In May of 2013 I went down to the Amalfi Coast for the very first time. As someone who likes to have a bit of a plan going into anything I did a search on the Goggle for things to do. One of the things that popped up was to do a hike called The Path of the Gods. The photos looked beautiful. I’m in shape enough that I figured I’d be able to get through it, and I used to hike a lot as a teen so I figured I’d give it a shot once I got there.
I was going to be in Amalfi for 2 days . Due to some delays I got in late, but figured I’d still get up and go out there the next day. I was quite tired but wanted to do it on the day I had the full day. As I missed much of my arrival day due to delays and I wasn’t sure how much time I’d have in regards to when I had to leave the next day.
So I got up and got ready to go. I was staying in Atrani and walked the 10 or so minutes to the center of Amalfi. From there I was able to catch a bus to head to the starting point for my hike. I bought a 20 oz bottle of water with me.
The hike was pretty easy for someone that hasn’t hiked in a long time to be able to do. For much of it I was alone without other hikers near me. Sometimes I would watch up to one or they’d catch up to me but our strides and breaks would soon have us drift back apart.
The views were simply stunning. This was my first full day in Italy and if this was to be my first full fledged experience with Italy, I could not have been happier. Maybe because of how my first trip began is why I have such a love affair with Italy.
I saw the coastline, I saw farms, I saw woods, and I saw a lot of sun. The sun was hot, and very soon into my hike I had regretted my decision to not bring more water with me. There were many areas of no relief from direct sunlight pouring down on me. It was quickly becoming a dangerous situation.
The hike took me about 4 hours to do and all I know is that on more than one occasion I thought that I may just give up and lie down and hope someone came by who would go on to help me. I began to curse myself for not bringing a larger water bottle. Who cares about crappy tan lines if you’re dead!
Towards the end of the hike you have two different options. I was beginning to get dizzy and choose the one which I quickly thought was going to end in disaster but ended up probably saving my life. I could be a bit over dramatic, or I could be right on point. Either way, I personally consider myself lucky.
The path I choose took me to the 1,700 steps down which would bring me from Nocelle to Arienzo. Yes that is not a yes, 1,700 steps. When you feel like you are going to pass out from dehydration, this is not an easy feat. After a couple of flights I thought I needed to turn around and try to find an alternate route as I had heard there was one without the stairs but I could not even bring myself to get back up the few stairs I had already descended. I continued to berate myself for my poor decisions when I heard a voice say “Hello would you like a lemon squeezy?”
I was unsure what to think at first. This was a gentleman standing there by a house asking me if I wanted a lemon squeezy. First I didn’t even know what a lemon squeezy was, second I had no idea who this man was. I weighed my options die from dehydration or die at the hands of this man or finally have a lemon squeezy and live to tell the tale. I choose to try this lemon squeezy and hope for the best.
Well a lemon squeezy is basically lemonade. And it was delicious! The man told me about the lemons coming from his grandfather’s lemon farm. The man ran a bed and breakfast and sold lemon squeezies to tourist taking the hike. I believe my lemon squeezy was 2.50 Euro, maybe it was less. All I know is after the mini treats that he gave me that his girlfriend made with orange from their orange trees as well as multiple re-fills of the lemon squeezy it was worth way more as it saved me from dehydration. I gave him at least 5 Euro and I told him to please take it as I had had more than my fair share.
I continued down the stairs met a super friendly gotto (cat) and then finally arrived at the bottom. I walked the rest of the way to Positano when down the stairs (yes more stairs) and practically died when I got into the ocean I was so happy.
It wasn’t easy, but that was due to my own stupidity. So I suggest everyone do it as it is gorgeous and the terrain is not that difficult to hike, but please plan accordingly. I myself would love to do it again one day. The vistas and experiences you will get are unparalleled.
You can find some good information here: