Strada Statale Amalfitana

Strada Statale Amalfitana, a stressful coastal road

The popular Amalfi Coast route (SS 163 Amalfitana) follows the shoreline from Sorrento south to Salerno, in Italy. Locals recommend planning a drive of the Amalfi Coast during the shoulder tourist seasons, mid-September to October and May, when the road is less crowded and lumbering tour buses are fewer. It's one of the best coastal drives in the world. Picturesque Amalfi has been featured in films for as long as cameras have rolled at 24 frames per second. 

How long is Strada Statale Amalfitana?

The road running along the Amalfi Coast is famous for its hairpin bends, zigzags, the views over the sea, and the narrowness in some parts. The road winds along the cliffs, and it was built at a very steep angle, so zigzags backwards and forwards. The Amalfi Coast drive is arguably the world's most beautiful and thrilling sightseeing road. It stretches 50 kilometers (30 miles) between Sorrento city and Amalfi village, the community that gave the coast its name. It has only occasional railings to keep your car from potentially plunging into craggy, breaker-washed sea boulders far below. You can drive north or south on the drive. The fainthearted (but never the brave) prefer the northbound direction because the southbound lane precariously hugs the sea cliff edge. The highway passes through pretty villages close to high and steep cliffs but what makes the Amalfi Coast extra special is how the distinct traditions from different countries are clearly visible. Not to be missed are the stages or the drive in Amalfi, Positano, Scala and Vietri sul Mare. It’s a trip that has to be made at least once in your life! The surface of the road is asphalted. The coast is one of the most fascinating in the world for its landscape. Filled with tour buses, cars and scooters all fighting for space on hairpin turns along cliffs high above the sea. Yet every corner seems to reveal an even more stunning view. It 's an unique opportunity to impress in your heart and memory breathtaking views protected by Unesco. Picturesque Amalfi has been featured in films for as long as cameras have rolled at 24 frames per second, mainly chick flicks like Under the Tuscan Sun or the 1957 Humphrey Bogart classic Beat the Devil, featuring a very sultry Gina Lollobrigida. Gamers may recognize it as a setting for fictional tracks in “Forza Motorsport” and “Gran Turismo 4” games.

When was Amalfi Coast Road completed?

The road's winding design, providing stunning panoramic views, is very curvy and fun for a leisurely ride, so it pays to take it slow. The dramatic mountain cliffs rise up against the emerald-blue sea sparkling in the sunlight below. 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. The "Amalfi Drive" is said to be the most spectacular road in Europe and from Sorrento, the winding cliff top road offers breathtaking panoramic views at every bend. With the picturesque towns of Sorrento and Amalfi on the route, some exceptional restaurants - including Don Alfonso, a three-Michelin starred establishment - and great places to relax, it is the perfect place to escape from the world.  Rather frighteningly, the road is known for its distinct lack of caution, which is utter madness when you consider that much of it veers on the edge of steep cliffs. Take in what views you can, but keep your eyes firmly on the road for this one. This white-knuckle thrill ride is one of Italy's greatest wonders, 30 miles of narrow, S-curve roadway strung halfway up a cliff with the waves crashing below, green slopes all around, medieval pirate watchtowers on the headlands, and colorful villages tucked into the coves. In June 1807 Giuseppe Bonaparte visiting the Coast was enchanted by it and decided to build a road from Naples to Amalfi. The road was completed in 1854 by Ferdinand II.

Is the Amalfi Coast Road worth it?

Situated on the western coast of Italy and west of Salerno, the Amalfi coast is a popular tourist destination and the road is one of the many listed here that should be experienced by any driver who loves touring holidays. There’s some distinctly movie-esque about the Amalfi Drive, which sweeps along the famed Italian coast from Sorrento through to Amalfi. It’s only 80km, but each one is more cinematic than the last with the breathtaking turquoise waters of the Tyrrhenian Sea crashing below as drivers twist and turn along along the winding road. We’ve all seen the photos featuring the pastel coloured buildings and dramatic scenery of the Amalfi Coast, home to steep cliffs and exceptional views. Fly to Naples and pick up your rental car before hitting the road and exploring all the charming and beautiful towns, poised precariously on the coastal rocks. Be sure to stop off at Positano for the ultimate photo opportunity. 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. 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. Each spot is a world of its own, a fantastic world which dazzles the imagination and inspires unforgettable impressions. It's a daredevil drive flanked by towering cliffs on one side and the beautiful blue of the Mediterranean Sea to the other. Traveling the road’s coastal stretch takes drivers past picturesque, pastel-painted villages set dramatically amongst the clifftops, like Amalfi and Positano. The roads along the Amalfi Coast are famously winding, narrow, and challenging to drive. The Costiera Amalfitana, or Amalfi Coast, is widely considered Italy's most scenic stretch of coastline, a landscape of towering bluffs, pastel-hued villages terraced into hillsides, precipitous corniche roads, luxuriant gardens, and expansive vistas over turquoise waters and green-swathed mountains. Italy’s Amalfi Coast has one of the most romantic coastlines that you’ll find anywhere in Europe. Although you can also take a coach trip or a bus from Sorrento, you won’t get the full experience of the region unless you’re behind the wheel. Expect to find sandy coves as you turn around the bends and head down to Positano to see the colorful villas lining the picturesque mountainside. The best towns to visit along this drive are Amalfi, Positano, and Ravello. UNESCO actually named the Amalfi Coast an outstanding example of Mediterranean landscape and gave it a place on the World Heritage List. Driving the road in a car is one of the most stressful and dangerous things you will do in your life. Most of the coastline is a cliff-face, there is nowhere to park off-road- so everyone parks in the most ludicrious places along the road.


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