If you’re thinking about a trip to Italy’s Amalfi Coast this summer, you’ll need to plan carefully so you can follow the area’s numerous new traffic restrictions.
The Amalfi Coast, a 25-mile stretch between the Gulf of Naples and the Gulf of Salerno in southern Italy, is a popular tourist destination due to its blue skies, steep coastal mountains on the edge of blue seas, and colorful villages, as well as olive groves, vineyards, and lemon terraces. In fact, the Costiera Amalfitana, or Amalfi Coast, is so pretty that it’s even listed by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) as a World Heritage Site that has “exceptional cultural and natural scenic values.”
Considering that beauty, it’s no wonder the Amalfi Coast is a magnet for tourists from around the world, which, of course, leads to considerable traffic congestion. Making matters worse, the road along the coast is often only one lane wide — and is filled with sharp turns.
Anas, the authority that manages the roads has now put a number of new traffic restrictions in place to prevent frequent miles-long traffic jams during the peak of tourist season.
What You Need To Know
Faced with an increasing number of cars, trucks, buses, and passenger vans conducting sightseeing tours along the coast’s main thoroughfare, the mayors of cities along the Amalfi Coast requested Anas put traffic restrictions in place, according to Il Quotidiano della Costiera (The Daily Life of the Coast), an online newspaper based in Ravello, Italy, just a few miles from Amalfi. Now, Abbac (the association of bed and breakfasts and guesthouses in Campania, Italy) has come out in favor of the measure as well.
Here’s what the new restrictions entail:
- First, the rules, which went into effect on June 15, apply to a 35-kilometer (almost 22-mile) stretch of road between Vietri sul Mare and Positano.
- Next, the traffic restrictions are only in place between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. on weekends through September 2022, according to Euronews. However, it’s important to note that the restrictions will apply every day during the month of August when most Europeans take their annual vacation.
- Now, here’s the tricky part — and why you’ll need to plan carefully. The key to the traffic restriction is that on days when it is in place, drivers will have to follow an alternating license plate number system, Euronews reports.
- If a car’s license plate number ends in an odd number, it can only be driven on the road on odd-numbered days. Conversely, if the license plate number ends in an even number, it may only be driven along the coast on even-numbered days.
The rules also completely ban vehicles longer than 10.36 meters (about 34 feet), and caravans and vehicles with trailers can only be driven on the road from 6:30 a.m. to midnight, year-round, according to CNN.
Finally, in welcome news for people who live in the area, residents of the 13 towns along the coast are exempt from the restrictions, as are public transport vehicles and taxis, CNN notes.
The Right Time For A Change
Implementing the new traffic rules during peak tourist season is a change that’s long overdue, said Angela Infante, deputy mayor of Vietri sul Mare, according to CNN. Indeed, during peak tourist season — before the COVID-19 pandemic — traffic sometimes backed up for nearly 4 miles along the coast, Infante said.
“It’s started again this year: You can’t drive on weekends, and people are trapped at home,” Infante said. “When you can drive, you have to drive incredibly slowly because there are so many cars, and often the road is completely blocked.”
While the traffic restriction will help, Infante, who owns a bed and breakfast, said she advises clients to use the ferry to travel along the coast or to take a bus. That’s because even if they can make it to their destination, it’s nearly impossible to find a parking space.
“If they choose to drive, often they come straight back because they couldn’t find a parking space — they can’t even stop for a bottle of water,” Infante said.
For more about the Amalfi Coast, be sure to read