Wanna know of a secretive place where the views are magnificent, the hiking superb, and the coast just a couple feet away as you walk along the trail. The Amalfi Coast has long since been inhabited but accessibility was always the issue.
Back in the day, even the wealthy towns scattered across the coast were only accessible by sea, until the building of the SS163 Amalfi Coastal Road. In the hills, various paths were scattered about with flights of stairs added in for climbing and mule tracks leading you through the mountains.
Sentiero Degli Dei was one such path named by Giustino Fortunato in the late 1800s. Starting in the town of Bomerano and stretching across the cliffs to the town of Nocelle, just above Positano, it is hard to escape the breathtaking beauty of the landscape and the picturesque mountains combined with the small towns of the Amalfi Coast which is how it got its name.
But how to get to the start point you might ask? You should, because it’s not very easy to find. Luckily I have the coordinates.
The large band of Naval Officers and sailors running around Italy have plenty of advice that is continuously passed from person to person within the circle. You want to know where the closest and best Mexican food in Naples is? Don’t worry, someone has the answer. This information is years in the making from Americans being stationed in Naples Italy and passing the information around the continuously changing circle.
It’s always good to be a part of the circle. Sometimes it’s as easy as walking into the office, seeing some people you know, and just asking them about where they traveled to recently and how they did it. Honestly, that’s how 3 of my most recent trips happened, and how I planned my 4th of July weekend coming up!
If you try to look up the town of Bomerano, the start point for Path of the Gods, it’s not so easy to find. In fact, the closest town to Bomerano is Agerola and you’ll have much more luck finding Agerola on Google Maps. I’m not sure why, maybe the google bot hasn’t been through there recently? Luckily I have the secret coordinates to the spot for the climb. 8675309. Haha, Or 40.630123 14.540153. You’re welcome.
Originally I didn’t take a photo of the plaza but realized it would be beneficial after the fact so I plugged the coordinates into Google Maps dropped the man for street view, and this is what you’ll see if you are standing in the center of the town.
If you were to turn around and drive your car down the road pictured above, there is a parking lot on the right hand side that has free parking! Looking back at the church if you were to stand facing the church, turn left, and start walking straight. The signs are easy to spot. In no time you’ll be on the trail.
Right away the views will arrest your vision and bedazzle you. Stop for a photo, but don’t worry, there’s plenty more views along the path. You won’t be disappointed.
For us, we stayed in Positano for the night and my friend Scott (the guy with the coordinates!) picked us up in the morning and drove us to Bomerano. We would be hiking all the way to Positano where we would get my car from the hotel and drive back to Bomerano for Scotts car and over the hill behind, to Napoli.
Here’s a look at the Path of the Gods on Google Maps. Walking along the path you can see what it looks like from the start point all the way to Positano. It took us about 3.5 hours of moderate hiking to get all the way down to the bottom.
And we’re off, just around the bend.
Following the path. As you can see it is very well preserved and not very treacherous. Although there are some rocky areas you have to be careful on, almost anyone could walk and climb their way through.
Jess was our fearless leader on this stretch of the leg.
Then wouldn’t you know, on this particular day we chose to hike, there was a very serious race going on. We saw the finish line in Bomerano before we began and along the whole route runners came by, medics were staggered throughout, and almost everyone was well into their years. I can only wish to be 60+ and running rocky routes through rough terrain.
Some were doing 50 km which is 31 miles and others were only running the stretch that makes up the path of the gods. Regardless they were all out there and all AWESOME. Which is why we started our own cheering brigade when we saw the first group of runners. “BRAVO! BRAVA” we would shout depending on if it was a man or a woman. They always seemed to have a little pep in their step when they ran by us.
BRAVA, BRAVA! You can do it!
Sometimes the path was so narrow we would have to get out of the way for the runners. It would take some training to be able to run this trail. Especially when I show you all the steps.
“VAI VAI VAI!” “GO GO GO” in English. I learned this term during the playoffs for the World Cup last summer. Everybody is always screaming this during the “Football” games.
Some were in packs and I believe on teams. As we came around the bend to the other side people were waiting for us with go pros so they could catch us cheering on film.
Then we turned a corner and saw this view. Positano from the hillside. It quite literally takes your breath away.
Arriving in our first town, Jess seemed super excited. Until we told her that she would have to wait for food until we reached the bottom. Haha, just kidding, that was me that we had to tell. About halfway through the hike.
Lovely flowers in a pot. I can say that Italy has actually made me enjoy flowers in the pot, on the vine. Don’t get me wrong, I probably couldn’t keep flowers alive for anything, but they really are so abundant here I’ve grown accustomed to them.
Fresh squeezed fruit, heck yes, follow the signs and the smell.
Stopping for a break before all the steps began, Jess and I took a pic.
Then we all 4 got together. Look at that dapper fellow with all the ladies.
The the 3 of us. This view point was amazing.
As I said the steps were just beginning. The worst part is that the steps were uneven and very long so you really had to work to step from one step to the next. This wasn’t like a regular old set of steps. Our thighs were burning after only a few minutes.
Winding, winding, winding, we slowly but surely walked down the side of the mountain.
Step, step, step. Crunch, crunch, crunch. There were many leaves scattered about even though it is the end of May. Sometimes they helped cushion our steps but mostly they were slippery under our feet.
Finally we ended up on the SS163, Amalfi coastal road. In the guidebooks at this point you can catch a bus back to Positano. We weren’t sure if we had come out in the wrong place, but regardless, we decided to walk on the road all the way into town.
Not the safest choice if you’ve read how treacherous the coastal road can be, but we made sure to squeeze in between the parked cars when buses and cars came whizzing by.
In some areas, the houses are so hard to get to, you can look and see these cables leading up and down in the valley. Its their way of transporting goods (and possibly personnel) to the villagers that live down below. Yep, some people still live that secluded, even in this day and age.
With your own private beach you can only reach by boat? Even on the most heavily trafficked days there are still secluded areas on the coast that are hard to get to.
Coming up around the bend we were steps away from Positano and wanted to show our excitement of having made it all the way through the Path of the Gods hike. Now about that food!
We ended our time on the Amalfi Coast at Chez Black, right next to the beach in Positano where I got the ink squid pasta and this awesome bib to keep clean with. Plus you can’t forget that refreshing white wine even after the hot hike.
Heading back to our hotel to retrieve our things and get my car, we all piled in and made the drive back to Bomerano for the second time that day. I could not have imagined having to turn around and walk back up all those steps at the end of lunch and I’m glad we had 2 cars to get down and back instead of having to take a bus.
Have you hiked the Path of the Gods? Have anything to add? Please feel free to comment below.
This article appeared first on The Cassey Excursion.
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