"One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.” – Henry Miller
How many times have I shared that things have been wild in life lately? I know, I know – I’m starting to sound like a broken record. The thing is, though, that it is true. I have had so many people since we had the first foster kiddo in our home just over a year ago tell me that “it’s just normal parenting, and these things that you’re dealing with are all things that all parents go through.”
This is my PSA before delving into travel: if you know anyone who fosters children, please – please – do not tell them this. Fostering children is so much different than birthing children. Those on the outside looking in could, quite simply, never fully understand it.
Now that I’ve gotten my PSA out of the way (thank you for listening to my TedTalk), it is time for me to wrap up the details of our Italy trip! As promised, the last thing on my list that I want to detail is the Path of the Gods hike on the Amalfi Coast.
Earth Trekkers gives a super in-depth guide to the hike itself, which is where we did a lot of our pre-hike research. There are, of course, multiple other guides for the hike, including ones from Never Ending Voyage, The Culture Trip, and 10Adventures.
The official trailhead starts in a small town called Bomerano. It is located at the end of a narrow road, Via Sentiero Degli Dei. Our friends led us right to the narrow road and dropped us off, planning to pick us up after our hike in Nocelle. We were able to stop at a hotel right before the trailhead to use the restroom (be sure to have cash on hand to give as a tip - there are no restrooms at the trailhead!), and then we were off.
The narrow road goes downhill out of town, and leads hikers directly to the Path of the Gods. The start of our hike was a bit overcast, so everything had an eerily calm feel to it as we headed toward the coastline. We saw other dispersed hikers making their way to the main trail too. However, for all the talk of the beauty of the hike, there really weren’t many others out there.
We had read mixed reviews about the difficulty of the trail in our research. Some said easy to moderate, while others said this was a very difficult hike. Others yet mentioned for those with a fear of heights to be wary because the cliffs on the trail can be nerve-wrenching. I was honestly picturing something like Angels Landing after some of what I had read, and was making sure to pump myself up (as I am, indeed, afraid of heights).
As we hiked along at a leisurely pace, though, I began to take in the views around me. We saw farms built into the cliffside, with horses, goats, sheep, and other animals. There was a small water fountain early on in the hike available for use too. By a mile in, there were cliffs, but they were certainly far enough away from me and the trail to keep me (self-diagnosed with Acrophobia) comfortable.
The water fountain continually ran fresh water for hikers to enjoy!
Our first cliffside farm view (if you look really closely, you can see the goats)!
We continued along, and the clouds did as well. They slowly dwindled, leaving nothing but the beautiful sunlight shining dreamily down on the cliffs around us. It was as the clouds melted away that I began to realize exactly why they called this the Path of the Gods.
There was something so incredible about the sun shining down on those cliffs around us. We had beautiful weather, gorgeous sunlight, and were seemingly on top of the world. Much different than our mountain hikes, with nothing but the cliffs and open ocean to our side, the views were amazing in a completely different way.
By the time we got a few miles into the hike, we had seen only a few additional hikers. It was then, too, that the path started veering back toward the wooded areas. The woods were just as beautiful as the cliffs, but (again) in their own way. There was an entire section of the forest floor in which hikers over the years had decorated with small cairns.
What we quickly found was that we were already nearing the end of the trail. We began to get further and further re-ingrained into humanity as we saw small businesses and little signs. Before we knew it, we were walking down the steps that signified the end of the portion of the trail into Nocelle, and facing Lemon Point.
One of the pages we had read said that drinks at Lemon Point were like a “rite of passage” for hikers of The Path of the Gods. By the time we reached the tiny stand, the lemon slushies were definitely calling our names. The friendly man in the stand gave us each small samples of the lemon slushies, made with freshly squeezed local lemons. They were so, so good. Whoever said it was a rite of passage was definitely correct. We sat near the stand, looking out over the coastline, soaking in the views as we sipped on our slushies.
The moral of the story is that this hike was much simpler than we expected, but still just as beautiful as advertised. We should have listened to the hiking guides that said it was an easy to moderate hike because it definitely was. It was a leisurely and beautiful 3-ish miles of wonderful views of Italy we will never forget.
For those interested, the path does continue past Nocelle. We did not take the additional path, as we had already worked out a meeting point with our friends for our ride back out. Had we known the hike was truly so short and simple, we would have definitely continued on to the next town to complete the hike. That being said, the views the hike to Nocelle provide are incredible and we still walked away feeling completely fulfilled by the adventure.
Now, I didn’t just research The Path of the Gods hike. I briefly looked into other hikes, but found a lot of them to either be too far away or unable to fit into our itinerary. I also very early on in my research found that The Path of the Gods hike was listed as one of the very top must-do hikes in Italy. With that, although I didn’t research very far into the others, I have to at least share some of the lists of other hikes in Italy that I found:
Mount Vesuvius Hike (the hike we almost completed)
As the 2023 Italy chapter of our lives and the blog come to an official close, it is time for us to start planning for our annual Colorado trip and the next vacation after that, which will be sometime in the fall. As I mentioned in my previous post, I am a firm believer that we should always have future trips at least tentatively planned. We may not know yet where our next trip is after Colorado, but we definitely have some ideas.
There’s a saying that goes, “Stop waiting for Friday, for summer, for someone to fall in love with you, for life. Happiness is achieved when you stop waiting for it and make the most of the moment you’re in now.” (Author Unknown) I think it is truly important to live in the moment. However, I also believe we need things to look forward to. It’s so much easier to get up every day and enjoy the work week, the daily grind, the normalcy of life – when there is something to be working toward coming up on the horizon.
My advice? Live fully in the moment, but never feel bad to also be excited for the weekend and the future.