The Path of the Gods or Sentiero degli Dei in Positano is one of the most famous hikes on the Amalfi Coast because of the steep, rocky cliffs hikers climb seeking the reward of endless views out to the Tyrannean sea and beyond…
After breakfast, we left all of the luxuries of Il San Pietro Hotel behind for this 7k trek suspended between the sea and the sky, this rugged trail is rich in history, myths, legends, culture and even some art.
The rockery is lush with wild herbs, asparagus ferns and orchids. All of which were pointed out to us by our fabulous local guide, Zia Lucy.
We even walked by a vineyard or two planted in the tiered limestone beds that are so prevalent in the area.
We started in Bomerano and ascended to the San Domenico Monastery and the 12th century Santa Maria a Castro church which rest about 400 meters above the sea.
Touring these sturdy, ancient structures with Lucy we gained great insight into the lives that have been lived within these walls.
isolated on this rocky cliff so high above the sea.
We also learned a gruesome tale of their deaths. When a monk died his body was placed in the upper portion of this chamber to “drain”. Some unfortunate person had the job of piercing the skin of the deceased to drain out all of their bodily fluids and begin a mummification process, can you imagine? I think I would just head for the hills!
Which we did! Leaving the monastery we continued to climb up to 600m+ on the stone paths, which on this day were loaded with student groups. To give you some perspective of our altitude here’s a shot looking back down at the grounds of the monastery, you can see the exterior wall of the church to the left, and people sitting out on the lawn. In the summer they hold concerts here, locals hike up with picnics to enjoy the breeze, music and company. Piano’s are brought in by helicopter, wouldn’t that be an amazing sight?
If you are afraid of heights I would not recommend this trail, since there are some very narrow, steep sections. But, If you’re okay with a little vertical, I would highly recommend taking on this challenge. You will attain a much deeper understanding of the local culture and history, not to mention these incredible views.
I’ll close out this post with a little botanical porn!! Lucy was so happy when we finally came across one of her favorite wild orchids, the Naked Man or l’uomo nudo. Can you see the well endowed human shaped petals below? You can even see the face on the petal to the right.