dieci dee-YAY-chee
11 undici OON-dee-chee
12 dodici DOH-dee-chee
13 tredici TRAY-dee-chee
14 quattordici kwa-TOR-dee-chee
15 quindici KWEEN-dee-chee
16 sedici SAY-dee-chee
17 diciasette dee-chee-ya-SET-tay
18 diciotto dee-CHO-toh
19 diciannove dee-chee-ya-NO-vay
20 venti VENT-tee
21* vent'uno* vent-OO-no
22* venti due* VENT-tee DOO-way
23* venti tre* VENT-tee TRAY
30 trenta TRAYN-tah
40 quaranta kwa-RAHN-tah
50 cinquanta cheen-KWAN-tah
60 sessanta say-SAHN-tah
70 settanta seh-TAHN-tah
80 ottanta oh-TAHN-tah
90 novanta no-VAHN-tah
100 cento CHEN-toh
1,000 mille MEEL-lay
5,000 cinque milla CHEEN-kway MEEL-lah
10,000 dieci milla dee-YAY-chee MEEL-lah


* You can use this formula for all Italian ten-place numbers—so 31 is trent'uno, 32 is trenta due, 33 is trenta tre, etc. Note that—like uno (one), otto (eight) also starts with a vowel—all "-8" numbers are also abbreviated (vent'otto, trent'otto, etc.).

 

Related

★★★
The cliff-hugging SS163 Amalfiatana (Photo by David van der Mark)
Amalfi Drive
Amalfi Coast

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