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How will Italy's Amalfi Coast traffic limit for tourists work this summer?

The Local Italy
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How will Italy's Amalfi Coast traffic limit for tourists work this summer?
The Amalfi coast is a beautiful - but busy - summer destination in Italy (Photo by Tom Podmore on Unsplash)

The Amalfi Coast has reintroduced traffic calming measures for the summer in an effort to unclog the coastline's congested roads. Here's what visitors need to know.

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Dramatic, lush, and improbably picturesque, it's one of Italy's foremost attractions - but in recent years, the Amalfi Coast has become a victim of its own popularity, drawing so many crowds in the summer months that its tiny roads routinely become paralysed by traffic.

Now, authorities in the area are hoping that seasonal regulations - first introduced in 2020 - will once again help to ease the pressure on the coastline's teeming thoroughfares.

As of June 15th, alternate driving license plate rules now apply on the 50km stretch of road between Positano and Vietri sul Mare, known as the SS 163.

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Vehicles with license plates ending in odd numbers will only be allowed through on odd number days, and those ending in even numbers on even number days.

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The rule currently only applies between 10am and 6pm on weekends, but will be in force every day throughout the month of August.

From the 1st to the 30th of September, the rules will once again apply only on weekends.

The narrow roads connecting the tiny towns along the Amalfi Coast quickly become congested in the summer months. The narrow roads connecting the tiny towns along the Amalfi Coast quickly become congested in the summer months. Photo by Filippo MONTEFORTE / AFP.

Taxis, buses and local residents are exempt, as are vehicles displaying the 'H' sign indicating a disabled person is on board (provided they are carrying the disabled person in question).

In addition to Positano and Vietri sul Mare, the rule affects travel between Praiano, Amalfi, Atrani, Ravello and Cetara, popular tourist towns which all fall on the SS 163 route.

The measures have proven popular with some residents, but not everyone is pleased with the restrictions.

In the absence of private transport, tourists staying in the area will either need to travel by taxi or public bus on days when their vehicle is not allowed on the roads.

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Antonio Ilardi, head of the hoteliers federation Federalberghi Salerno, has requested that the rules be adjusted to allow guests to return to their hotels and to permit staff who live outside the area to get to their jobs by private transport.

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Alessandro Russo, Praiano's chief of police, told the Positano News daily that the rule has helped with the traffic problem in previous years, but hasn't eliminated it - and that for the restrictions to be truly effective, more resources are needed to allow police to conduct checks at the main entry points.

Without a dedicated taskforce, the outlet says, it will be very difficult for the authorities to enforce the traffic rules.

For more information on the Amalfi Coast's summer traffic rules and schedule and how this may apply to you, contact your accommodation provider or the Comune di Positano's tourist office.

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