Lonely Planet Amalfi Coast Road Trips
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Discover the freedom of open roads with Lonely Planet Amalfi Coast Road Trips, your passport to uniquely encountering the Amalfi Coast by car. Featuring four amazing road trips, plus up-to-date advice on the destinations you'll visit along the way, you can explore the fabulously picturesque coastline, all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the Italy, rent a car, and hit the road along Amalfi's stunning coast!

Inside Lonely Planet Amalfi Coast Road Trips :

Lavish colour and gorgeous photography throughout Itineraries and planning advice to pick the right tailored routes for your needs and interests Get around easily - easy-to-read, full-colour route maps, detailed directions Insider tips to get around like a local, avoid trouble spots and be safe on the road - local driving rules, parking, toll roads Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, prices Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss Useful features - including Detours, Walking Tours and Link Your Trip Covers Naples, Sorrento, the Amalfi Coast, the Cilento Coast and more

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Amalfi Coast Road Trips is perfect for exploring the Amalfi Coast via the road and discovering sights that are more accessible by car.

Want to have a full-fledged Italian road trip? Check out Lonely Planet Italy's Best Trips for road trip itineraries that will give you a taste of what the whole country has to offer. Or looking to road trip in other Italian regions? Check out Lonely Planet's Tuscany Road Trips, Italian Lakes Road Trips, or Grand Tour of Italy Road Trips. Planning an Italian trip sans a car? Lonely Planet Italy, our most comprehensive guide to Italy, is perfect for exploring both top sights and lesser-known gems. Looking for a guide focused on a specific Italian city? Check out Lonely Planet's Rome, Florence & Tuscany, orVenice & the Veneto guides for comprehensive looks at all that these cities have to offer, or Pocket Rome, Pocket Florence & Tuscany, Pocket Venice, or Pocket Milan & the Italian Lakes, handy-sized guides focused on the can't-miss sights for quick city excursions.

There's More in Store for You:

See more of Europe's picturesque country sides and have a richer, more authentic experience by exploring Europe by car with Lonely Planet's EuropeanBest Trips guides to France, Ireland, Spain & Portugal and Germany, Austria & Switzerland or Road Trips guides to Chateaux of the Loire Valley, Normandy & D-Day Beaches and Provence & Southeast France.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet, Cristian Bonetto, Duncan Garwood, Paula Hardy, Robert Landon and Helena Smith.

About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travelers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.


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ISBN: 9781760341602
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CONTENTS

PLAN YOUR TRIP

Welcome to the Amalfi Coast

Amalfi Coast Map

Amalfi Coast Highlights

Naples City Guide

Need to Know

ROAD TRIPS

1 Amalfi Coast

2 Shadow of Vesuvius

3 Southern Larder

4 Cilento Coastal Trail

DESTINATIONS

Naples & Pompeii

Naples

South of Naples

Ercolano & Herculaneum

Mt Vesuvius

Pompeii

Sorrento & Around

Sorrento

West of Sorrento

Massa Lubrense

Sant’Agata sui due Golfi

Marina del Cantone

East of Sorrento

Vico Equense

Capri

The Amalfi Coast

Positano

Praiano

Furore

Amalfi

Ravello

Minori

Cetara

Vietri sul Mare

Salerno & the Cilento

Salerno

Paestum

Agropoli

Cilento Coast

Palinuro

ROAD TRIP ESSENTIALS

Italy Driving Guide

Driving Licence & Documents

Insurance

Hiring a Car

Bringing Your Own Vehicle

Maps

Roads & Conditions

Road Rules

Parking

Fuel

Safety

Radio

Italy Travel Guide

Getting There & Away

Air

Car & Motorcycle

Sea

Train

Directory A–Z

Accommodation

Electricity

Food

Gay & Lesbian Travellers

Health

Internet Access

Money

Opening Hours

Public Holidays

Safe Travel

Telephone

Toilets

Tourist Information

Travellers with Disabilities

Visas

Language

Behind the Scenes

Our Writers

WELCOME TO THE AMALFI COAST

Naples, Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast are the Italy of your wildest dreams – a rich, intense, hypnotic ragù of Arabesque street life, decadent palaces, pastel-hued villages and aria-inspiring vistas.

