The Amalfi Coast in Southern Italy is a beautiful place. Nothing can quite prepare you for the dramatic coastal scenery, the pretty fishing villages and the medieval towns perched on precipices high over the sea. If you are looking to add something a little different and off the beaten track to your visit then look no further than The Path of the Gods (Sentiero degli Dei). This is a true gem hidden high above the glitz and the glamour of the coast that offers visitors a unique perspective of this area of outstanding natural beauty.
The path follows the ancient mule tracks that join Bomerano and Nocello (a small village above Positano). These old paths link the villages that are scattered across the mountainous peninsula and the Path of the Gods (Sentiero degli Dei) is arguably one of the most spectacular of all these routes. It hugs the side of the mountains over 500 meters above the sea and offers some truly amazing views of the coast. The path passes through a range of different landscapes: limestone cliffs; wooded areas with carob and holm oak trees; green landscapes with wild flowers and aromatic herbs; lemon and olive orchards; and farming terraces with vineyards, vegetable plots and tomatoes.
We picked up the route above Praiano, about half way along the trail. Praiano is a pretty little fishing village that lies between Amalfi and Positano nd here we always stay at Ca’Pa’, a gorgeous private house with only six rooms and a landscaped garden down to the sea (click here for more info). The ascent to the Path of the Gods (Sentiero degli Dei) trail starts just off the main road at Piazzetta Gagliano behind a small fountain. The path is well marked and winds steeply up through the village gradually giving way to lush terrace-farms and vegetable gardens before passing in front the Convent of San Domenico. Here there is a grassy terrace with views over Praiano and its beautiful domed church. There are also wonderful views across the gulf of Salerno towards Capri in the distance. After the Convent the path becomes narrower and more exposed until it finally passes through a wooded area where it joins the Path of the Gods (Sentiero degli Dei) at a clearly marked T-junction. Here there are two choices: west towards Nocello or east to Bomerano.
We chose the westward section of the path to Nocello. From here on the scenery gets more rugged, the cliffs and grottos more imposing and the views open up to reveal beautiful panoramas across the coastline. The path rises and falls past spectacular rock formations and tree filled gullies; and Positano comes and goes from view as the path gradually winds its way towards Nocello. These views towards Positano are stunning, its coloured houses clinging to the mountain side above a sparkling turquoise sea. Eventually the path arrives at Nocello, a pretty mountain village above Positano and from here you can either descend to Positano or continue on to Montepertuso. Montepertuso is the next village along, famous for Monte Gambera the rock with a huge gaping hole in it. We couldn’t resist one more climb and detoured to Monte Gambera where there is a bench and table to enjoy more spectacular views. From the main square in Montepertuso one follows a series of winding stepped streets that slowly descend to Positano, with yet more beautiful views of the town and sea. There are also regular buses down to Positano from Nocello and Montepertuso.
The full trail from Bomerano to Nocello is about 9km. Although the path is well marked it is always advisable to have some sort of reference or map and Walking on the Amalfi Coast – A Cicerone Guide by Gillian Price is excellent. Alternatively hire a guide; this always brings great benefits to any trip. I have read great things about Giovanni Visetti and if his website is anything to go by anyone who chooses to walk with Giovanni Visetti will be in excellent hands. http://www.giovis.com Here is what he has to say on the full Path of the Gods (Sentiero degli dei) trail: http://www.giovis.com/sentdei.htm
The coast is well served with buses and the trail can be access at various points along its route. Below are some links to transport information that may help with planning:
Sita Buses serve the Amalfi Coast: http://www.sitabus.it/ &
The local buses around the Positano area are run by Flavio Gioia and they post the most current timetables on their facebook page: Flavio Gioia facebook page: https://en-gb.facebook.com/pages/Flavio-Gioia-Sas-Autolinee-Autonoleggio-Autolavaggio/184397864923129