The Amalfi Coast, Campania
Sentierro degli Dei Hike (Footpath of the Gods)
The views along the Footpath of the Gods trail are fantastic. Coastal views of the Amalfi Coast, vineyards on hillsides and ruins of farmhouses dotted this ancient walk path that connected the villages of the Amalfi Coast. This footpath was once the only way to travel between villages of the Amalfi Coast.
Vineyards terraced into the mountain behind us on Footpath of the Gods trail, Amalfi Coast
We started our hike at 7:45 am at Bomerano heading towards Positano. We took a taxi there, pre-arranged by our wonderful apartment owner for around 50EU. (An alternate way to the trailhead was by train, then 2 crowded buses along a very narrow/curvy part of the Amalfi Coast's famous roads) The hike was around 4 miles in distance (one-way), ended before noon with breaks to enjoy the view. Starting at Bomerano allowed us to avoid the many uphill stairs, had we started at Praiano. Bring water, hat, sunscreen and snacks. We found the hike to be about 70% shaded in early part of a July day and mostly downhill in the direction of Bomerano to Positano. It helped that we started early to keep cool. In fact, my kids' chief complaint was that the hike wasn’t much of a challenge. The part that slowed us down the most was the many DOWNhill stairs from Nocelle to Positano. On our way to Positano from Nocelle, we encountered a man lugging his luggage up the many stairs to Nocelle. We felt quite lucky to be heading the other direction. Nocelle is a beautiful colorful little village tucked into the side of the Lattari Mountains that used to be accessible from the coast only by way of the stairs. Now there is a bus.
Our hike on the Footpath of the Gods delivered us eventually onto a scenic road called Via Cristoforo Columbo (i.e. Christopher Columbus Road - Did you know that Christopher Columbus was actually Italian by nationality but worked as a contract explorer for the Spanish crown?)
View from the Beach of Positano, Amalfi Coast
We arrived at the beach in Positano via a beautiful shop-lined network of alleys. The beach was nice by Italian standards, not as crowded as the beaches in Sorrento or Monterosso or Levanto. The water was warm, clear and calm. The beach itself was mostly rocky (flip flops would have been nice). The kids were happy to dip their toes into the Mediterranean Sea a third time. There is a beautiful seawalk, leading away from the beach up along the coast. We walked a little ways up, but had to return to catch our ferry to Salerno.
Docking in the Town of Amalfi - A view from the boat
Our ferry back from Positano to Salerno took us by our 4 mile hike on the Lattari Mountains. It was fun trying to figure out our trail as we passed by ferry. The ferry tickets cost 12E per adult (9EU per child) and can be purchased at the docks on the beach. The ferry ride gave us beautiful views of mountains and the colorful coastal towns, this time a view from the water. It is best for views, if you could ride on the open-air deck, though usually busier and much warmer. And hold on to your hats, it gets windy up there.
If we only had more time … I would have loved to explore further into a hike up Mount Vesuvius (vs a bus trip). Another hike I would have loved to explore is Valle de Mullini or Valle de Ferriere which takes you deeper into the Lattari Mountains, and into the view of beautiful waterfalls and ancient mills and ancient ferns. Punta Campanella near Sorrento is another one I would have loved to explore. The museums in Naples would have been nice too. There are many many other ruins to be explored in the area, if only there was more time. Look into the Campania Artecard for discounted entry fees, both for short and long visits.
** Above information based on information accurate during summer 2015