Monte di Monticchio from Sant'Agata
Departure Point - Sant'Agata sui Due Golfi
Type - circular
Distance and difficulty - 7 km., easy until after the steps leading to Crapolla. Track then becomes much rougher, narrower and trickier. Steep uphill last stretch. Some exposure.
How to get there - SITA bus from Sorrento or Massa Lubrense or by car.
Useful info - no water once out of Sant'Agata. Very little shade. Track can be quite overgrown in places and way-signs missed.
Set off from Sant'Agata, direction Torca, taking the minor road down by the side of Hotel San Montana, then first left down an alleyway. This brings you out onto another paved road, Via Nula. Turn left and keep on walking until the road narrows to an alley by houses. Turn right following the sign to Crapolla. This path leads fairly steeply downhill with some rough stretches and can be slippery when wet, but eventually you will come to a small bridge over a stream (often dry or almost). Follow the track to the left. In the spring you should be able to see wild orchids flowering along the banks.
The path leads round to face the sea bringing you to a stone bench at an outlook called La Guardia. Shortly afterwards steps lead off to the left down to the fjord of Crapolla. Don't take them unless you fancy going down (and then up) the 700 plus steps to get to its small pebbled beach. It is worth going down there as a separate excursion. Continue along the path for a few more metres, past a little shrine, then follow the red/white signs onto a rough, narrow little track.
Be careful not to lose the trail, keeping an eye open for the signs which can be hidden by the undergrowth especially in the spring. The path is mainly level but on a couple of occasions goes steeply up to the right as it winds round the two ravines. Hug the right of the track, since although there is not much exposure due to the vegetation, it can be fairly hollow to the left! The island you can see to your left is Isca and belongs to the family of the Neapolitan playwright, Eduardo De Filippo.
You will eventually come to the edge of a copse of pine trees. Leave the red/white signed trail, which leads to Recommone, and cut up to the right. This trail has been recently cleared and as you get higher you will have magnificent views of the bay of Cantone with its characteristic 3 Pizzi (3 points) and Monte San Costanzo. The path continues up bringing you out through an olive grove onto a paved road (Traversa Spina) which goes steeply up until you join the Via Spina. Here you have a choice:
Option 1 - go left and keep on going. At the very top, you will come out onto a main road- turn right towards Sant'Agata. When you get to S.Maria della Neve with the cemetery to your right and the church straight in front of you, walk past the church and take the minor road to the left. This will enable you to avoid having to walk down the main road and bring you into Sant'Agata.
Option 2 - go right and keep on going. This is nice and flat for the most part until you are nearly at Sant'Agata when you will need to go uphill and up some steps into the town.