Now, flash forward to May 2015. Back in the Summer of 1985, yes people knew of Positano, but very few Americans, and not many others outside of Italy. Back in 85, the only people who went to Positano, were people who as they say are “in-the-know.” I had no idea back then, that this small town would one day be pounced upon by hundreds of thousands of people from all corners of the globe, each Summer starting in the early 1990s, as it is now and who knows for how long? Positano, is now known by millions more than had known of the place way back in 1985, when I first visited this lovely town on Italy’s Amalfi Coast.
As you now know, the town rises steeply from the sea, and up to very high heights and into the sky to the area known now as, The Path of The Gods, the hiking trails high up on the highest points of town. Obviously, the name Path of The Gods comes from The incredible beauty and heights of this area which emerges high above the Sea below, and up into the Heavens with Godlike Beauty along the way. And up at the top are the two small hamlets of Montepertuso and Nocella. These hamlets are part of the town of Positano. Up in Monetpertuso there is a large natural arch that has been carved out by Mother Nature, right into the mountain. Montepertuso was literally named for the arch which translates to “hole in the mountain.” And it’s this arch that many make there way up to Montepertuso to hike up to the arch to take pictures in front of it and to marvel at the abundance of stunning vistas as they look down at Positano to the sea and each and every sight they lay their eyes upon.
OK, back up to the top of Positano, Montpertuso and Nocelle. Legend has it, that it was at this arch where the Virgin Mary had a battle with the Devil, of which traces can be seen in the rock of the Gambera Mountain, with the shape of a Snake and the hole in the arch which it is said was made by the finger of the Virgin Mary. While up in Montepertuso, see the Church of Santa Maria Grazie and go to one of the fine restaurants up there, which includes Ritrovo, a very popular restaurant, considered to have some of the best food in town.
Now I have to tell you that, this is a whole other world, and rather different then Positano down by the sea, the beach, and hotels. When I was going to Positano in the 80s and early 90s, I never went hiking up in the mountains and I hadn’t even heard of others doing it either. And I’d never even gone up there until my fourth trip to town, there was no need to, everything was happening down below, at the beaches, hotels, restaurants, bars, and the caffe’s of lower Positano. It’s the Positano everyone knows, except now there’s another aspect that interest people, yes hiking The Path of The Gods for even more world class spectacular views.
It’s all quite spectacular, and it is now a “thing,” hiking The Path of The Gods. Back in 85, it was not a “thing,” 1985, 86, or 1988, and no one who I know ever knew or spoke of it, and still when I was in Positano in 2015, it had now become a thing. And I a person who knows more than most (90%) of the people going to Positano these days, in 2015 I still didn’t know of this thing known as The Path of The Gods. I became aware of it in 2018, from Instagram a few months before taking my fifth trip to Positano and the Amalfi Coast with my cousin Tony in the Spring of 2018. And this is part of the phenomena of that thing called Instagram. As Positano, Capri, and the Amalfi Coast hold some of the World’s most beautiful scenery you’ve ever seen, people just have to go there and get the ultimate Instagram picture to post. Yes, this is another of “Thing,” posting the most spectacular pictures ever! You’ll get them in Positano, and the Amalfi Coast of Italy.
Wow, I just realized something. I had just thought that it was only because of the popularity of major motion picture films like “Only You” (Marisa Tomei & Robert Downey Jr.) and “Under The Tuscan Sun” that let The Cat Out of The Bag as exposing Positano to the masses who previously had no-idea this little town existed. Yes, I thought it was soley the fault of these two movies, but now as I write of Instagram and The Path of The Gods, I just now realized that it was Instagram too, and maybe even more so responsible for the people of the World discovering Positano and The Amalfi Coast.
Excerpted from Positano The AMALFI COAST by Daniel Bellino Zwicke
Coming Soon … Positano – The Amalfi Coast is a Travel Guide / Cookbook of Positano, Capri, The Amalfi Coast, Naples and the surrounding area. The book is due for late 2019 Publication.
