5 days in Positano
Tuesday, October 10, 2017
Positano, and the Path of the gods
It is hard to describe the beauty of the Amalfi coast. The views from our hotel balcony alone are spectacular. We decided, after a 400-mile trek in Spain, to go for a half-day hike on the “path of the gods” with a guide, Franco De Simone. First we drove ~ or rather, we were driven ~ up a very long and narrow road of switchback turns for about an hour. We passed terraces of (Marisa Cuomo) vineyards along the way, and marveled at the views from the car.
Upon reaching Agerola, we began a wonderful 3-hour hike across the top of the mountain, and down toward Nocelle. Franco has guided people along this hike for 20 years, and he is very passionate and knowledgeable about the plants, history, and geology of the entire region. Thankfully Franco had trekking poles for us to use, since we had shipped ours back to the US before leaving Santiago on Sunday. The path was relatively easy, with a few parts that were very rocky. Several times, Franco said, “prepare your eyes”… which meant that we were about to see yet another unbelievably beautiful sight. The views took our breath away. The terraces reminded us of Machu Picchu. Add the ocean below us, and the cloud formations, and it really is indescribable.
After hiking for 3 hours, we had the choice of climbing down almost 2000 steps from Nocelle to Positano. Mike opted to take the steps with Franco; I took a taxi down to our hotel. My knees have pretty much recovered from our Camino, but I’m aiming for a pain-free time in Italy. Franco gave us some great advice about a restaurant that is in his village of Montepertuso, La Terra. On the La Terra web site it says: “The goodness of our dishes is the result of wise culinary and gastronomic passion combined with the careful selection of ingredients, fresh and of the highest quality, at km zero.” We had a delicious salad of arugula, cherry tomatoes, and sautéed calamari; then I had branzino (a local white sea bass) and Mike had swordfish, both delicious!
During our first few days here in Italy, we have met some very religious Catholics, all passionate about their faith, but also very kind and compassionate. Franco is an example of the kind of Christian that I aspire to be. I am grateful to have met him.
Mike and I were wondering about the percentage of people who are Catholic in Spain and Italy (and because we were also talking about Machu Picchu, Peru). Here are some “fun facts” (click on the links for the information): The percentage of Catholics by Country, and a bit of a different view of Italy’s religions. Regardless of whether it’s 88% or 96%, there is no mistaking that we are in a Catholic country.