(CNN) — With carved cliff roads, dramatic curves and a straight fall towards the turquoise waters far below, the Amalfi Coast has become an iconic road trip destination.
It’s a little too symbolic. Probably-because these days, as well as its spectacular settings, its traffic has become a legend. There are many backup stories that last for miles. Travel time is doubled and tripled, thanks to everyone else enjoying those views.
Larger spiral numbers (sometimes a single lane with a narrow switchback), including passenger cars full of tourists on the road, exacerbate the pain.
However, while the new rules introduced on Wednesday halve the traffic of tourists on the road, things may be improving by causing havoc on people’s vacations.
An alternative license plate system has been launched. This means that cars can only access the famous 22-mile section between Vietri sul Mare and Positano every other day during peak hours of the peak season.
Only vehicles with odd-numbered license plates can use the road on odd-numbered dates, and vehicles with even-numbered plates can drive on the road on even-numbered dates.
These rules apply throughout August from 10 am to 6 pm and on weekends from June 15 to September 30. Includes Holy Week before and after Easter, and dates from April 24th to May 2nd.
Residents of 13 coastal towns are exempt, as are public transport, taxis and NCC vehicles hired with drivers. However, regular rental cars are included in the ban.
Roads on the Amalfi Coast have single-lane sections that cause congestion.
Lisa Noble // Moment Editorial / Getty Images
“Often completely blocked”
A long rule imposed by Anas, who manages the road, also bans vehicles over 10.36 meters and vehicles with caravans and trailers all year round from 6:30 am to midnight. Vehicles over 6 meters long and 2.1 meters wide can only use the road during certain hours and are banned on peak days.
Local police are responsible for enforcing regulations and can punish violations. It is not yet known how much the fine will be.
The ordinance was originally scheduled to come into effect in April 2020, but local objections and pandemics slowed the process.
Angela Infante, deputy mayor of Vietri sul Mare, the gateway town to the coast, said the CNN needed new rules for some time.
“It will be back again this year. I can’t drive on weekends and I’m trapped in my house,” she said.
Before the pandemic, she said that sometimes there would be up to 6 kilometers (almost 4 miles) of backup along the coast.
“There are a lot of cars and they are often completely blocked, so you have to drive incredibly slowly,” she said.
“Apart from others, you may have an ambulance [in that traffic] And something can happen-we need to limit a lot of traffic. “
Infante, who owns a bed and breakfast in town, said he always advises clients to travel the coast by ferry or by bus to avoid traffic-even if they arrive at their destination. It’s impossible because you can find a parking space.
“If they choose to drive, they often come back straight because they couldn’t find a parking space-they can’t even stop because of a bottle of water,” she said. ..
Tourists flock to the coast to see cliff-top towns like Positano.
Nikola Simeoni / EyeEm / Getty Images
“We’re basically flooded for four or five months a year, and it’s difficult for residents to park or use a car to get from one village to another,” he said. Told to.
“Unfortunately, the beauty of the Amalfi Coast is in its place, and the town is built along a cliff, so parking space is minimal and there is little room for maneuvering.
“I once tried to drive to Minori’s dentist appointment [10 miles along the coast] And it was a disaster. The only way to go anywhere right now is by ferry, and that way you can easily reach any town along the coast.
“Obviously we will lose customers, but for the benefit of the town. Without traffic restrictions, the roads will be blocked and we will not be able to find parking. There is no other option.”
“It discourages tourists”
He told CNN that the policy was a “disaster.”
“It discourages tourists. It makes it impossible to stay for strange days. If you arrive on Wednesday, you can’t leave on Thursday.
“We cannot return your rental car to Amazon.”
He proposes a compromise and keeps the system running for arrival, but allows tourists to leave the coast when they want.
“Tourists need to be able to leave at any time to get to the airport, train station and Salerno,” he told CNN.
“It’s not always easy to travel the Amalfi Coast by public transport, especially during lunch breaks, so we’ve written a letter calling for changes this season. This policy isn’t going in and out of the coast. It will be enabled. “
Coastal hotel owners risk being fined if guests arrive in a rental car with the wrong license plate, he said.
“They will warn guests, but it’s not our job to let people know this. It’s the job of a public corporation,” he said.
“The rules are written by bureaucrats and are hard to read. The car rental company may not know or may not mention where the visitor is going. So you get the car with the wrong plate. You will be fined on arrival. “
Mayors Amalfi and Positano, two of the most popular towns on the Amalfi Coast, did not respond to requests for comment from the CNN, but Amalfi Mayor Danielle Milano had previously told local media that he was in favor of this measure. ..
The rules are said to have been created by the blessings of the coastal town council, with the exception of Minori and Maiori. Mayor Minori declined to comment.
At least one council is happy. Perhaps because of the new rules, more visitors could be seen.
Vietri sul Mare had major traffic problems around the harbor until the new parking lot was built, Angela Infante says. (At the beginning of the coast, Vietri has more construction space than a town farther away.)
And she was worried about the idea that the town would now see more traffic as tourists wanting to drive along the coastal roads stop by Vietli.
“It will probably cause problems [in terms of more traffic] But there is a parking lot so you can catch the ferry, “she said.
Main image: Alamy