The road between Sorrento and Salerno is one of the most dramatic in the world. Known as the ‘Amalfi Coast’, it encapsulates a quintessential part of classic Italian iconography. Sharp bends, overarching cliff faces, soft hued, sun-soaked towns built on the hillsides – it really is the kind of backdrop better suited to a 1950’s movie. Just be warned, driving it is not for the faint of heart.

The reason? Italian motorists are selfish, unpredictable and utterly crazy at the best of times. Place them on a slender, precipice hugging cliff road, and despite common sense dictating otherwise, very little in their attitude changes.

The result is a continual sense of amazement and mild dread – although this is tempered by the added buffer zone of parked cars lining much of the route.

With the risk comes undoubted reward. This is Italy as people imagine it, the real life filmscape that remains largely unaltered despite outside attention.

But it’s the towns of the Amalfi Coast that make it particularly picturesque – and Positano is one of the prime examples.

Inset from the coastline a little, Positano extends almost vertically into the nearby mountainsides. It’s as if it’s buildings flow upwards from the sea in a mass, haphazard arrangement of pastel shades and greenery.

Up close, the appearance of the streets reflects the lifestyle. On every corner there’s an upmarket boutique or trendy café. The town may look sleepy on the surface, but along with Capri it’s well regarded by the contemporary jet set.

Seeing as we hailed from less extravagant origins, our own journey continued further along the coast until the humble temptation of afternoon ice cream became so much that we simply had to stop at the first eating place we saw.

It was a good thing we did. For in this random moment, we actually chose the ideal spot from which to savour the Amalfi Coast.

Buried into the cliff, and perched as if on an outlying piece of rock, it was the most aesthetically pleasing location I may ever have eaten ice cream from.

We even made a new friend – Bob the Cat.

Back in the car, we reached Salerno and with it the end to one of the most epic drives I’ve been on. Forget Naples or Rome, this is the Italy of the movies – a fine reminder of culture and landscapes converging to sublime artistic effect.

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