After leaving Amalfi we headed up into the hills to the quaint village of San Lazzaro, which is in the Agerola municipality. We decided to base ourselves here for two nights as a starting point for the Sentiero degli Dei, Path of the Gods hike. But before I get into that let’s talk about our AMAZING Airbnb find.
Our hosts, Gregorio and Anna, went above and beyond the niceties of your usual hosts. From the beginning, Gregorio kindly picked us up from the bus stop and gave us tips about the beautiful walks around the area. That evening we were invited into their home for a traditional home cooked Italian spread. Anna had worked away all afternoon preparing fresh pasta, bread, and delicious sides of fresh beetroot, crumbed zucchini, croquettes, fresh prosciutto and meatballs plus cake for dessert! Everything that was served, including the red wine, was sourced and produced from their own crops and livestock. Gregorio prides himself on eating organic produce and is an extremely passionate and hard-working man. Each morning they delighted us with more authentic Italian cuisine – always a mixture of bite-sized sweet and savoury treats.
The Path of the Gods links the tiny hilltop town of Agerola with Nocelle, a fraction of Positano. I had read that it’s best to walk in this direction as it is mainly downhill, with magnificent views of the Amalfi Coast and the island of Capri. Gregorio’s top tip was to start as early as possible before the heat of the day really picked up. Some parts of the path were still shaded which was a saviour. We started from Bomerano at about 8am and made our way to Nocelle taking in the spectacular views of dizzying cliffs and deep blue waters.
This walk is not recommended to those who are afraid of heights or who suffer from vertigo. Lucky for us Andrew is drawn to heights, even explaining to me that he often has an urge to jump – this may sound weird, but it is apparently a thing – nothing to do with suicidal thoughts but actually affirms ones urge to live (random fact for you!). So Andrew had no problem getting palm-sweatingly (me) close to the cliff edge to have a good look down.
There aren’t just the views to admire, this is a varied hike which goes past towering limestone mountains, caves, colourful wildflowers, through woodlands, past ancient abandoned stone houses and old terraced vineyards and orchards carved into the hillsides. So make sure you look in every direction on your way.
Most of you should know by now that I’m a wee bit obsessed with cats, so I was completely surprised and stoked to find a cute friend along our path. It actually followed us for quite a way, perhaps it had become customised to getting snacks from other tourists.
The official Path of the Gods finishes in Nocelle, from here you can either get a bus/taxi down to Positano or take the stairs. These stairs are also the reason why people recommend walking in the direction we did. They are ungiving – and I could not imagine having to go up them! There are 1,700 steps down (approx 35 mins), that is A LOT of steps! And after hiking for a few hours my legs were already feeling a bit jelly-like. I had to take a few breaks on the way down and decided that the faster I went the easier it was, so Andrew and I started jogging down the last few hundred. BIG mistake! I seriously couldn’t walk right for a week afterwards.
Once at the bottom, I thought we would descend straight into Positano itself but to my leg’s disappoint it was another 1km or so along the roadside until we reached the coastal town. We headed straight to the beach stripped off and had a refreshing and well-deserved swim. We enjoyed a couple of hours relaxing on the beach before heading into the town to find some lunch. Positano is quite a busy tourist hub and we noticed there were a lot of Australians around. When researching for this trip I had read that most people rate Positano and Praiano the top places to stay on the Amalfi Coast, though accommodation was way beyond our budget when I looked into it. But to be honest we were glad we ended up in San Lazzaro and a bit away from the usual tourist trap.
This part of our Italy trip was perhaps our favourite. The Path of Gods is an absolute must-do if you’re visiting the area and we would’ve loved to be able to do another hike or two around San Lazzaro. It was also the hospitality of our hosts and the relaxing nature of our time in San Lazzaro that topped off our stay here in the Agerola region.