     With a car you’ll discover there’s more to Italy than Michelangelo masterpieces and Roman ruins, and you’ll be able to properly explore Campania’s rugged mountains, steaming fumaroles and ethereal coastal grottoes. Welcome to Italy at its most seductive and intense.

Bridge on the Amalfi Coast

BUENA VISTA IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES ©

AMALFI COAST HIGHLIGHTS

Amalfi

LEOKS/SHUTTERSTOCK ©

Positano

SLOW IMAGES/GETTY IMAGES ©

Pompeii

DAVID SOANES PHOTOGRAPHY/GETTY IMAGES ©

CITY GUIDE

NAPLES

Naples (Napoli) is an exhilarating sprawl of bombastic baroque churches, Dickensian alleyways and electrifying street life. Its in-your-face vitality can be overwhelming, but once you’ve found your feet you’ll discover a city of regal palaces, world-renowned museums, superb pizzerias and sweeping seascapes.

Teatro San Carlo opera house

RICHARD I’ANSON/GETTY IMAGES ©

Getting Around

Neapolitan traffic is so anarchic that even Italians balk at the idea of driving here. Much of the city centre is closed to non-resident traffic, so try to leave your car as soon as you can and use public transport (bus, metro and funicular).

Parking

Street parking is not a good idea – car theft is a problem – and few hotels offer it. There’s a 24-hour car park east of the city centre at Via Brin, otherwise ask your hotel for advice.

Discover the Taste of Naples

To taste authentic Neapolitan pizza, head to the centro storico where you’ll find a number of hard-core pizzerias serving the genuine article. For a more refined meal, make for seafront Santa Lucia and the cobbled lanes of Chiaia.

Live Like a Local

For maximum atmosphere, consider the centro storico. Seaside Santa Lucia is home to some of the city’s most prestigious hotels, and Chiaia is cool and chic. For lofty views and a chilled-out vibe, hit Vomero.

Useful Websites

I Naples (www.inaples.it) The city’s official tourist-board site.

Napoli Unplugged (www.napoliunplugged.com) Attractions, up-to-date listings, articles and blog entries.

Destination coverage (Click here)

TOP EXPERIENCES

A Cappella Sansevero

Marvel at human ingenuity in the Capella Sansevero, a baroque chapel where you’ll find Giuseppe Sanmartino’s amazing sculpture Cristo velato (Veiled Christ),

A Museo Archeologico Nazionale

Eye up classical interiors and erotica at the Museo Archeologico Nazionale, which hosts one of the world’s finest collections of Graeco-Roman artefacts.

A Teatro San Carlo

Demand an encore at Italy’s grandest opera house, which regularly stages opera, ballet and concerts.

A Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte

Palazzo Reale di Capodimonte might be one of Italy’s less famous collections, but it’s also one of its best, showcasing names such as Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio, Masaccio and El Greco.

A Certosa e Museo di San Martino

This charterhouse turned museum combines cloisters and carriages with romantic views.

A Neapolitan Street Life

There’s nothing like waking up to the sound of a Neapolitan street market, whether it’s rough-and-ready Porta Nolana market or the city’s oldest, La Pignasecca.

NEED TO KNOW

CURRENCY

Euro (€)

LANGUAGE

Italian

VISAS

Generally not required for stays of up to 90 days (or at all for EU nationals); some nationalities need a Schengen visa.

FUEL

You’ll find filling stations on autostradas and all major roads. Reckon on approximately €1.63 for unleaded petrol and €1.35 for diesel, per litre.

RENTAL CARS

Avis (www.avis.com)

Europcar (www.europcar.com)

Hertz (www.hertz.com)

Maggiore (www.maggiore.it)

IMPORTANT NUMBERS

118)

112)

113)

800 116800 from a foreign mobile phone)

When to Go

Climate

High Season (Jul & Aug)

A Prices high on the coast; accommodation discounts available in some cities in August.

A Prices rocket for Christmas, New Year and Easter.

A Late December to March is high season in the Alps and Dolomites.

Shoulder Season (Apr–Jun & Sep–Oct)

A Good deals on accommodation, especially in the south.

A Spring is best for festivals, flowers and local produce.

A Autumn provides warm weather and the grape harvest.

Low Season (Nov–Mar)

A Prices at their lowest – up to 30% less than in high season.

A Many sights and hotels closed in coastal and mountainous areas.

