The Long-Promised Amalfi Run-Down. Part 1.

Oh Positano, you are lovely...
Oh Positano, you are lovely…

The Amalfi Coast. La costiera amalfitana. The words ring like the chimes of heaven to American ears. Somehow, someway the Amalfi Coast (along with its island neighbor Capri) have become mythic in the imaginations of American tourists. And I will not deny that it’s beautiful. Achingly beautiful.

With water and sky so blue and hills so steep
With water and sky so blue and hills so steep

But it’s also overpriced, overcrowded, and not any more beautiful than Ischia, or the Adriatic coast, or Puglia, or Sicily, or I could go on and on. The language you are most likely to hear on the Amalfi Coast is english. The prices you are most likely to pay on the Amalfi Coast are ridiculous. The crowds you are most likely to experience are suffocating. Much like the “must-see” Sistine Chapel, a status which makes the place unbearable, the Amalfi Coast suffers from its overwhelming popularity. It’s gorgeous, stunning even. But pleasant? Not really.

the requisite cats and that amazing color blue
the requisite cats and that amazing color blue

The aim of my trip to the Amalfi Coast in June of 2013 was precise: to hike il sentiero degli dei. The path of the gods. This was not my idea. My dear sister came to visit and she, being DRAMATICALLY more outdoorsy than me, wanted to do this hike. She swore it was easy. She said, that since I had been living for a year without a car and walked for ages and ages every day, this measly hike would be lovely and fun and no big deal. Accommodating hostess that I am, I said “sure!” What’s a scant 6km? Ha. Oh ha ha. And Ha.

my kingdom for this view
my kingdom for this view

One of the most foolish assumptions I ever made. Stay tuned…

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