Monte Vico Alvano - Monte Comune - Tese - Positano
Starting Point - Colli di San Pietro, junction of Sorrento/Amalfi road SS163 and the SS145 Nastro Azzurro road from Sant'Agata.
Type - A to B
Distance and difficulty - 8 km. Tough due to several steep uphill and downhill stretches and its often rough surface.
How to get there - SITA bus from Sorrento/S.Agata/Positano
How to get back - SITA bus from junction Monte Pertuso/Positano.
Useful info - public water tap by the roadside at starting point. No more water until S.Maria del Castello and little shade. Bar/restaurant at S.Maria and water fountain by church.
- Landscapes of Sorrento, Amalfi & Capri (Julian Tippett) segments 30 and 24a.
Another of my favourites and as with many of our hikes, the route can be adapted, but the real challenge is to complete it all. There is a lot of uphill, some steep and very rough. There is also a lot of downhill, again some steep and very rough. However the views are second to none and once you get to Santa Maria del Castello, you can revive yourselves at the bar/restaurant Zi Peppe. Our starting point is at the Colli di San Pietro taking the minor road up to left of the main road. This brings you to the entrance of the Parco del Principe estate. Cut through the grounds (ring the bell at the gates should they be shut, but they rarely are), keeping to the right. This will bring you to the start of the path which veers to the right past a gate and ascends Monte Vico Alvano in a series of long zig zags with great views of the Sorrento peninsula as you ascend.
Once at the top, if you want to go to the iron cross, turn left and follow the path through the undergrowth. From the cross you will enjoy even more amazing views of Sorrento and surroundings. If you don't fancy the cross, from the saddle take the narrow path going downhill to the right on the opposite side of the hill you have just climbed. This will bring you out onto the Sella di Arola, a grassy plateau looking out over to the Bay of Naples on one side and the Amalfi Coast on the other. This is one of my favourite places, especially in the spring and early summer when it is carpeted in flowers. You can usually find a good supply of wild rocket growing there. Follow the path until you get to the next small saddle. It is worth taking a couple of minor detours up the knolls to the right to admire the coastline and gasp at the sheer drops below. Next you will come to a couple of old ruined gate posts and this is where the fun starts...If you look ahead of you (with the sea to the right), you will be able to make out some wooden fencing winding round the hill side. Follow the trail there and keep on going. The first steep uphill stretch begins, coming out onto a flatter stretch that then leads you steeply uphill again. Once at the top, the trail winds round and you will come to a ramshackled building. You are about to face the final ascent. At the top, pause to catch your breath and admire the fantastic views. Climb over the stile. It is worth making a minor detour straight up to your left where you will find a big wooden cross and a table. This makes an excellent place for a picnic. Then follow the track from the stile taking you across the fields to the other side of Monte Comune - to the left fields and pastures and sometimes cows, to the right the sea, straight ahead the Amalfi Coast and the Lattari mountain peaks. Shortly you will begin the descent to Santa Maria del Castello.
I am not the best at going steeply downhill, so this is where I slow down and watch where I am putting my feet. Positano will soon appear far below you. When you get to the bottom of this steep descent, turn right onto the path which then twists round to the left going more gently downhill. Keep on going until you come to a paved road which wil bring you into Santa Maria .At this point I always go straight to Zi Peppe's bar/restaurant for a break.
The route down to Positano is via Le Tese. To find the starting point, walk back along the road you came in on, turn left at the mini cross-roads and then, instead of turning right along the paved road, keep straight on into a field. Follow the track to the edge of the plateau, turn left and in about 100m. you will come to the start of Le Tese. From now on just follow the path as it loops down. This will eventually bring you to the Monte Pertuso road on the outskirts of upper Positano (Corbo). Walk back down the road to the junction and you will see the bus shelter to the right of the main road. Alternatively, instead of walking down to the junction, cross the road and take the steps which will bring you nearer to the centre of Positano. By so doing, you could also combine the walk with a visit to this very pretty but terribly busy town.
By the way, sometimes we turn the walk into a there and back, with Santa Maria del Castello as our turning point..