A A good period for cultural events in large cities.

Daily Costs

Budget: Less than €100

A Double room in a budget hotel: €50–100

A Pizza or pasta: €6–12

A Excellent markets and delis for self-catering

Midrange: €100–200

A Double room in a midrange hotel: €80–180

A Lunch and dinner in local restaurants: €25–45

A Museum admission: €5–15

Top End: More than €200

A Double room in a four- or five-star hotel: €200–450

A Top-restaurant dinner: €50–150

A Opera tickets: €15–150

Eating

Restaurants (Ristoranti) Formal service and refined dishes, with prices to match.

Trattorias Family-run places with informal service and classic regional cooking.

Vegetarians Most places offer good vegetable starters and side dishes.

Price indicators for a meal with primo (first course), secondo (second course), dolce (dessert) and a glass of house wine:

Sleeping

Hotels From luxury boutique palaces to modest family-run pensioni (small hotels).

B&Bs Rooms in restored farmhouses, city palazzi (mansions) or seaside bungalows.

Agriturismi Farmstays range from working farms to luxury rural retreats.

Price indicators for a double room with bathroom:

Arriving in Italy

Capodichino Airport (Naples)

Rental cars Agencies are located in the main Arrivals hall.

Airport shuttles Run every 20 minutes from 6.30am to 11.40pm.

Taxis Set fare €19 to €23; 30 minutes.

Leonardo da Vinci (Fiumicino) Airport (Rome)

Rental cars Agencies are near the multilevel car park. Look for signs in the Arrivals area.

Trains & buses Run every 30 minutes from 6.30am to 11.40pm.

Night buses Hourly departures from 12.30am to 5am.

Taxis Set fare €48; 45 minutes.

Malpensa Airport (Milan)

Rental cars In Terminal 1 agencies are on the 1st floor; in Terminal 2 in the Arrivals hall.

Malpensa Express & Shuttle Runs every 30 minutes from 5am to 11pm.

Night buses Limited services from 12.15am to 5am.

Taxis Set fare €90; 50 minutes.

Mobile Phones (Cell Phones)

Local SIM cards can be used in European, Australian and unlocked, multiband US phones. Other phones must be set to roaming.

Internet Access

Wi-fi is available in many lodgings and city bars, often free. Internet cafes are thin on the ground and typically charge €2 to €6 per hour.

Money

ATMs at airports, most train stations and in towns and cities. Credit cards accepted in most hotels and restaurants. Keep cash for immediate expenses.

Tipping

Not obligatory but round up the bill in pizzerias and trattorias; 10% is normal in upmarket restaurants.

Useful Websites

Italia (www.italia.it) Official tourism site.

Michelin (www.viamichelin.it) A useful route planner.

Agriturismi (www.agriturismi.it) Guide to farmstays.

Lonely Planet (www.lonelyplanet.com/italy) Destination lowdown.

For more, see Road Trip Essentials.

Road Trips

Amalfi Coast, 7 days

A stunning coastline of vertical landscapes and chic resort towns.

Shadow of Vesuvius, 2–3 Days

Head from Naples’ chaos to Pompeii’s long-buried mysteries.

Southern Larder, 3–4 Days

Pair raw beauty with exuberant cuisine on Campania’s coast.

Cilento Coastal Trail, 4–5 Days

A rugged peninsula where mountains meet the pristine sea.

Sorrento

ELLEN VAN BODEGOM/GETTY IMAGES ©

Amalfi Coast

Vico Equense

Sorrento

Sant’Agata sui due Golfi

Marina del Cantone

Positano

Praiano

Marina di Furore

Amalfi

Ravello

Cetara

Vietri sul Mare

Amalfi Coast

Not for the fainthearted, this trip along the Amalfi Coast tests your driving skill on a 108km stretch, featuring dizzying hairpin turns and pastel-coloured towns draped over sea-cliff scenery.

TRIP HIGHLIGHTS

7 DAYS

108KM / 67 MILES

GREAT FOR…

BEST TIME TO GO

Summer for best beach weather, but also peak crowds.

ESSENTIAL PHOTO

Positano’s vertiginous stack of pastel-coloured houses cascading down to the sea.

BEST FOR OUTDOORS

Hiking Ravello and its environs.

