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      07-25-2014, 04:02 PM   #1
DSB335d
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Amalfi Coast

Anyone here driven this road while visiting Italy?
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      07-25-2014, 04:13 PM   #2
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Yes. Mind = blown.

If there is one thing you should do in Italy it is this.

If you can't tell, I absolutely loved it.
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      07-25-2014, 04:18 PM   #3
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Awesome! Hoping for a similar experience
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      07-25-2014, 04:39 PM   #4
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Yeah it's beautiful, but I wouldn't recommend driving there by yourself if you're going to use a car. You should hire a driver. If you have a sport bike or motorcycle of some kind then go for it.

Driving there in a car is incredibly stressful because 50% of the roadway is comprised of 1.5 lanes while the other 50% is comprised of 2 lanes (with cars going in opposite directions). If two cars heading in opposite directions happen to meet in an area with 1.5 lanes, then that's not good. There are scores of blind corners as well. It's just a really dangerous area to drive (by car).
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      07-25-2014, 08:13 PM   #5
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Thanks for the advice. We plan on driving though; whatever econo box we rent should be ok. I would be pretty nervous driving anything mid-size and especially full size car through there.
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      07-25-2014, 08:58 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DSB335d View Post
Thanks for the advice. We plan on driving though; whatever econo box we rent should be ok. I would be pretty nervous driving anything mid-size and especially full size car through there.
You'll be alright. Just take it slow and don't let anyone pressure you in to going faster than you're comfortable with. Although, to be honest, there's a couple of switchback type corners that are fun to rip through.

Best advice: Drive yourself so you can take it at your pace and soak it up. The Amalfi Coast is beautiful. Some of the Italians can be pushy with their driving. Have the attitude of "so what" and " Yup, I'm a tourist...deal with it". This might be your only time there so make it about you and your family and not the locals.
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      07-25-2014, 09:08 PM   #7
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Nothing to do with driving, but here's a live webcam of the Positano area, which (if I'm not mistaken) is on the Amalfi Coast. I've been checking this cam for years watching the sun come up. Awesome looking place that I hope to visit one of these years.

http://85.18.249.229/cgi-bin/guestimage.html
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      07-25-2014, 09:10 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by 954Stealth View Post
You'll be alright. Just take it slow and don't let anyone pressure you in to going faster than you're comfortable with. Although, to be honest, there's a couple of switchback type corners that are fun to rip through.

Best advice: Drive yourself so you can take it at your pace and soak it up. The Amalfi Coast is beautiful. Some of the Italians can be pushy with their driving. Have the attitude of "so what" and " Yup, I'm a tourist...deal with it". This might be your only time there so make it about you and your family and not the locals.
The understatement of the century

Everyone in Italy aggressively tailgates. People hardly even stay within their lanes unless it's an absolute necessity as in a 1.5-2 lane, 2 way road (like Amalfi). It's very common for drivers to casually drift in and out of their lanes and even change lanes without turn signals (not in Amalfi as it's one way both ways, but in other areas of Italy). A turn signal means a driver is going to change lanes regardless of whether there's an open space or not. If there isn't an open space, the person in the way is expected to slow down or swerve out of the way.

Hiring a driver was nice because we were able to soak up the scenery in full. Otherwise, one of us (the driver) would've missed out given how stressful it is to drive that "course." People who live there know the unwritten "right-of-way" rules of the road when it comes to navigating the 1.5 lane "blind curves."

The highlight of Amalfi is the scenery during the drive itself. Once you park, you'll be inundated with a bunch of "touristy" things. There's no shortage of overpriced gift shops along that route.
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      07-25-2014, 09:19 PM   #9
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I get what you're say and by no means do I mean to undermine your personal experience. I completely get what you are saying about crazy Italians and their driving. God, I have dealt with it many a time. However, the time I have been in-country, I chose to drive us¤¤. To be fair though, I had already been there for 2 weeks so I has somewhat accustomed to the Italian lifestyle. Let me stress the accustomed again lol.
There is an interesting paradoxical dichotomy between what I experienced as the Italian's in-car vs. Out-of-car lifestyle.

