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Walking in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast
Landscapes of SORRENTO, the
AMALFI COAST and CAPRI: walks and car tours
by Julian Tippett
A trip based on this book was the most enjoyable I have ever had. (Nick, Amazon)
The local holiday rep was so impressed by our local knowledge, courtesy of your book, that she took down details and sent a request to her mother to forward a copy to her! She felt that this was the first detailed guide book to this particular part of Italy.
The content, diagrams, maps, and directions are excellent; the pull-out map inside the back cover most useful. (AT, Amazon)
I do not think that there is a better publication for those of us who want to explore the ‘real’ countryside of Europe. (EMW, Crewe)
Click below to read walker’s reviews and use the ‘Look Inside’ feature on Amazon.co.uk (RRP £12.99)
Or, purchase the complete book as a downloadable PDF using the Add to Basket button below (£10).
One of Sunflower’s most popular guides ever — just look at the comments on Amazon. Sorrento, Amalfi and Capri are wonderful areas for walkers. Accident of history and steepness of terrain have preserved a network of ancient footpaths linking the coastal towns of the Neapolitan Riviera and the surrounding countryside. You can either climb almost from your hotel doorstep up into the lemon groves or take a bus into the hills and walk back down. All along the way you will visit hillside villages or remote monasteries and be regaled by the most stunning views. The flowers are a constant delight: from broom and rosemary in March to freesias and cistus in May. In autumn, the woods are carpeted with cyclamen. Most of the paths can be followed easily by people who do not claim to be regular walkers, though committed hikers will like them just the same.
Area covered: The entire Amalfi (Sorrento) Peninsula, from the famous Amalfi Coast to the foothills of the Lattari Mountains; also the island of Capri, 6km off the coast
The best months for walking the Amalfi Coast are April-June, September/October.
Where to stay
Sorrento or Amalfi are best for access to local buses and ferries.
7 car tours, 72 walk segments, 17 excursions with picnic
136 pages + touring/walking map; plans of Sorrento, Positano, Amalfi, Ravello; 6 walk planners showing the 72 walk segments in the book
8th ed, 2015; ISBN 978-1856914673; UK retail price £12.99 / USA retail price $17.99
Table of contents:
The Amalfi Peninsula 7
Planning a holiday 8
Getting about 8
Pronunciation guide 11
The inner man 11
Flora and fauna 12
The footpaths – their nature and origin 14
Hints to walkers 15
The walk planners 17
Guides and maps 18
Excursions with picnic 20
Tour 1: CIRCUIT FROM SORRENTO 26
Tour 2: SANTA MARIA DEL CASTELLO AND MONTE FAITO 28
Tour 3: MONTE PERTUSO AND NOCELLE 29
Tour 4: THE AGEROLA PLAIN 30 MAJOR SIGHTS OUTSIDE THE REGION 30
Tour 5: POGEROLA 32
Tour 6: PONTONE 32
Tour 7: TRAMONTI 33
Amalfi/Ravello (Walk segments 1-17) 34
Plans of Amalfi and Ravello 36
Walk segments and planner 38
Positano/Praiano (Walk segments 18-33) 58
Plan of Positano 59
Walk segments and planner 60
Conca dei Marini (Walk segments 34-38) 81
Walk segments and planner 82
Maiori/Minori (Walk segments 39-46) 88
Walk segments and planner 88
Sorrento (Walk segments 47-65) 100
Plan of Sorrento 101
Walk segments and planner 102
Capri (Walk segments 66-72) 121
Walk segments and planner 122
Bus timetables 129
Country code for walkers and motorists 136
