Amalfi Hiking Adventures
Italy’s Amalfi coast — La Costiera Amalfitana — has everything you’d
expect from a Mediterranean paradise: turquoise water, sunny beaches,
jaw-dropping vistas, gorgeous architecture & incredible food. Burn off
your gelato with day hikes that take you from coast to mountains and
back again, with stops in picturesque towns along the way; this
destination is a hiker’s dream.
My favorite day: wake up in a pleasant hotel in Minori and start the
day with cappuccino and pastries. Fill a water bottle and head up the
hill, winding through terraced vineyards and gardens on
well-maintained paths and staircases. You might pass a
highly-contested game of bocce, or sunning cats to pet along the way.
The views only improve as you climb higher. Take a few minutes to
visit the quiet pink chapel in Torello, and then continue climbing to
scenic Ravello. The comedy ‘Beat the Devil’, starring Humphrey
Bogart and Gina Lollobrigida, was filmed here; imagine the story
unfolding in the town’s piazza. Ravello is a lovely place to just
wander, with surprise coastal views and tiny parks, and to pick up a
I love the Villa Cimbrone, where the garden paths provide
shady walking to the incomparable view from the Belvedere of Infinity.
When you’re ready, head down the other side of the hill past the
Church of Santa Cosma that is carved into the hillside and through
olive groves to tiny Atrani, on the coast. From Atrani it’s a short
stroll to Amalfi, once one of the richest towns in Italy. Grab an
outdoor table at the piazza’s Art Nouveau bar, and pause to take in
the square with its sparkling cathedral. After seeing the sights in
Amalfi, you can make the gentle walk through lemon trees back to
Minori, or catch a bus up the winding coastal road. By now it’s time
for a gelato and a walk along the beach before dinner: Naples-style
pizza or freshly-caught fish and of course a glass of wine, followed
by the delicious local limoncello liqueur. Total hiking time around
four to five hours, with time to wander this circuit takes all day.You’ll sleep well tonight!
Hiking Italy’s Hill Country
For a longer, more mountainous hike, climb the hill to the south of Minori to the tiny convent of San Nicola; it’s typically closed, but you may be lucky to find the caretaker there cleaning the chapel and preparing a lunch of porcini mushrooms he’d collected on the way up. Take in the view as the trail continues through the chestnut forest to the village of Sambuco, then back down to Minori.
This is the first in a two-part series about hiking the trails of Italy written by Audrey Sheridan, a food-lover and doctor who is passionate about helping people take charge of their health and happiness by making positive lifestyle choices. She blogs at eattothrive.blogspot.com.