¤¤The only times I haven't chosen to be in control abroad when I've hired helicopters, chartered 2-Seaters, or river/island-hopping water vessels.
I just like to be in control, I guess.
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      07-25-2014, 09:19 PM   #10
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By the way consider stopping here during lunch: http://www.radarestaurant.it/

I had literally just gone onto tripadvisor and found the best restaurant (according to reviews) to decide on that place. They do have outdoor seating (a must, obviously). I had a pizza with some sort of seafood on it which was very good. It's not like Michelin star quality or anything but it's pretty good. You'll get fresh seafood there and the view from sitting outdoors is great.
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      07-25-2014, 09:36 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 954Stealth View Post
There is an interesting paradoxical dichotomy between what I experienced as the Italian's in-car vs. Out-of-car lifestyle.
I musta be half Italian, eh? My wife always comments about my Jekyll/Hyde personality when I drive. Mellow out of the car, psychotic behind the wheel.
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      07-30-2014, 11:24 AM   #12
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This is Mr Tonka's video but it kind if gives you a sense of what the Amalfi coast roads are like:



Granted, they're not quite as narrow as that. That's probably more like 1.2 lane widths instead of the 1.5 that you'll get in Amalfi, but yeah.
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      07-30-2014, 11:35 AM   #13
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Well that was stupid. I just realized you can actually see the real Amalfi coast roads just by searching youtube

1:23-1:27 is a great example of what I'm talking about:



Local drivers, IMO, are better equipped to navigate those blind corners where two cars just won't fit at the same time, but if you drive yourself you just have to stay aware of that.

Edit: Go to 1:48 where you actually see a jam develop

Last edited by NemesisX; 07-30-2014 at 11:40 AM.
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      07-30-2014, 11:36 AM   #14
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^^



Except it's missing the whole, you know, coast part.

[ the above made more sense before NemesisX added an actual video of the Amalfi coast, haha. ]

I've been there when I was in my teens with family, so we were in a little tour bus kind of thing. Because tourist.

It's absolutely gorgeous.

Here's my thought. I know there are tons of great roads in the world. I love coastal roads in particular because of the views, and my opinion is there are 3 greatest coastal roads in the world, at least of the famous ones. Not in order, btw.

1. Pacific Coast Highway (US)
2. Amalfi Coast (Italy)
3. Great Ocean Road (Australia)

I've driven 2 of them, and as mentioned was on a bus on the third one.

Bottom line, a must do and must drive. I have longed to go back there and rent a Ducati, but a car will do well anyway just to say you've driven that road. A sporty well handling car, even better.

Enjoy and stop often for pics of the breathtaking views. Then post them here when you return. I trust we are clear on this.
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      08-03-2014, 09:23 PM   #15
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Wake up early in the morning and drive it with no traffic. If you want a primer first, take the bus to or from Sorrento. First bus is like 7a.

If a bus is coming your way, STOP, and give it the right of way through the corner. Many of the traffic jams happen because a car blocked a bus and neither can back up due to traffic behind them.

If you don't go at sunrise, then make sure you have no schedule... The 20 minute drive can turn into two hours.

Also be sure to take the road up to Ravello. Take your pick of two different Michelin restaurants up there. Don't miss the Villa for the views.

Amalfi itself is barely worth stopping. Go to Positano and rent a Rigid Inflatable Boat for the day. Don't rent the fiberglass or wooden boats; too slow and too many rocks to bump into. During the day you can drive yourself faster by water to all the good beaches and take the most incredible pictures. Be sure to bring sausage and cheese on the boat for lunch. Eat at Chez Black and Max's. Have a drink at Le Sirenuese at least an hour before sunset to get a table.

Don't worry about driving in Italy or Amalfi coast. It's no worse than any big city. Just be aware that others are going to drive just as aggressively as you. Buses have right of way even when they shouldn't....

Have FUN!!!!
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      08-03-2014, 09:41 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fnckr View Post
Wake up early in the morning and drive it with no traffic. If you want a primer first, take the bus to or from Sorrento. First bus is like 7a.

If a bus is coming your way, STOP, and give it the right of way through the corner. Many of the traffic jams happen because a car blocked a bus and neither can back up due to traffic behind them.

If you don't go at sunrise, then make sure you have no schedule... The 20 minute drive can turn into two hours.

Also be sure to take the road up to Ravello. Take your pick of two different Michelin restaurants up there. Don't miss the Villa for the views.

Amalfi itself is barely worth stopping. Go to Positano and rent a Rigid Inflatable Boat for the day. Don't rent the fiberglass or wooden boats; too slow and too many rocks to bump into. During the day you can drive yourself faster by water to all the good beaches and take the most incredible pictures. Be sure to bring sausage and cheese on the boat for lunch. Eat at Chez Black and Max's. Have a drink at Le Sirenuese at least an hour before sunset to get a table.

Don't worry about driving in Italy or Amalfi coast. It's no worse than any big city. Just be aware that others are going to drive just as aggressively as you. Buses have right of way even when they shouldn't....

Have FUN!!!!
Oh fuck me, they have Michelin star restaurants along Amalfi? God fucking damnit I missed out...
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      08-03-2014, 10:18 PM   #17
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If you go to Sorrento, you must have the Lemon Liqueur. I've had Lemoncello here in the states and haven't found any so far that is even one a tenth as tasty as what they make over there from their locally grown lemons.
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