Fold-out area map inside back cover
Agerola 7, 21, 30, 38, 60
Amalfi 7, 9, 10, 19, 20, 24-25, 34-35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 43, 45, 50, 51, 81, 82, 86
Town plan 36
Anacapri 23, 121, 122, 123, 125, 126-127, 128
Annunziata 26, 113
Arco Naturale 23, 122, 124
Atrani 8, 12-13, 20, 21, 25, 34, 37, 39, 40-42, 54, 55, 56
Belvedere Migliara 122, 128
Bomerano 30, 38, 60, 61, 73, 79
Bosco Grande 45, 53
Campidoglio 39, 47
Capitignano 33, 89, 95
Capri 4-5, 7, 9, 19, 23, 26-27, 103, 121, 122, 123-128
Caserma Forestale 61, 65, 66, 67
Colle la Serra 61, 70-74
Colli di Fontanelle 27, 102, 103, 117, 118, 119
Colli di San Pietro 58, 61, 76, 100, 102, 117
Conca dei Marini 7, 10, 22, 25, 38, 81, 82, 84-86
Erchie 89, 96
Ercolano (Herculaneum) 9, 30
Ieranto 102, 113, 115
I Trasiti 65, 67
Lone 39, 49
Maiori 7, 11, 14, 22, 25, 33, 88, 89, 91-95, 99
Marina della Lobra 102, 113
Marina del Cantone 23, 27, 102, 115
Marina di Furore 58, 61, 75, 80
Marina di Puolo 102, 104
Marina Grande 121, 122, 125
Massa Lubrense 19, 26, 100, 102, 103, 105, 106, 109, 110, 113
Minori 7, 11, 22, 25, 34, 39, 44, 54, 57, 88, 89, 90, 93
Minuta 39, 45-47, 52
Monte Comune 65, 67, 76-77
Monte Faito 23, 28
Monte Pertuso 22, 29, 32, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 66
Monte Solaro 23, 122
Napoli (Naples) 4, 9, 10, 31
Nerano 23, 102, 103, 114, 115
Nocelle 22, 29, 58, 61, 63, 64, 70
Paestum 30, 31
Pantano 102, 103, 104, 105
Pastena 39, 49
Pogerola 20, 32, 34, 39, 43, 50, 52, 82
Polvica 88, 89, 93
Pompei 4, 9, 30, cover
Ponteprimario 95, 96
Pontone 32, 39, 45,47, 51, 54, 55
Positano 7, 9, 10, 22, 23, 28-29, 38, 58, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 67, 68-69
Town plan 59
Positano (Bar Internazionale) 58, 61, 67-69
Praiano 7, 10, 25, 58, 60, 71, 78
Pucara 89, 96
Punta Campanella 102, 116, 117
Ravello 1, 7, 8, 11, 12-13, 19, 20, 22, 31, 34, 36, 37, 39, 41, 42-43, 44, 46, 47, 57, 89, 93
Town plan 37
Recommone 102, 114, 115
Salerno 9, 10, 25, 30
Sambuco 88, 89, 93
San Costanzo 26, 100, 102, 115, 116
San Domenico 2, 61, 74
San Lazzaro 21, 31, 38, 39, 82, 83, 84
San Nicola 89, 93
Santa Caterina 47
Sant’Agata 19, 27, 100, 102, 103, 107, 110, 111, 118, 119
Santa Maria 26, 102, 108, 109, 113
Santa Maria del Castello 28-29, 61, 66, 67, 68-69, 76
Santa Maria de Olearia 88, 89, 91, 92
Santuario dell’Avvocata 88, 89, 96, 97, 98, 99
Scala 19, 39, 46
Sorrento 4, 7, 10, 23, 26, 100, 101, 102, 103, 104, 106, 111, 117
Town plan 101
Spiaggia di Conca dei Marini 22
Termini 9, 23, 26-27, 102, 103, 107, 108, 114, 116
Torello 39, 44, 54, 55
Torre Damecuta 5, 122, 126
Torre dello Ziro 38, 39, 40, 45, 55, 56
Tovere 82, 84, 85, 86
Tramonti 7, 32-33, 93, 94, 95, 136
Trugnano 89, 96
Valle dei Mulini (Valley of the Mills) 39, 51
Valle delle Ferriere 39, 52, 53
Vallone di Praia 61, 78-80, 80
Vesuvio (Vesuvius) 4, 30, 104, cover
Vèttica Maggiore 24, 58, 60, 61, 71, 72-73, 74, 78
Vèttica Minore 87
Villa Cimbrone 1, 8, 20, 22, 37, 41, 43
Villa Jovis 23, 122, 123
Villa di Pollio 23, 102, 104
Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast, 8th ed (May 2015); updated 14/11/2016
Updates for walks and car tours (drives) in Sorrento and the Amalfi Coast given below supplement those provided in the guidebook. It is vital that this Update is read in conjunction with the text of the book, but note that the Update applies only to the edition stated and not to any earlier editions. (If you have an older edition of this book you can “upgrade” to the latest edition at half price.)
