Amalfi Coast

Picture of view_south The Amalfi coast is a south-facing peninsula just a little south of Naples. It's famous for steep cliffs, steep villages, ridiculous roads and lemons. We stayed in a lovely little inn a bit west of the town of Amalfi which actually had a few parking spaces (that's them down in the trees). Parking spaces are very exciting things on the Amalfi Coast. Even more exciting are parking spaces that can be used without a substantial chance of death involved. This was the view from our balcony. We would've spent a lot of time sitting here enjoying the view if it weren't for the regular rainstorms.
Picture of capo_d'orso The coast is basically a long series of bays and capes. Periodically there are towns which extend both up above the road and generally down towards the sea as well. The best view of any particular town is from the other side of whatever inlet it is on. The headland here is the Capo d'Orso.
Picture of amalfi_cliffs Amalfi is the namesake town for the region and was once the center of its own kingdom until an earthquake destroyed the city. Since it was the closest town to our hotel we spent several evenings here. It also has a useful bus station that doesn't involve blocking traffic and water access (not that you'd want water access in March).
Picture of amalfi_cathedral Amalfi is basically two long parallel streets that trend upwards at an ever-increasing slope. Not far into town is the Amalfi cathedral which has some crazy striping and very ornate columns.
Picture of amalfi_shore Amalfi has several good restaurants and several dozen bad or mediocre ones. Do some homework if you're staying here. It's also a good place to shop for local crafts, not the least of which is anything made with Sorrentine lemons. This is concentrated on limoncellos but you can find lemon soaps, lemon candles, lemon candy, lemon oil and so on.
Picture of positano_coast A bit west of Amalfi is the city of Positano which has an equally dramatic setting. The road along this coast is adventurous. It's not so much the cliffs, the steep drops and the incredibly tight turns as it is the network of buses hurtling along in the opposite direction and often occupying entire turns. It's best to keep an eye out for approaching buses and time it to pass them in wider sections of the road.
Picture of interior You can also drive over the top of the mountains along the coast as a shorter route (arguably) to Naples. The interior of the peninsula is rugged but has some less-visited scenic towns and some spectacular views of the coastlines to both the south and the west.
Picture of sorrento Sorrento lies near the western edge of the peninsula. It's the biggest town and the center of operations for the ferries which connect the smaller towns with Naples. We didn't spend much time in Sorrento because it insisted on raining every time we parked the car. We did take one token picture of this park to have something to show for our efforts.
Picture of bay_of_naples The coast between Naples and Vico is also pretty impressive without requiring a death grip on the steering wheel. There are several overlooks along the Bay of Naples with views of Naples and Vesuvius.

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