So You Want to Drive Along the Amalfi Coast?

For the first time this week, I rented a car to drive to the Amalfi Coast and navigate my way around its many villages. Even those who haven’t visited the area surely know of the famed Amalfi Drive (S.S. 163), 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 of the ocean, the villages, the rows of lemon trees and even the clouds above. Should YOU rent a car to explore this region? (After all, there are many public transportation options, well-detailed in our
Special Report: Amalfi Coast
) Here are some things to consider:

* Driving Experience/Desire for Adventure*: I don’t mind driving in Italy; I’ve done it numerous times, but I also know that drivers in Italy are crazy. They see the lines in the road and speed limits as mere suggestions and are incredibly impatient. If this is your first time driving here, think about whether you are confident enough to do so on one of Italy’s most trying roads. On the Amalfi Drive, the road is so narrow that special traffic cops must stop traffic to allow huge tour buses to pass, the twists and turns require quick reflexes and when it is raining, traffic can really back up (see photo — but if you’re in one of the local buses, you’re stuck in traffic too.)

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