Information has been forwarded to us by users of the book, and Sunflower Books offers the data in good faith but cannot be held responsible for any misleading or inaccurate content in the Update. Unless indicated otherwise, what appears here has not been verified by the author or publisher, so please allow due caution when new or amended routes are suggested. Each piece of information is dated; bear in mind that some of the older observations may have since been overtaken by events or further changes. If, during your holiday, you are using the current edition of the guide and are able to provide any additional updating to add to this page, we will be pleased to hear from you. Please send information, preferably by e-mail, to email@example.com.
Note: In addition to the various amendments shown below, two new segments have been added:
Segment 30b Santa Maria del Castello — Colle di San Pietro, and
Ascent of Monte San Michele (the highest of the Monte Lattari mountains)
Buses: On the Sorrento to Amalfi route, at peak times between April and October buses can become very crowded and consequently some advice might help (which applies to this route only – all the others should be OK):
– It pays to get to the bus in good time if you are taking the bus from its starting point.
– If the bus is full – which means as many standing as sitting! – it might not stop to pick people up from intermediate stops, so it is advisable to have a plan up your sleeve in case the bus sails past when you are waiting at a stop.
– A full bus also hinders getting the bus driver to drop you off a specific stop.
– The bus sometimes runs up to 15 minutes late when full, which might make connecting with the Monte Pertuso bus a problem. You could walk up to Monte Pertuso in 45min from the Bar Internazionale in Positano, where many people get off, by taking the start of Walk segment 24b to reach the Monte Pertuso road, and then turn right to follow this up to the village. The road is gently graded and carries little traffic. If you are staying in or near Amalfi, the best way by far to connect with the Monte Pertuso bus is to take a nine o’clock (or thereabouts) ferry to Positano to catch the 10.20 bus from its terminus in Piazza dei Mulini. (Author, 2/15))
Bus tickets – new prices
On SITA and EAV buses the tickets allow a specified number of minutes’ travel, including changes, at a number of time/fare levels (new reduced fares from Spring 2015): up to 45 minutes now costs €1.20; long journeys (e.g. Sorrento — Amalfi) €2.70. Alas the tickets are no longer interchangeable between SITA and EAV — you have to specify which sort you want. On Capri each ticket (bus or funicular) now costs €1.80. + To buy tickets in Amalfi, besides the Tourist Office you can also go to the tobacconist to be found on the right corner of the road that leads from the water-front into the main Duomo piazza in Amalfi. (Author, 6/15)
Segment 1: The path outside the road tunnel is under repair, so you have to walk through the tunnel. If you intend going down to to the sea-front, the steps down are also under repair. To get to the sea-front, on reaching the main road turn right and, after about 50m/yds, find other steps going down. (Author 6/16)
Segment 3: Option 2 in both directions (and Walk planning tip 1) is currently not available owing to repairs to the steps leading down from the entrance to Villa Cimbrone. (Author 6/16)
Segment 13: Walk planning tip: those wanting an extended walk in the hills flanking the coast could combine this segment with Segment 34 Pogerola to San Lazzaro. However, instead of descending into Pogerola to finish Segment 13 so as to pick up Segment 34 from its start, you can cut across from one to the other staying in the hills. To do this: at the prominent path fork (page 53, next to last line) take the right fork. This path now takes a gradually ascending route, keeping the slope up on your right. Look for intermittent CAI marks, and at path forks tend to take the upper (right-hand) choice. After about 1km/0.6mi you come to a spring Acquolella at the foot of the rocky gully that divides Monte Molignano on the left from the main mountainside on the right. Ascend this gully; at its top reach a broad path that climbs to the next corner of the mountain, where it curves right. Shortly Segment 34 joins from the left. Continue on Segment 34. (Author 2/13)
