Italy’s southern region of Campania is rich in both history and beauty and one of the most breathtaking drives is La Costiera Amalfitana, The Amalfi Drive. When I first started writing this series, it was going to be just one article but with such a magnificent stretch of coastal road I decided to present you with at least three different itineraries, with this being Part II of III. And remember, the best part of any scenic drive is being able to see it, so rent a car and avoid the imprisonment of a tour bus.
Your drive today starts in Furore, where you will wonder why I was crazy enough to have you drive this stretch of road. This is not a leisurely drive for the timid. The middle stretch of The Amalfi Drive is winding, to say the least. In fact there is an arched bridge over the fjord which stands 30 meters high and makes for incredible picture-taking.
- Furore - This ancient port is highlighted by its beach at the bottom of the towering fjord. Furore has a raw magnificence and the cliffs which tower overhead are at once intimidating and breathtaking. They echo of a timeless beauty. The charming fishing borgo or Praiano, as visited in Part I, is actually part of Furore and the rest of the comune is not as well visited because of the difficulty in navigating the sharp terrain. There are a few overlooks where drivers may pull off to soak in the scenery but caution is the keyword as the 2 lane road is often shared by tour buses and trucks, all at the same time and often in the same lane.
Furore offers some splendid ancient architecture, such as the eleventh century church of St. James the Apostle and the “painted village,” called such because of the colorful murals painted on the walls by artists who are invited each year.
Your drive continues about 15 minutes south to the well known port of Amalfi.
- Amalfi – This ancient village comes alive in front of you as soon as the road directs you to the port. It’s a bustling area with taxis and ferries and tourists. Parking is difficult but is often found at the end of the pier along the right. Amalfi itself is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and was once the maritime power of the ancient world. In fact, its maritime prominence is still highlighted on the first Sunday of every June when a rowing competition is held among the four ancient Italian maritime republics of Amalfi, Venice, Pisa and Genoa. Amalfi hosts the Ancient Regatta once every four years. And do park the car and journey up the hill and steps that lead you into Amalfi’s central Piazza del Duomo. The view of St. Andrew’s Cathedral from the piazza is something not easily conveyed in photos.
This middle portion of the Amalfi Coast is just a taste of the stunning views which lie ahead further south…..so stay with us as La Costiera Amalfitana Part III is next.
Hotel Piazza Bellini – Hotel in Central Naples
Hotel Rivage – Charming hotel in Sorrento
Hotel Regina – Hotel in Naples near Piazza Garibaldi