More walks on the Sorrento peninsula

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From Colli di San Pietro through Colli di Fontanelle and Sant'Agata to Sorrento

This was my second visit to the area and I took along my precious copy of the Sunflower book by Julian Tippett : Sorrento, Amalfi Coast and Capri: Car Tours and Walks (Landscapes) . From Sorrento station, the Positano/Amalfi bus passes Colli San Pietro (and/or Colli di Fontanelle). There are three different bus routes between Sorrento and Amalfi - make sure you choose the right one according to where you want to get off.

The first half hour is a pleasant wander through a residential area (segment 63) but shortly after Colli di Fontanelle you climb up through Mediterranean brush to a fairly wild hillside above the gaping cliffs of Malacoccola which (perhaps thankfully) are not visible from the path (segment 65). There are splendid views further east along the Amalfi coast and to the Li Galli islands which were recently advertised as being for sale. Up here on the clifftop, it is eery to feel so isolated and away from everyone and yet so close to the densely populated Gulf of Naples and Amalfi coast.

Gradually you start to pass cultivated areas and olive groves and, eventually, reach the village of Torca and later the little town of Sant'Agata. Between here and Sorrento (on segment 56), the path was blocked in no uncertain manner by a crowd barrier and a No Entry sign, presumably due to a landslide further on. The problem with walking with the Sunflower guide only is that you are then left floundering. My map and indeed, as far as I could see, all maps obtainable in the area, are useless and in the end I found myself walking along the dreaded via Nastro azzuro trying various side turnings until I managed to find a right turn which took me by the side roads back to Sorrento.

Monte Faito, above Castellamare di Stabia

On another day I took the funicular from Castellamare di Stabia railway station up to the Monte Faito. This gives you spectacular views over the whole of the Gulf of Naples. A group with their own guide were setting out from here to walk right down to Positano. I had planned the easy walk through beech woods as far as the San Michele chapel and then further towards Molare. However, due to the strong winds and the fact that the path I wanted to take was becoming decidedly dicey, I turned back and had a memorable lunch at the welcoming so-called pub by the funicular station.


Short walks from Sorrento

On the following day the wind was so strong I decided against the walk to Punta Campanella at the far end of the Sorrento peninsula and, instead, combined several short walks (segments 47, 48 and 49) trying to keep from being blown off my feet by the wind.

The walk to the Villa di Pollio is a trifle boring down a long tarmacked path to the coast but it is worth it just to see the site of the ruins of the Roman villa built on rocks jutting out to sea. If you combine this with the walk to Marina di Puolo, you can reward yourself by sitting down to a restaurant lunch in this tiny fishing village. On this section, it is possible to buy olive oil straight from the producer. In spite of having to carry them in my backpack, I bought one bottle of oil and one of lemon-flavoured oil which is delicious.

Again, I got back to Sorrento in the middle of the afternoon and since I had enjoyed the open-top sightseeing bus last time, I jumped onto it again and tried once more to take the ultimate photograph of Capri from Termini.

My visit took place in October 2011. This time I stayed at the Il Nido Hotel above Sorrento. Some of the rooms enjoy a superb view of the Gulf of Naples as did my car on the rooftop of the hotel, you are made to feel very welcome and the food is excellent. It is a bit of a nuisance not to be able to walk into Sorrento easily but their free shuttle service works well.

Link to another Sorrento page and to a Sorrento cookery course.