Segments 32, 33 and 36: The end sections of these segments make a descent down the side of the gorge down to Marina di Furore. The paths on both sides of the gorge have become blocked by damage and, particularly, the repair works that have now started. Alas there are no alternative routes available to allow a visit to the Marina other than by means of a lengthy trek along the main road. I shall correct this update as soon as word comes through that the repairs have ben completed. (Author 4/16)
Segment 34: Option 2 (bottom of page 83), route via Convento di Cospito. This fascinating and exhilarating route that descends to the remote ruins of a convent and continues by climbing a rocky cleft requiring some scrambling and a head for heights. Add 30 mins walking time and 125m ascent. From the sharp right bend, take the level path going half left. Follow this for 400m/yds until it reaches the foot of a cliff and the view ahead opens. Follow a path going obliquely right down the slope, heading for the convent now visible 500m/yds down/ahead. From the convent take the path with handrail to the foot of the cliff 150m away, and turn right. The path hugs the foot of the cliffs and ascends steeply to a rocky cleft. Climb this on rough steps aided by wooden poles fixed to the rock. At the top of the cleft the path continues round to the left, and follows the top rim of the cliffs for 200m/yds, until it turns right, ascends a few more steps, becomes gravel and, after 200m/yds more, joins a broad stone path. Turn left down to San Lazzaro. (Author 10/10)
Segment 36: See Segments 32, 33 and 36 above.
Segment 38: The steep steps beside the cemetery up from/down to the main road are currently under repair blocking the path.
Segment 38a: After passing under the arch of the chapel La Carmine, continue ahead., looking for the third path on the left. Path one comes after about 150m. Then, after 300m more you pass under three arches supporting a house against the hillside, followed by path two on the left. After 100m more the path ascends a rise followed by a descent of 44 steps with house number 33 on the left. Turn left immediately after this down steps to the main coast road. Turn right on the main road for 200m to a major fork. Take the right fork (Agerola) for 200m more to see narrow steps coming down from the right (with a blockage half way up). Now continue ‘round the bend to the left….’
Segment 38b: ‘just past the cemetery’ check the narrow steps up to the left If you can see no blockage take them as the path is clear. If still blocked continue on the road to a junction with the coast road and turn left. After 200m/yds more, by a road sign ‘Lone’ go left up steps to the upper path and turn right to walk to the road tunnel. (Author 6/16)
Segment 41: All went well until we reached line 3 on page 92: “Turn right and continue past a waymark to a cistern“. After passing the waymark and before reaching the cistern, a very large tree had fallen across the path, blocking the path completely. A rough route had been hacked out through heavy vegetation to the right of the path, climbing up steeply through the overgrown terracing, and then making its way back to the path, 50m/yds or so beyond the cistern. When reaching the level path again, be sure to retrace the path back to the cistern, otherwise you will miss ” … a short steep rocky descent alongside a small stream. ” mentioned at line 6 on page 92. The cistern itself is completely hidden by vegetation until you are close enough to touch it, although you can hear the water dripping in/out of it. (User, 10/13)
50 Pantano — Massa Lubrense: In May 2014 a massive landslide obliterated the road only 100yds/m from the Pantano end of this segment, making the segment completely impassable. A way around in the olive grove above the landslip has become established:
Segment 50a: Just before the landslip fork left up a track to a metal gate. Hop round this on its right and continue along a narrow path by a low wall. Continue ahead to rejoin the road. Turn sharp right and then first left to rejoin the main route.
Segment 50b: (Top of page 106) Turn sharp R up the wide road. After 100m (just before station of the cross no. 8), find a gap in the kerb on the left. Turn L here into an olive grove on a dusty track. Shortly a narrow path forks L by the start of a low wall. Follow path and wall for 100m to a metal gate, hop around this to its left and join a track that descends to meet the road once again, having successfully bypassed the landslide. (Author 04/2016)
Segments 51b Massa Lubrense to Sorrento, and 54b Massa Lubrense to Santa Maria: The early part of each of these segments leads to Via Rachione. This street has now lost its name plate.
