Sirenuse Trail - Malacoccola
Departure Point - Sant'Agata sui Due Golfi
Type - circular
Distance and difficulty - 9 km., easy apart from steep stretch to top of Pizzetiello (130m elevation gain in under 500 m).
How to get there - SITA bus from Sorrento/Massa Lubrense or by car
Useful info - water fountain, bar and local store in Torca
- Landscapes of Sorrento, Amalfi & Capri (Julian Tippett), segment 65b
Now better known as the "Sirenuse Trail", Malacoccola is another of my preferred routes, pleasant and feasible at any time of the year.
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 you come into Torca.
Pass the church and follow the road to the right of the square, then straight left and keep on going. The road is narrow and you will probably have to duck in and out of doorways to let cars pass. The road then bends to the right and goes fairly steeply uphill.
Keep on going until the road becomes a dirt track and then a path. You will now start having fantastic views of the I Galli islands. Follow the trail winding round the hillside until you see a farmhouse to your left. There is usually a rather strong smell of manure and a dog tied to a chain, barking loudly. The path passes to the side of the buildings. Continue walking and you will come to a fairly large, solitary house. Follow the red/white signs to the right of the house which will bring you out onto a small plateau, often overgrown. Straight in front of you, looking rather high at 489m, is Pizzetiello or Malacoccola as it is often called.
You now need to get to the top! Follow the path near the edge of the plateau until it veers left before going steeply up in zig zags. Once you get to the wooden handrails (they are pretty wobbly so do not trust them), the worst is over. The path continues going gently up and round until it comes out onto a grassy plateau. Here it is worth going to the left to admire the magnificent views and maybe stop for a picnic (although it can be windy). Go back to the main path which then meanders gently round and down the other side of the hill, parallel to and high above the coastline. You will get simultaneous views of the Bay of Naples, the Amalfi Coast and the ridge of Faito with its distintive peaks. The trail comes out onto the main road, on a bend with a shrine. Walk up the road to the left. There are no pavements and the traffic comes along very fast, so be very careful. After about 50 metres, turn left up a small side road (there is a very "unusual" marble villa at the corner). This lane is steep, becomes cobbled (very slippery when wet) and then turns into a dirt track. Keep on going uphill, but take the time to look back at the views.
When you get to the top, the path becomes paved and leads you to the edge of a pine wood. Before you go into the woods you may see a donkey and a selection of ducks, hens, geese and peacocks in an enclosure to your left. Cut straight through the forest along the wide shady avenue running its length. At the other end, you will come back out onto the paved lane. Follow this downhill, turning left at the bottom and then keeping left past a barrier along a private road taking you through olive and fruit groves. There is a good view of the village of Torca from a belvedere by the Terranova Agriturismo. The road brings you to Via Pontone and back into Sant'Agata.