I recently returned from a trip to Italy with my family. This initially came about when my dad presented two awesome vacation ideas, as if he were planning a last hurrah for our diverging, postgrad family.

The first was going to Italy to visit my brother, who was studying abroad there for his master’s program. We theoretically would meet up with him in Milan and make our way around the country for two weeks, traveling from city to city to see the sights.

His second idea – and easily my first choice – was to visit a handful of National Parks out West to honor the National Park Service’s 100th anniversary. The potential itinerary included both Glacier and Yellowstone. Nonetheless, I was outvoted, so we were headed to Italy.

[Credit: Maddy Jackson]
[Credit: Maddy Jackson]
At first, I was very disappointed and wasn’t feeling excited – which, in hindsight, sounds crazy. For me, this initially felt as if I were missing out on the opportunity of a lifetime.

Giving my input, I had one condition: We had to plan some hiking, as I am a crazy outdoors person and feel cooped-up if I don’t explore every once in awhile. I didn’t care what days or where – I just wanted to get outside, and I knew I would need a break from museums and tours.

Funny enough, without a car, we ended up hiking every day! My favorite, though, was called “The Path of the Gods.” We hiked this on one of our last days, and it turned out to be one of the best experiences I had while in Italy – besides the food!

The Path of the Gods

The Path of the Gods is located on the Amalfi Coast, south of Naples between coastal towns Positano and Bomerano. This trail makes for stunning views of the coastline, cliffs, gorges, and precipices. Before the trip, I had read about it in passing and convinced my family it was worth doing.

In the morning, we started in Bomerano, with cappuccinos at a tiny café. Then ready to embark, we set out and followed the road, unsure of what to expect. When we got to the beginning of the trail, the sight showed me this would be a hike to remember: Sheer cliffs hanging over the ocean below and views of the farms nestled in the hillside.

The hike began with gentle climbs up and down mountain peaks, where lizards constantly jumped out of our way as we walked along this ancient path. It continued this way for a few hours, regularly offering new views. Towards the end, the path started to descend into a tiny town called Nocelle, where you could grab a bus down to Positano or take the steps. Based on my experience, I recommend walking from Bomerano to Positano and not the reverse direction – unless you’re looking for an intense workout!

[Credit: Maddy Jackson]
[Credit: Maddy Jackson]

Maddy Jackson

Maddy is a Physical Therapist working in the Philadelphia suburbs. She grew up going camping, hiking, kayaking and anything and everything outdoors with her family, which she continues to do today! She has a 7 year old English Springer Spaniel named Ben Franklin who is incredibly active and enjoys hiking and swimming. Her favorite hike would have to be Cadillac Mountain in Acadia National Park—the views are stunning!

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