“Il Sentiero Degli Dei”
Under the shadow of an ancient ruin, resting on a forgotten terrace, Positano, Italy burst into life. A million flickering lights, nestled into Italy’s famous coast, makes a lovely cinema. We climbed to the top of the ruin and sat on the roof ledge, a curved, stoned structure with holes leading 15 feet down to a stone floor. We drank deeply of our wine, and looked out with a steely gaze. A private movie, a perfect night. Thank the gods.
Positano has gone the way of the tourist, with little authentic charm remaining in the town streets, with most restaurants share the same menu, and most shops sell the same concoction of tourist aimed wares. Still, the whole image is pretty spectacular, and worth some exploring. Most of the crowds are lost in the higher levels of the town. The twisting stairways and corridors and dramatic layering are like something out of The Lord of the Rings, a photographers playground. Positano spills down the Amalfi Coast in cascading levels of mediterranean color, eventually culminating in a small, rocky beach and turquoise water. Warm, verdant peaks rise in the background, usually wrapped in a shroud of silky clouds.
Coming from the North (Naples):
Take the commuter train from Napoli Centrale to Sorrento for less than 5 euros. The trip takes about an hour in total. From Sorrento, take the SITA bus to Amalfi (the Town). From Amalfi, take the SITA bus to Bomerano (you can ask bus drivers exactly which stop is best for “Il Sentiero Degli Dei”). Once you get off at Bomerano, it’s an easy walk to the main square, where signs will point you to the trail head. It is very intuitive, but if you get turned around, feel free to ask someone. Odds are they speak english, or know what you mean when you ask about Il Sentiero Degli Dei.
Coming from the South (Salerno):
Where ever you are coming from south of the Amalfi Coast, you will most likely have a stop in Salerno. From Salerno, the SITA bus will take you anywhere on the Amalfi Coast. Take the SITA bus to Amalfi (the Town). From Amalfi, take the SITA bus to Bomerano (you can ask bus drivers exactly which stop is best for “Il Sentiero Degli Dei”). Once you get off at Bomerano, it’s an easy walk to the main square, where signs will point you to the trail head. It is very intuitive, but if you get turned around, feel free to ask someone. Odds are they speak english, or know what you mean when you ask about Il Sentiero Degli Dei.
WHEN TO GO:
We were there late May, where crowds in the town centers were pretty stifling.
The Path of the Gods is not the most famous trail in Italy, but it is definitely becoming more and more known.
That being said, we started the hike about an hour and a half before sunset, intent on finding a camp site somewhere on the trail. We had the entire trail to ourselves, and the weather was perfect for hiking. It did end raining in the middle of the night and into the next day, but that was part of the adventure.
The path travels from the small, mountain town of Bomerano to Positano, traversing the steep peaks of the peninsula in a more or less gently route. There are some ups and downs, but I would still classify this as a walk rather than a hike. At points the entire Amalfi peninsula can be seen stretching into the sea. There are plenty of opportunities to explore ruins, and take short side trails to different vistas, though there are no shortages of vistas on this hike. The trail is about 4.5 miles (7 km) in total and can be done in less than two hours, even with the occasional photo break. At the end of the walk, you have an option of walking around 1,700 steps down into Positano, or you can take a cheap bus from Nocelle.
THE STEALTH CAMP:
I have no idea is this is legal or frowned upon, so take this information with a grain of salt. Just after passing a bunch of sheer rock faces on your right, when the view of Positano is in plain sight, there will be a side trail on your left side heading into a small patch of forrest. Immediately on the left of the trail is a circular, stone structure, and the trail to the final ruin is about 150 feet long. At the end of the trail, a large ruin with an intact roof (minus the holes) sits on top of a series of layered terraces. We set up our tent on one of the terraces and sat on top of the roof of the ruin, enjoying the amazing, private view. Wine and cheese. Remember to bring them!