Segment 56: In the middle section of the segment a stretch of the “paved path” (Segment 56a line 16; Segment 56b also line 16) had slumped down the hillside making the going awkward for maybe 20 m/yds. Now a further landslip has made the section completely impassable so a detour is required. Barriers have been put in place at both ends of the stretch. To avoid the section take the following action, or note completely new versions of Segment 56 (see below at end of this update) which will replace the current ones in the next edition:
Segment 56a: At the barrier take the path left the short stretch up to the main road. Turn right and descend for 400m/yds to the first narrow road on the right. Descend this to a broad road and turn right. After 100m the original route joins from the right; continue ahead to the chapel in Crocevia.
Segment 56b: Return to the start of Via Li Schisani and turn left. After 100m/yds turn left up a narrow road which leads up after 400m/yds to a main road. Turn left and, after 400m/yds at the start of a right hand hairpin bend, go left down a path. In just a few metres turn right onto the original route on the concrete path. (Author 09/15)
Segment 57. 5th line. Salita Castello: The castle is now restored and well worth a visit for its delightful site, a commanding tower and splendid all-round views. It’s open: Tuesday-Saturday 16.30-20.00, and Sunday 10.30-12.30 and 16.30-20.00. (Author 10/13)
Segment 59: Penultimate bullet. The broken steps have deteriorated further so, to get to the beach, it is probably better to go left down the much easier path down to the fence. Here pick up a path going right through vegetation to the beach. (Author 10/13) • At present this segment has barriers preventing passage on this path owing to a recent fire rendering the path unstable in the opinion of the authorities. Locals are ignoring the barriers at their own risk. (Author 11/16)
Segment 61: This segment has been paved most of the way down to the lighthouse, but the last few hundred metres were not done and are now in a bad state. A superb new route nearby has recently been opened up by local activists and this will become the new Segment 61 in the next edition. To enjoy it now see below at end of this update. (Author 11/16)
Segment 66, Line 8: About half way up the “1.5 km” the path takes a right turn, still signed Villa Jovis. (Author 2/13)
Segment 67: The Arco Naturale, astonishingly since it is a massive piece of natural limestone, is showing signs of serious weakness, which has necessitated repairs with much scaffolding. This looks rather unsightly. The path is unaffected. (Author 4/16)
Walk planning tip from Anacapri: There is a very good path up to the top of Mt Solaro. From Piazza Vittoria (on the chair-lift side of the road), take the path past boutiques towards Axel Munthe’s villa. After maybe 150m/yds look on the right for Via Monte Solaro. It goes parallel with the chairlift and enables the energetic to go up separately from those who use the chair lift, and meet at the top. Also a descent option. (Author 2/13)
Here is an additional segment
Owing to lack of space the book describes Segment 30 in one direction only. This is a key segment for anyone wanting to put together a long distance walk from Sorrento to Amalfi (and maybe beyond). But those wanting to go Amalfi to Sorrento are stymied. So, here is the missing description.
Segment 30b Santa Maria del Castello — Colle di San Pietro
Time: 4 hours: Grade: moderate, with a height gain of 250m/800ft
- Leaving the church drive, turn left. In 200m/yds at a crossing of minor roads, turn left. This narrow tarmac road bends right after 50m/yds and passes a farmhouse on the left, heading downhill. 100m beyond the farmhouse and just by a newly-built wall, the track continues up a rather overgrown track, with wooden steps, which become visible after about 50m.
- Your path is marked by red/white CAI flashes with varying degrees of regularity all the way, for this first stretch with a few signs. The track roughens and turns into a path, and leads past the remains of a rusty hoist cable on the right about 4 mins from the farmhouse. A fence starts on your left. Shortly pass a children’s swing on the right and continue on to reach a path coming up from the left. Turn right, then immediately left.
- Following this path up through vegetable terraces the path starts to climb, first gently then more steeply, before turning inland. The fence reappears on the left and then on your right. Continue up the path for 50m. Reach a gap in the fence on the right (the path ahead becomes rather overgrown). Stop and note CAI waymarks uphill to your left.
