Wednesday, November 30, 2011

2011 Amalfi Coast Adventures: Hiking the Sentiero degli Dei (“Path of the Gods”)

Today I had to choose between visiting the small town of Scala near Ravello or hike the famous Sentiero degli Dei (“Path of the Gods”).  I haven’t done any real hiking on this trip because I’ve been having some issues with my asthma and to be honest I made the mistake of watching the movie “127 Hours” and I was a tad scared of the thought of hiking alone in a foreign country in the middle of the hills up to 633 meters above sea level. 

But today I felt pretty good and I decided to conquer my fears of hiking alone.  Plus I didn't want to have any regrets on passing up the opportunity to hike this very popular trail. 

The plan was to hike from Bomerano to Nocelle which I read on my Sunflower Landscapes “Sorrento-Amalfi-Capri car tours and walks” book by Julian Tippet. I would highly recommend this book to anyone who wants to do some hiking on the Amalfi Coast.

First, I caught an early Sita bus to Amalfi then on to the town of Bomerano by way of Agerola.   From Bomerano the path starts just to the left of the main church in Piazza Paolo Capazzo.  From here the path goes through Grotta del Biscott, Colle Serra and ends in Nocelle where I took the bus back down to Positano then back to Praiano. 

The path was basically well marked except for a couple of places where I just wasn’t sure.  Luckily there was a hiker to point me in the right direction.

I found this hiking sign with this very cool statue of Mary in this cave like hole in the mountain.  It was as if she was sending her best wishes to all the hikers off to tackle the Path of the Gods trail.  Cool!

I later met a couple of hikers along the way, this one woman was very interesting and she spent a few minutes talking with me (her in Italian and me in English) but somehow it worked.  I asked if I could take her photo and she politely posed.  We bid each other Ciao and went on our merry way.  She was heading in the opposite direction.  In fact all the hikers I passed were going in the opposite direction. 

Now I can understand why this trail is called the “Path of the Gods”.  You almost feel god like standing above this magnificent view. 

Big carin with contributions made by hiker from all over the world. Can you see my rock? :)

I crash into a hiker taking a rest on this rock and I asked which way to Nocelle.  He told me go right up the path. When I reached the fork in the trail I turned back to him and he gestured to go right.

Trail markings
Now, I was in really good spirits at the beginning of the trail but that movie started to mess with my head because there were some really uneven rocky sections.  And to top it all off, I kept hearing rustling in the bushes as I walked along. I think they were the big lizards I kept seeing but I had visions of a rattle snake popping out from the bushes and attacking me. 

Finally I can see Nocelle and just like in a marathon race you think you’re close but then you’re not.  I finally get to this section and it went down under these enormous trees with leaves on the ground. It was dark, it was scary, I was alone and I was wishing my good hiking buddies were with me right about now.  Since that last hiker at the fork on the trail, I have not seen one person on the path and it was really making feel very uncomfortable. 

I heard another rustling sound and when I looked up I saw the face of this dog!  I got startled but I also think I startled him. J

I decided to buckle down and head down that dark and creepy path.  I look up and I could see my little friend!  Can you believe that he was actually waiting for me! 

My hiking buddy

My little hiking partner would walk ahead then stop and wait for me to catch up.  He actually escorted me all the way  to Nocelle which I thought was so cool.  But more importantly he kept me company when I really needed it.  I would talk to him along the way and I tried to keep up with his pace (he was a fast hiker). 

Finally the path evens out and there are hand railings for the rest of the way. Once we got to the town, my little friend turned towards me. He was a little shy and didn’t come close to me. I said Grazie and Ciao and then he disappeared back down the trail again. It was like he brought me right to the town and once he knew I got here, he was okay to leave me. 

I taped a short video to feature my little friend and his unselfish act of kindness to a hiker who really needed it. 

Thank you so much my little friend where ever you are!  


  1. OK,I got the chills reading this. Such a great story and a wonderful memory. Animals do have instincts. Glad you found a comforting friend when you needed company. You are daring going it alone, but you met a friend and looks like spectacular views.

  2. How wonderful to have such a devoted guide. What a day of adventure and sights for you! Well done.

  3. I would have been nervous too on that hike. But your little hiking friend showed up at just the right moment. What a great story to tell!

  4. I love how your buddy kept looking back to check on you and make sure you were still coming. It looks and sounds like a magical place to hike. Love the Madonna in that heart-shaped cave!

  5. Congratulations on a great hike and overcoming your fears. I know how scary it can be at times when you hike in a foreign country and I usually have someone with me. Very brave but you also had some great spirits to help guide you along the way. Thanks for sharing your wonderful experience and trail.

  6. Hi everyone, thanks so much for your comments.

    M, yes it is really cool how animals have instincts. I was never so happy to see this little guy in my life. I couldn't believe that there were no other hikers in the second half of the trail. It was wonderful to have the company.

    Jerry, yes it was a very special guide. :)

    Nancy, I will never forget my little friend and he definitely did show up at the right time.

    Annie, isn't that something...that got to me too. In fact one section it took me forever to get down because of the steep and uneven rocks. When I looked up I could see his little head looking down trying to see if I was coming. This video was pretty much how our little hike together went. He would go ahead, stop, and look back to see if I was coming. It was the funniest and coolest thing. I love that Madonna too and the hole does look like a heart. cool!

    Marta, thank you so much. I really wished I had brought my hiking stick because the pressure on my knees were incredible during some of the sections and also if there was a snake in the bush I could've used it in self defense. But oh well live and learn. :)

  7. Hey, this is RedRedWine from Slow Travel. I was fascinated to hear of your dog escort. The SAME thing happened to me when I was lost one night in Greece. I was only 19 and on my own in a countryside area in the middle of the night when a taxi dropped me in the wrong place. A dog showed up and stayed with me until I was safe. How cool to read about your similar experience. :-)

    1. Hi Chandi, thanks so much for your comments. That is a very cool story from Greece. Your situation seems more scarier than mine, because it was at night in the middle of no where.

      It is amazing to me how the dogs we both encountered sensed that we needed help. And it is so very cool how our little angels stuck with us until they knew we were safe.

      My little hiking buddy ranks up there in my top most fondest travel memories.

      You will really enjoy hiking the Path of the Gods and if by chance you bump into my little hiking buddy, tell him I said hello and thanks again. If you are by yourself, he may just escort you as to Nocella as well. That would be awesome!

      Have a wonderful trip & enjoy Italy!


It's me Trekcapri (aka Kathy). Thanks so much for visiting and leaving a comment.