After five days we had to say goodbye to Positano which is now officially one of our favourite places in the world! Our next stop was Assisi, the home of St Francis, which meant that we had a six hour drive (the main reason we rented a car). We could have headed north back through Naples and Rome, but we decided to drive our little Fiat 500L south along the Amalfi Coast before heading inland and North towards Assisi.
The Amalfi Coast has got to be one of the most spectacular coastlines to drive anywhere in the world. It is truly breathtaking and (in my opinion) fun to drive. Sure the road is narrow, winding and a real challenge to pass a bus that is coming towards you, but with a lot of patience and a few nerves the Amalfi Coast is a fun drive for anyone who loves driving. If driving is not your thing you may want to take the bus. For me, I am happy to be able to say that I have driven the Amalfi Coast.
Driving in Italy is a unique experience, Naples is just madness where any sense of road rules is thrown out the window! Two lane roads become four lanes of traffic, stops signs and red lights are optional and the smallest gap you leave behind the car in front of you is an invitation for someone to cut in. You really have your heart in your mouth driving in Naples, especially in the old part of town where the streets are barely wide enough for one car, but cars and bikes manage to pass by each other with literally a centimetre to spare. But there are no accidents and everyone just goes with the flow. If you ever drive in Naples (I wont ever again), remember not to hesitate or panic, but just go with the flow.
Once we reached Salerno in the South of Italy we started heading north leaving the Amalfi Coast behind us. We thought the road north would take us through some of the more rural parts of Italy but soon discovered that we would be on one of Italy’s major toll roads, the A1. We would travel on the A1 for 240km before turning off to head to Assisi. Getting on the A1 meant taking a ticket which you put into a machine when you exit. For us the 240km cost €21.50. There were not many places to stop on the A1 except some very large petrol stations that housed cafes, bakeries and shops, so nothing too exciting.
We arrived is Assisi and found our 12th century accommodation keen to explore the stomping ground of St Francis, one of my heroes of faith.