- Now with good CAI marks, turn L uphill, following the rocky waymarked path. After five minutes or so, the path regains the cliff edge at an unstable fence. The path bends left around the head of a valley then rises to join a ridge, where it turns right, uphill again.
- Continue uphill to reach a ladder stile, which you cross. After the stile, a track joins from the right. Here turn L uphill. CAI marks now become scarce.
- Continue ahead for 100m to the corner of a field by a gate. Keep left of the corner, and follow the fence on your right. This is Monte Comune, the highest point of your walk. You are walking through a rather featureless cattle grazing enclosure stretching down to the left. Follow the fence until it ends by a gate. Continue for 30m more, dropping slightly, to a wire fence which marks the edge of sea cliffs, with an arrow pointing right. Turn R and cross a second ladder stile.
- Continue v. slightly right to join another fence on your right and pass (do not go over) another ladder stile. Some 100m/yds after the stile go a little left, gently downhill, to join a waymarked path at edge of rocks (with a fence on the left), with another arrow sign pointing right. CAI marks now become prolific again. Continue on this path, with fences on both sides converging, to cross a third ladder stile (collapsed October 2014).
- Views should open up now ahead, of the rest of the peninsula, with Sorrento down half right. The fence now curves off to the right. The way now goes obliquely down the steep hill towards a grove of trees. Initially hidden from sight is a ruined farmhouse, but as you reach the trees you pass it, with a waymark on its corner
- Continue downhill past the grove, through the bracken, with a valley starting to appear on the right. Note a tree covered hill ahead in the distance with a metal cross — you will be heading for this later.
- The path continues steeply down, keeping to the top of the “spur” (or ridge) between the two drops, firstly slightly on the right hand side of the spur before regaining the centre of the spur at a col in front of a striking rocky peak ahead on the spur.
- On reaching the rocky peak, take a path zigzagging down left, to a better path leading right by a fence below the peak.
- Continue by the fence towards a col with old stone gate posts (Porta d’Arola).
- Turn R at the gateposts to join a good path. After only 5 metres turn L and follow the path for a while up through the woods. Ignoring a first left fork, continue to a second (4 mins after the Porta), and take it uphill (a clear waymark is on a tree 10m up the path). Follow the path up to the rim of the plateau, passing a stone farm building on the right. Turn R to walk WSW along the edge. The path reaches the end of the promontory (look down at the col ahead and note a green roofed square concrete building) and then strikes inland, downhill, to meet a good path at a T-junction. Turn left to the col.
- Continue past the concrete building to pick up a path through the woods, curving to the right and climbing obliquely up the hillside in the general direction of the metal cross (invisible from here). The path reaches a col, clear of the trees and on your left is a clear waymark on a tree. (If you carry on further you reach the cross after 5 minutes for a good view of Sorrento. Return to this point).
- At the tree, take a small path heading left (due S), across scrubby vegetation. After about 100m/yds join an old mule track descending the slope left. This descends the hillside in six long gentle zigzags. This is overgrown at the top and take care on the uneven surface. It improves towards the bottom of the slope, and finally arrives at a fork; take the left hand one to a large gate. Pass through into the gardens of a former palazzo, now a conference centre. Descend through the gardens, keeping generally left, to the main gates and a road junction. Here continue straight ahead along the road for 300m/yds to reach the main road in Colle di San Pietro.
56 Sant’Agata — Sorrento (new version for 9th edition)
This segment replaces (in 2015) the previous version which has become impassable owing to an unrepaired landslip. This version follows a narrow road with fine views over the Bay of Naples to the sleepy village of Priora, followed by old tracks down to Sorrento.