A View From The PATH of THE GODS
The AMALFI COAST
BEST SELLING ITALIAN COOKBOOKS
by Daniel Bellino Zwicke
Author of Upcoming POSITANO – The AMALFI COAST
The AMALFI COAST COOKBOOK / TRAVEL
The PATH of THE GODS
If there’s one quintessential experience you’ve got to partake in when exploring Italy’s stunning Amalfi Coast, it’s hiking the Path Of The Gods Trail. While walking the 7 km path across the ridge from Nocelle to Bomerano, you’ll be rewarded with stunning views of the Amalfi coastline from the moment you step foot onto the trail, until the moment you leave.
The Path of The Gods, or II Sentiero Degli Dei in Italian, is a historic trail connecting the two mountainside hamlets of Nocelle and Bomerano. In the past, it was the only way for locals to get from one town to the other. Now, it’s preserved for tourism and all of our hiking pleasures.
The path got its name due to its incredible awe-inducing views, much like one would imagine when looking up into the heavens.
LENGTH of The TRAIL
The Path of the Gods trail is a 7km point to point trail. Walking the length of the trail one way will take 1.5-2 hours depending on your speed and how much you stop to take pictures and breaks. We hike pretty fast, but also stopped to take a bunch of photos and it took us 1.5 hours to hike the length of the trail.
The Path of The Gods is a point to point trail. As such, you can start at either the town of Bomerano or Nocelle. Most people recommend hiking from Bomerano to Nocelle for two reasons. One, it’s slightly easier as most of the path is a slight downhill grade, and two, you get better views as you’re walking perpendicular to the peninsula the entire time.
Our recommendation? Hike both directions, starting and ending at the same point. The Path of The Gods is an easy hike in both directions, especially for those that hike regularly. It only took us an hour and a half to walk the entire length of the trail in one direction. For more of a half day outing, you’ll definitely want to hike both directions. Plus, more time on the trail means more time soaking in those stunning coastline views!
Starting and ending at the same trailhead also makes getting to and from the trail much easier. We picked the trailhead that was closest to our AirBnB, which if you’re coming from Sorrento or Positano will be Nocelle. If you’re coming from Amalfi, the trailhead you’ll want to start at is Bomerano.
There’s only one main road from Sorrento to Amalfi, which means everyone who wants to travel between those places is driving the same route. Once you get close to Positano, it’s a huge bottleneck of traffic pretty much from there to Amalfi. Save yourself the undue stress and time of sitting in traffic and put your vacation to better use walking on one of the most gorgeous trails in the world.
To start your hike in Nocelle, you need to first get to Positano. To do this you can either take a bus, drive or ride a scooter or bicycle from your hotel. It’s an extremely scenic route along the ocean, so if you have a bike or scooter we would highly recommend riding to town.
I would avoid driving into Positano as parking is super limited, which is the main source of the traffic jams that occur on the way into town. Taking two wheels instead of four also allows you to bypass the traffic jam and arrive at the trailhead faster.
If you don’t have your own form of transportation, not to worry. You have three options.
1. Take a SITA bus that runs from Sorrento to Positano every half hour. Get off in town at Positano Sponda and walk down the main road to Pezzi Pazzi Sas Di De Martino Celeste where you’ll see a set of stairs heading up the mountain. Walk up the 1700 steps up all the way to Nocelle.
2. Alternately, you can take bus 507037 (Amalfi) and get off at Airenzo where you’ll have to walk back down the road a few meters to find the stairs up the mountain to Nocelle.
3. If you’re super adventurous you can try and get off the 507037(Amalfi) bus at Bivio Montepertuso bus stop and then catch a local bus from there up the mountain to Nocelle. Buses depart for Nocelle from the center of Positano every hour so you might have to wait for a bit at the Bivio Montepertuso bus stop depending on when you get there.