Traveling to Amalfi

all aboard

Visiting the beautiful stretch of Amalfi coastline is not for the faint hearted!

From Rome we traveled to Salerno by train, which was very posh on Italy’s new train line, Italo.  From there the fun began!  From the train station there is a bus ride for about 1.5 hours that stops along the Amalfi coast, ending in the town of Amalfi.  Our plan was to take the bus, but when the bus arrived we were not allowed on without pre-purchased tickets.

Here is the fun part, we arrived on Sunday, which in Italy (and most of Europe) shuts down for the day of rest.  So finding a location that was open to purchase bus tickets was the next challenge.  Leave it up to Jon & Mike to find a way!  They went to every local shop open and finally found tickets for the bus in a  gelataria.  (I have to give Jon a plug, his Italian was good enough that he got local tickets, which are of course cheaper than tourist tickets for the same bus!)

By the time the bus arrived, about 40 more people also had arrived to cram on to the large tour bus.  But this was not a fancy tour bus, this was a tour bus without any working AC.  But we got our seats.  I am still not sure if it was lucky or not, but the family got the first 3 rows of seats, so we had a perfect view out the front window.

The road along the Amalfi coast is extremely narrow, nauseatingly windy and just over the cliff edge drops hundreds of feet off into the ocean.  I don’t know if there are enough Hail Mary’s to get through the drive!  Not only is the road that crazy, add in crazy Italian drivers and it is enough to give the Dalai Lama an anxiety attack!

The bus driver was going well above the posted speed limit and honking his intensely loud horn at every curve, which basically was every 5 seconds, to warn cars that he was coming & nothing was stopping him!

Meanwhile, we are holding on to the “oh shit bars” for dear life, doing everything possible not to look out at the beautiful ocean below because it was just a few inches from the roadway and a long drop down!

The most amazing part of this whole experience was the locals were completely unaffected! They zoomed by on Vespas, pedestrians watched calmly as the bus practically swiped their shoulders and cars just maneuvered around the bus and the curves.

I am just thankful to be alive after that bus ride!  But it sure is beautiful once you are here!


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