56a Sant’Agata to Sorrento
Time: 1h40min; Grade: easy
With your back to the Hotel delle Palme in the centre of Sant’Agata, take the road to the left, pass the large old church and walk uphill on Via Deserto. After 400m/yds at a mini-roundabout take the road to the right. After 400m/yds more at the gates of the Deserto Convent take the minor road to the right. Follow this for 1km/0.6mi, initially undulating then making a steady descent, to a T-junction. On the way tick off roads to the left, Via Tore al Deserto and Via Pignatelli. • At the junction turn tight on a paved narrow road for 200m/yds to a bend. Continue down right to the main road. Go left for 40m/yds to pick up steps descending right (bar here). At their bottom go left to a road with Priora’s large church. Continue on steps to the left of the church to join a paved track under an arch. Shortly bend right and go down to the main road again. • Here go a little to the right to find a paved track descending. After 150m/yds turn right and descend 200m/yds to the main road at a hairpin bend. Cross straight over onto a path and continue downhill, to join Via Capodimonte. Shortly this road descends in a series of hairpin bends to the main road (short-cut paths, and superb views of Sorrento and the Bay of Naples). • Turn right and after only 50m/yds turn left down steps. These widen out into a minor road. At a crossroads on the edge of Sorrento, go right, then immediately left; after 50m/ yds, you have two options to reach the town centre: go straight ahead, or turn left for a more scenic route, with views over the coast.
56b Sorrento to Sant’Agata
Time: 2h; Grade: Strenuous with a height gain of 380m/1200ft
From Piazza Tasso in Sorrento, take Via San Cesareo (if Signor Tasso’s marble lips could move he would say: ‘from here, take the second left’). After 600m/0.35mi, at its end, turn right and then immediately left. This road leads up to the main road west out of Sorrento. • Turn right on the road and, after 50m/yds, turn left up a cobbled road opposite ‘International Camping’. Keep ahead round all hairpin bends (three short-cut paths), until the road climbs straight away from Sorrento. After 150m/yds the road turns left; here go straight ahead on a path (Via Priora) to the main road. • Continue climbing on Via Priora for 300m/yds looking for a paved track on the left (still named Via Priora). Take this up to the main road. Here go right a little to rejoin Via Priora. Follow this, shortly turning left under an arch and up steps to a road with Priora church on the left. • Cross to join a narrow road and, shortly, turn right up steps to the main road (bar here). Go left for 40m/yds, turn sharp right by a SITA stop. The road ascends, becomes narrow and, after 200m/yds, bends left at a junction with a path. Continue steeply up for 100m/yds more to where the central paving ends. Turn left to continue ascending. Now walk ahead, climbing steadily, for 2km/1.2 mi to the centre of Sant’Agata. The final 800m/yds is in descent.
Segments 61/62 Termini — Monte Santa Croce — Monte San Costanzo (for 9th Edition)
Termini is dominated by the twin peaks of Costanzo, topped by a chapel, and Santa Croce with its radar plant. This new (2015) route makes a circuit of Santa Croce on recently cleared old paths, and then ascends San Costanzo on a much-used old track. You are rewarded by dramatic views in all directions over Capri and the bays of Naples and Salerno. This route now replaces the earlier one to/from Punta Campanella.
Time: 2hrs; Grade: moderate, with a height gain of 150m/500ft
With your back to the church in Termini, turn left; after 50m turn right down Via Campanella. After 150m go down the road to the right. (Instead, straight on here allows you to make the ascent of M Costanzo directly – 1h15min round trip. Go up the road and shortly transfer to the path on the left. This old path leads directly up the mountainside, crossing the service road four times). • After 200m the road bends left (with a short footpath cut-off) followed by a hairpin to the right. Here go ahead on a dead-end road. After 150m the road bends down right; here go ahead on a concrete track, followed shortly by an earthen path by a mesh fence. (A ceramic tile marks the path start – CAI300). • This path ascends steadily in woodland for 500m to where it levels out by a wooden rail and an outcrop with small cave. A final ascent on stone steps brings you to a cleft where a surprise view of Capri opens up. • Now out of the wood, go left (avoiding a couple of holes) to continue now on a more or less level path (marked CAI300) with views back to Vesuvius. You pass abandoned terraces and a dilapidated cowshed. After 400m you reach a path junction on the mountain ridge with another ceramic tile. It pays to go down right here 150m to visit a splendid viewpoint down to the Ieranto peninsula. • Return and continue up the ridge for 100m to a path fork. EITHER continue up right and follow paint marks across the steep slope below the radar plant to reach a pine wood – a head for heights is needed. OR take the left fork which is an old path which will take you gently up to a fine viewpoint and the road servicing the radar plant. Walk down this to the pine wood. • Take the path along the top edge of the pine wood above the road and then up the old path to the chapel on M Costanzo. Return to the pine wood from where the old path leads down to Termini.
