When you think of Italy you think of driving vespa’s along windy roads, eating the finest Italian cuisine paired with endless wine, art and romance. It’s a country on the top of almost every travelers list. Averaging over 50 million tourists a year.
This was my second trip to Italy and my first time heading South to the Amalfi Coast and over to Positano. I was so excited to continue exploring one of my favorite countries, but this time with the hope of finding less pasta and more outdoor adventure. Okay, maybe still a lot of pasta.
Traveling from Rome to Salerno the first thing I did upon arriving was head toward the water to grab the ferry. You can take a bus, but it was going to be quicker by water. The return trip was a different story due to weather, which is one way to quickly realize how MANY tourists are staying in these small coastal towns.
You can purchase your ferry ticket at the counter or online. The ferry was only 8 euros and the cheapest boat ride I took. Not to mention it was at sunset, so get your cameras ready!
If you’re me that would be my Nikon D810.
The ferry makes stops along the coast in different ports. We were getting off at the Amalfi Coast to transfer to a two person dingy. There were four of us.… Yes, it was terrifying.
While waiting at the Amalfi Coast, a harvest moon started rising above the boats in the port and the cliffs were still holding onto color from the sky. It was an Italy I had never experienced before!
Our little two person dingy showed up and somehow fit all four of us plus our luggage. Did I mention I was traveling with my parents? It was their first time visiting Italy and I was getting to be their tour guide! So when my parents saw the boat, there were some concerns.
Somehow we all fit as our Italian driver convinced us it would be fine… But then he nervously laughed.
We were staying in a small inlet East of Positano, that I will keep unnamed because I loved it too much to have spoiled! It was so magical! It cost a penny compared to Positano, Amalfi or Sorrento and had everything from your own boat taxi to a family owned restaurant.
Each morning I woke up to capture sunrise and couldn’t believe how stunning it was. The cliffs turned golden from the sunrise and by mid-day the cove transformed from fisherman quietly moving about to sunbathers packing the beach.
This is what a coastal destination is suppose to be about, right?
If you’re like me, your eyes would start veering toward the cliffs towering overhead. There had to be rock climbing? Hiking? Cliff jumping? Something!
A HIKE FOR THE GODS
So I started searching around on one of my favorite apps: AllTrails to see hiking trails near me.
It wasn’t long before I honed in on Path of the Gods as the hike I wanted to explore. The only problem was understanding the true starting point. It didn’t seem to have an actual trail head.
ASK LOCALS - BUT MAKE YOUR OWN PATH.
I don’t mean that in a bad way. More, you keep in mind the Italian mindset.
When I told one local that I wanted to hike the Path of the Gods, he told me his ideal route. I said that seems out of the way? He responded with, “Why hike up, when you can hike down?”
I couldn’t stop laughing over this response.
Of course he would advice the visitors that have primary come to sit, relax and drink limoncello, to hike DOWN! Despite his tempting travel advice of taking a bus uphill to Bomerano, I asked him to take me by boat to Positano where I would start at sea level.
That morning as I climbed from his boat, his final words, “At LEAST take the bus to the top of Positano to avoid the thousands of steps.”
Last minute my Dad decided to join me and with us both ignoring the man’s advice, we started following the AllTrails map I downloaded. There was little signage at first, but as we climbed further out of town we began seeing beautifully painted signs and the direction became more clear.
WHAT I TAKE ON A LONG DAY HIKE:
Although the stairs were in fact brutal, every turn would take us down a different colorful pathway.
The viewpoints were stunning and with our morning cloud coverage I was in heaven.
It wasn’t until about mile 4 that we started seeing all the “downward” hikers. The trail starts getting more rocky and I would recommend ankle support boots. A woman next to me broke her ankle and had to get evacuated by helicopter!
The last couple miles the heat was brutal and I was really trying to make up for the time spent helping the woman with the broken ankle.
The cliffs were now South of me as I followed the trail North to Agerola. I saw an area talking about the rock climbing there and I could only imagine how fun it would be. The disappointing part with hiking up and not DOWN though was that there wasn’t a peak or ending point. Most people end in Positano and take a boat or bus back. I just hit a parking lot and turned around.
By the end of the day, my Dad and I had hiked over 15 miles and were covered in sweat and dirt.
They say, to believe the legend of the God’s, one must walk the pathway along the picturesque landscape. And something tell’s me the God’s walked DOWN and not up!
You can learn more about WHY I’m logging so many miles on the Trek for Girls page!
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Tara Shupe is a humanitarian & outdoor photographer, storyteller and positive influencer. Or at least tries to be! She believes through global awareness we will all be inspired to make a difference!