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Driving Rome - Sorrento ?

Planning a trip to Italy next year and really want to see the Amalfi coast. Thought I would use up some hotel points by using Sorrento as base to see the Amalfi Coast and Pompeii.

Will be traveling with parents (both 50) they would prefer to drive, just wondering if anyone has driven Rome to Sorrento?

I am also trying to sell them on maybe taking a train from Rome - Naples and then rent the car in Naples to go to Sorrento. Which would be the better idea? Does anyone know a good place near the Naples train station to rent a car.

Any advice on this would be great I have read how irratic driving can be in Italy but really would like to at least drive the Amalfi coast. Thanks

Posted by
842 posts

Cora, Rosalyn has a good point.....driving the Amalfi coast is not easy. The other place that you do not want to drive is Naples. It is really bad.

I drive every time we go to Italy, but when we went to stay in Sorrento, we took the train, and then took the buses and ferrys for our trips up and down the coast. What did we miss? We could not go off and explore tha small interior towns, but we did not need to do that. There was enough to do in Naples, Pompei, and the other coastal towns.

On the other hand I should note that a few weeks ago we drove the autostrada between Rome and Naples, on our way to Puglia, and it was an easy drive.

If you want to rent a car, go to, and see the different locations available, in each town. They have the best prices. Map out those locations on the web site, or google maps, bring a compass and Michelin map of Italy, or buy a good GPS,(I am NOT going again w/o a GPS!)and go have fun exploring!

Posted by
3166 posts

A few years ago we drove from Tuscany to Naples, which is mostly the same route. I don't recall any special problems, as it was mostly autostrada. We dropped our car at the airport. I would advise you to reconsider seriously the notion of driving the Amalfi Coast. You can't imagine how challenging it will be - - - one narrow lane in each direction, many hairpin turns, blind curves, lots of buses, and to top it off, Italian drivers going fast and honking impatiently if you don't. Get the picture? The driver will have no opportunity to enjoy the scenery. You can get from Sorrento to Amalfi by bus or, I think, ferry.

Posted by
11 posts

Trains are really the way to go in Italy. Cars are just too much trouble and they drive like maniacs there. They park like maniacs too! LOL.
It is just too easy to take a train to even consider fiddling around with all of the hoopla it takes to rent and maintain a car. Parking is such an issue.
I wouldn't drive the Amalfi Coast if they paid me. It is too beautiful to miss even a second. Why mess it up by having to pay attention to the road? I drove the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland and was so sorry I did. I missed half of the unbelievable scenery because I had to watch the road for errant sheep. Take the train.

Posted by
689 posts

We always rent a car and drive while in Italy. How else can you explore that little village "over there" ?

Driving the autostrada is no problem. Just stay out of the left lane.

We too are going to be in the Sorrento area in a couple of weeks. (Our base is Massa Lubrense. we are looking forward to the Amalfi coast drive... But then my husband is a first generation Italian American and his Italian blood is very thick. He drives. He loves it. Absolutely loves it.

We watched Rick Steves' Amalfi Coast video the other night and even the scene where the bus comes around the corner and encounters a car didn't stop our thoughts. Only made us decide to be sure and go the same way as the busses! Let them clear the path!

Posted by
191 posts

Thanks all for your replys, I really think sticking to the buses and trains are going to be the best bet, and after showing my parents some of the photos of the Amalfi Coast roads they are pretty much in agreement!

Posted by
14 posts

Cora: I have done both it both ways and I must say that the train is a great option. The fast train will get you in no time from Rome to Naples. Just pay good attention to your luggage and don't get distracted by anyone. From Sorrento you can go anywhere. The Circumvesuviana train will take you to Pompeii and other little towns. And of course, you need to save a day to go to Capri and Anacapri. Have fun. You need to try the Arancini (risotto croquettes) in Sorrento.