Ascent of Monte San Michele
It is not difficult to climb the highest of the Lattari Mountains at 1444m/4738ft, the peak visible from Sorrento to the east. By taking the cable car from Castellamare di Stabia (connecting at the Circumvesuviana station) you are whisked up to 1102m/ 3615ft, and from there well-built and easily-followed paths lead straight to the summit. Although the route lies mostly in woodland there are fabulous views at many places on the ascent.You descend by the way you went up. There is little risk of loosing the way, but these instructions must be followed carefully as a simple mistake can lead you into difficult territory. The main risk comes from the effects of deteriorating weather, as at that height temperatures can drop quickly,possibly aggravated by wind and/or rain. Thus the climb must be attempted only in settled weather, and you should carry weather-proof clothing.
The cable car timings are (2016):
Departures at these times:
(7,25) – (8,50) – (9,15) – 9,35 – 9,50 – 10,05 – 10,35 – 11,05 – 11,35 – 12,05 – 13,05 – 13,35 – 14,05 – 14,25 – 14,45 – 15,05 – 15,35 – 15,55 – 16,15 – 16,25 – (16,45) – (17,05) – (15,35) – (18,05) – (18,25) – (18, 35) – (19,05) – (19,15) The times in brackets apply only from 16th June to 31st August.
It starts running on 3rd May. It quotes a return fare of €6.71
Time: 2h ascent/1h40min descent Grade: moderate, with an ascent of500m/1650ft
Start out on exiting from the cable car building: turn right to take the steps and landing above the exit and hop over the 90cm high railing to gain access to the ridge-top path. Follow this ascending gradually, after 200m/yds passing to the left of a radio station.
Follow a good track along the crest of the ridge for 20min, until a second radio station blocks the way (It may be that more stations have been built since I was there – basically you are following the ridge for about 50min to a prominent chapel.). Pass to the right of it, onto a narrow tarmac road.Either continue quite easily on the rocky ridge top (views) or stay on the minor road until it reaches the ridge top again by small level grassy area. From here take the rough path ahead up the ridge to the chapel of San Michele and a third radio station, which are now visible (50min).
From the chapel, descend the road in zigzags to the third right-hand bend looking for a flat area on the left. Go over the flat area to a flat gravelly area; at its far left end descend left for about200m/yds by a rough stepped path, to a well-built mule track going right (i.e. with the slope up to your right).
At first descend gradually for about200m/yds; then the gradual ascent starts. From here you start seeing red/white CAI paint signs. When you meet a rough rocky patch with great bulging overhang to the right, look for the zigzag path up ahead, cut in the rock. After the rocky patch the path comes out onto a level rock ledge with handrails (and fabulous views left — the square peak towering above on the other side of the deep valley is our destination). 200m/yds after the handrails you come to imposing cliffs above to the right; in a further300m/yds you come to a T-junction.
Turn sharp right; a red/white CAI V-turn is painted on a rock at the junction (1h30min). (On leaving the junction, look back to memorise it for the return.) Ascend the path in about four wide zigzags to a second three-way junction (1h40min); the two routes ahead are marked ‘Conocchia’ to the right and ‘Molare’ to the left. Go left. After 200m/yds the path zigzags and transfers to the other (south) side of the mountain. Continue to a small col between the main mountain and an outlying knoll to the right (1h50min). The final rough stepped path leads left from here to the summit (2h).
Although you descend the same way, here are some reminders: Go down to the col (10min), then the junction marked Connochia/Molinare (15min). (From here, if you have time you might like to explore a little of the Connochia route, even as far as its summit with cross — returning to this junction). Descend about four zigzags to the junction marked with a CAI red/white V-turn: go left here (25min). Pass cliff/ handrails/rocky patch until the path starts to ascend gently. Ascend left up to the gravelly area (50min)
On reaching the road the quickest way back is to go left down the road for 300m, and then fork right onto the track which will lead you to the second radio station on the ridge top. Pass this on its left… (Author, 5/16)