Have you ever gotten completely lost somewhere?
Not the kind of lost where you kinda know where you are.
No, I’m talking about the kind of lost where you remember which direction you came from but you’re so lost the only logical answer is to keep going forward until you find what you’re looking for.
It doesn’t help when you’re in a foreign country, with a language that’s impossible to speak correctly with no prior exposure and a will to hike a path that no one in the village had heard of.
Were we crazy? Maybe, but we kept going forward in search of the Path of the Gods and, boy, were the 2000 stairs worth it.
We awoke from our first day in Positano refreshed and ready for some walking. The prior day we asked almost every resident of Positano where the start of the Path of the Gods was.
I’m not jesting when I say NO ONE had any idea where it was or what it was. But the guidebooks and the websites clearly indicate that one of the trails to get there starts in Positano.
The Path of the Gods is a network of trails that run throughout the Italian countryside. They were once old roads that Romans and the like traveled on so there are ruins and lookouts scattered throughout.
On the first day, I had taken a picture of a map that we passed while walking the roads in Positano. It turned out, after some very bad Italian speaking and some almost as bad French speaking, we had found the start of the trail, which was unmarked and started with stairs. So with nothing else planned for the day and two sandwiches from the Bodega in our backpack, we started climbing north to Montepertuso, a village just above Positano.
You can take a guided tour of the Path of the Gods with a gaggle of tourists lagging behind, but we like to set our own pace, so we kept our journey moving towards the mountains. Knowing that as long as we were going up, we were on the right trail.
After climbing 2000 stairs (which going up a flight of stairs is way easier than coming down by the way), walking alongside a highway that buses zoomed by on, meeting some English people and passing a highly rated restaurant that we foolishly did not eat at, we finally found what we were looking for: The Nocelle Path, the start of the Path of the Gods. That trail led us down a gravel path which then turned into yet another village and it opened up into a square with stairs in every direction and signs pointing to different end points.
Something we became quite aware of when we were in Positano was that all signage was painted on ceramic, which seems to be a large part of their heritage. Like tartan patterns with Scottsman, the Positanoans all seemed to have their own ceramic patterns for their door number or village signs.
After one more flight of stairs, a quick sit down lunch with our picnic bodega sandwiches, we had made it to the Path of the Gods.
A rough and sometimes rocky path that was easily navigated with the Keds I had packed and offered no guard rails (or shade most of the time) from tumbling down the mountain side.
But it sure did make for some spectacular views.
And one very appropriate silhouette photograph of making it to the top. We kept our feet moving as long as they would take us, losing sight of Positano, Nocelle, Montepertuso and any other sign of life except for one momma dog who followed us halfway down the trail. Like walking back in time, it was as if the path had transported us to the Roman era. Not a ship or plane in sight, we could have lived happily in that tranquil nirvana for a lifetime. But with our stomachs rumbling we decided it might be better if we turned back and found some food and more water since our provisions were running low. We began our descent while the sun was setting behind the sea. Illuminating the water and casting an iridescent glow onto Positano.
A truly beautiful sight, something straight out of a dream. Finally after 1800 stairs down, we met the road with sore shins and great gratitude that the never-ending descent into Positano was over. With only a short walk back to the town square for some gelato and scoping out a place to eat for dinner. We walked as we watched the sun dip behind the sea and cast her golden glow onto Positano’s village. Breathtaking from every angle. As the sun crept lower, fairy lights of buildings started to pop on one by one. Like watching fireflies dance in the night. When the sun had completely set, we set out for dinner at a little restaurant by the beach. Chez Black. A Positano institution known famously for their squid ink pasta and excellent beachside views. We quickly got to ordering a litre of local red wine and started reading the menu for something new and classically Italian. Like ravioli capri style and lasagne.
Quite literally the best pasta I had had in my life thus far. I cleaned the plate but left a little room for dessert. Europeans always seem to comment about the portion sizes Americans serve at dinner, but I’ve come to find that Italians eat an insane amount of food for dinner. They have an anti-pasta course, appetizer, pasta and then an entree! It’s a wonder they are all so thin… The Amalfi coast is known for their citrus production and most notably lemons and limoncello, a lemon flavored moonshine if you will. For dessert, I ordered the lemon delight: A lemon cake with lemon meringue that tasted like solidified lemonade. It was excellent if you like lemons!
After dinner, we strolled the beach looking at the glimmering night lights drinking in the beauty of our last night in Positano.
Shop The Story
Hiking the Path of the Gods
Dinner on the Beach