Villa Rufolo, Ravello

BRIAN JANSENN/GETTY IMAGES ©

Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast is about drama, and this trip takes you where mountains plunge seaward in a stunning vertical landscape of precipitous crags, forests and resort towns. Positano and Amalfi are fabulously picturesque and colourful, while mountain-top Ravello is a serenely tranquil place with a tangible sense of history. Cars are useful for inland exploration, as are your own two legs. Walking trails provide a wonderful escape from the coastal clamour.

Top of Chapter

1 Vico Equense

The Bay of Naples is justifiably famous for its pizza, which was invented here as a savoury way to highlight two local specialities: mozzarella and sun-kissed tomatoes. Besides its pretty little centro storico (historic centre), this little clifftop town overlooking the Bay of Naples boasts some of the region’s best pizza, including a by-the-metre version at Ristorante & Pizzeria da Gigino 081 879 83 09; ).

The Drive » From Vico Equense to Sorrento, your main route will be the SS145 roadway for 12km. Expect to hug the sparkling coastline after Marina di Equa before venturing inland around Meta.

Top of Chapter

2 Sorrento

On paper, cliff-straddling Sorrento is a place to avoid – a package-holiday centre with few sights, no beach to speak of and a glut of brassy English-style pubs. In reality, it’s strangely appealing, its laid-back southern Italian charm resisting all attempts to swamp it in souvenir tat and graceless development.

According to Greek legend, it was in Sorrento’s waters that the mythical sirens once lived. Sailors of antiquity were powerless to resist the beautiful song of these charming maidens-cum-monsters, who would lure them to their doom.

The Drive » Take the SS145 (Via Nastro Azzurro) for 11km to Sant’Agata sui due Golfi. Sun-dappled village streets give way to forest as you head further inland.

Top of Chapter

TRIP HIGHLIGHT

3 Sant’Agata sui due Golfi

Perched high in the hills above Sorrento, sleepy Sant’Agata sui due Golfi commands spectacular views of the Bay of Naples on one side and the Bay of Salerno on the other (hence its name, Saint Agatha on the two Gulfs). The best viewpoint is the Deserto gardens 8am-7pm, lookout 10am-noon & 5-7pm summer, 10am-noon & 3-5pm winter), a Carmelite convent 1.5km uphill from the village centre.

The Drive » From Sant’Agata sui due Golfi to Marina del Cantone it’s a 9km drive, the last part involving some serious hairpin turns. Don’t let the gorgeous sea views distract you.

LINK YOUR TRIP

2 Shadow of Vesuvius

Follow the curve of the Bay of Naples, from simmering Vesuvius to roiling Naples (Click here).

3 Southern Larder

From Sorrento to Paestum, this trip takes you to the heart of mozzarella country (Click here).

Top of Chapter

4 Marina del Cantone

From Nerano, where you’ll park, a beautiful hiking trail leads down to the stunning Bay of Ieranto and one of the coast’s top swimming spots, Marina del Cantone. This unassuming village with its small pebble beach is a lovely, tranquil place to stay as well as a popular diving destination. The village also has a reputation as a gastronomic hot spot and VIPs regularly catch a boat over from Capri to dine here.

The Drive » First, head back up that switchback to Sant’Agata sui due Golfi. Catch the SS145 and then the SS163 as they weave their way along bluffs and cliffsides to Positano. Most of the 24km involve stunning sea views.

Top of Chapter

TRIP HIGHLIGHT

5 Positano

The pearl in the pack, Positano is the coast’s most photogenic and expensive town. Its steeply stacked houses are a medley of peaches, pinks and terracottas, and its near-vertical streets (many of which are, in fact, staircases) are lined with voguish shop displays, elegant hotels and smart restaurants. Look closely, though, and you’ll find reassuring signs of everyday reality – crumbling stucco, streaked paintwork and occasionally a faint whiff of problematic drainage.

John Steinbeck visited in 1953 and wrote in an article for Harper’s Bazaar: ‘Positano bites deep. It is a dream place that isn’t quite real when you are there and becomes beckoningly real after you have gone.’

The Drive » From Positano to Praiano it’s a quick 8km spin on the SS163, passing Il San Pietro di Positano at the halfway point, then heading southeast along the peninsula’s edge.

THE BLUE RIBBON DRIVE

Stretching from