Starting Point - Faito Cable car station
How to get there - bus from Vico Equense to Faito (last stop by cable car station) or cable car from the Circumvesuviana station in Castellammare di Stabia.
Useful info - bar/restaurant opposite the cable car station and another (also hotel) down at the Piazzale dei Capi. Should you come across any sheep dogs, keep well clear since they are very protective of their flocks (generally goats, not sheep), especially if the goatherd is not with them..
Monte Faito forms part of the Monte Lattari mountains set up high (1100 to 1430 m) above Castellammare di Stabia. Beech trees, chestnut trees and holm oaks cover its slopes making it a particularly pleasant place to walk in the hotter summer months. From afar you can easily make out its distinguished peaks Canino and Molare ("canine" and "molar" and guess why!)
Faito offers several enjoyable hikes of varying length and difficulty. The simpler routes start from the cable car station, however there are much tougher options walking from or to Santa Maria del Castello, Moiano or even Agerola. The following is one of the most straightforward and can be simplified if you prefer.
Conocchia and Molare from the cable car station
This is a 10 Km loop which starts off very pleasantly, firstly along the road and then along wide and level tracks through the woods. Set off from the cable car station following the main road as far as the first hairpin bend, where you must take the minor road leading straight on. This will take you to Campo del Pero, a wide circular clearing where at weekends you may find Italian families having a picnic or a barbecue. Here, leave the road and follow the dirt track going right at the side of the clearing and then immediately left. Keep on walking along this path and you will come out of the trees into the open with the path veering left and going along the edge of the ridge by the Casa del Monaco (which is a rock and not a "casa"!). There are now fantastic views down towards Moiano. The trail becomes narrower and starts going uphill bringing you to the foot of the steep climb up to the Conocchia (1360m). You can go right up to the top to the cross, or alternatively take the gentler route round to the left which will bring you out past the antennas and, once past a rocky outcrop, on to the base of the Molare (1443m at its peak).If you don't mind heights, it is worth going up the extremely narrow, steep track to the very top where you can enjoy the truly 360 degree views of the surrounding countryside. However I have to admit that I have probably done this just twice in the last 10 years, since the descent back down scares the living daylights out of me, mainly due to a feeling of emptiness when you look straight ahead! I prefer to wait at the bottom and have a break. Having admired the Molare and the views (which even from the bottom are not to be sniffed at), go back to the path. Once past the rocky outcrop start going downhill following the red/white waymarks. The track winds down quite steeply through the trees bringing you to the small clearing of the grotto Acqua Santa where not only can you top up your water at the natural spring dripping from the rock, but you can also admire a carnivorous flowering plant climbing up the rockface devouring any unsuspecting midges that happen to fly too near. Continue along the path (downhill and then a short stretch uphill) until you come out into another large clearing which brings you to the road. Walk straight ahead along this road towards the Church of San Michele and then follow the trail right along the ridge for approximately 2.5km until you get back to the cable car station. You will have magnificent views of the Sarno plain and Vesuvius the whole way. Once back at the starting point, there is nothing better than sitting down at the snack bar with a cool drink and maybe even a plate of bruschetta..