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Having a car at the Amalfi Coast

We have booked a little villa in Positano for a week from Oct 3-10. Are we crazy to have rented a car? There is parking available where we are staying, but we wanted to go to Pompeii, Sorento and other sites. Would we be better off to train and bus?

Posted by
425 posts

I have read countless postings of tourists remarking that they kept their rental car parked in the hotel parking lot while they took the SITA buses along the Amalfi Coast, the ferry boats, the Circumvesuviana trains, and the Trenitalia train from Salerno.

Let it be known that public transportation along and around the Amalfi Coast is very good and very cheap, and avoids the hassels and expense of parking, and the (sometimes) harrowing experience of driving the Amalfi Coast, with all its traffic.

Nevertheless, there are indeed advantages to having a rental, if you actually choose to use it.

Posted by
1003 posts

Maria we were on the Amalfi Coast in July 2006 and had a rental car as we were coming from Tuscany. We stayed on Via Capo in Sorrento and just parked our car at the hotel for the 4 nights we were here. It was much faster for us to take the train from Sorrento to Pompeii. One day we took the hydrofoil to Capri which is beautiful and another day took the bus to Positano and the boat back to Sorrento. After our drive from southern France to Vernazza (on an extremely "thin" road with lots of hairpins) earlier in this trip, my husband said the drive from Sorrento to Positano would have been easier--so yes it is doable but the bus and boat are much more relaxing. You will have to get from Positano to Sorrento by bus or car and then I would take the train to Pompeii as it is much faster than driving there yourself. Have a great trip!

Posted by
1170 posts

I rented a car while in Italy last year, and I stayed in Amalfi. They gave me a brand spanking new C Class Mercedes. I had expected something much, much smaller. I really only wanted the car to get to and from my destination so that I would not be dependent on public transportation or have to hire a driver. The car stayed parked most of the time, except when we took a drive to Positano. In Positano, there is only one narrow winding road through town. There is some parking available in small pay lots. Your hotel will probably arrange parking for you, and it will be costly. I used my car very, very little while there. Mostly, I used the bus or ferries to get around. If you do drive, whoever is doing the driving will do absolutely NO sightseeing along the way. It's eyes front and both hands firmly on the wheel in a death grip, and be sure to put on plenty of anti-perspirant!!! I live in Dallas where drivers are the ultimate crazies, so I was well prepared. You will be turning the steering wheel one way and then another constantly. The road is THAT twisty. Use the convex mirrors that are put up at the curves in the road. Once, we met up with a tour bus heading the opposite direction. There was not enough room on the road for both of us. I had to back down a hill, fold in the mirrors and get up as close to the cliff face as possible to let the bus pass. We LITERALLY had an inch to spare. I could hold my hand out the window and touch the bus with my finger.

There is no train service along the Amalfi Coast. When you get there, you will see why.