Nocelle di Positano
Nocelle is a small village above Positano, 443 metres above sea level, until very recently it could only be reached via a flight of steps from Positano.
For itslocation, Nocelle was an important post to catch sight of potential invaders coming from sea and from land.
Today the privileged position of Nocelle has an all different advantage.
As from here, there are some of the best views on Punta Campanella natural reserve, on the Li Galli Islands, on Capri and obviously on Positano.
For this reason Nocelle has become one of the landmarks for many hikes and walks, namely the Sentiero degli Dei (The path of Gods), which can be walked either starting from Nocelle going east or ending the walk here in Nocelle.
The walk takes about 3 hours either way, and it gives a chance to discover an untouched nature, rich with woods of live oaks, maquis, caves, deep cuts into the rocks, lemon orchards and groves.
The terraced structure of the village, also implies that there are many gorgeous views on the sea, which opens wide just below the slopes of vineyards. The walk can be very thrilling as besides the sudden openings onto the sea, there are parts of the track running along deep fissures into the rocks, which add a nice kick to the hike, making it all even more exciting. The name Sentiero degli Dei (Path of Gods) really could not have been more appropriate: the feeling is that of being suspended between earth and the sky. The colours and the smells that chase each othere in the roads of Nocelle, increase this divine sensation, as they somewhat inebriate the spirit and the mind, which could be tricked into thinking that something of a holy nature is actually happening! On a more earthly note, Nocelle is a good place to take nice breaks from walks at the only local restaurant which is one of the very few business around here.
Indeed much of the beauty of Nocelle is given by the fact, that it remained almost isolated from the rest of the Coast, and from the summer crowds, allowing it to stay true to its original architecture and above all to maintain its original pace of life, and atmosphere.
Even today Nocelle is inhabited only by around 300 people, who carefully look after their precious land, and who are always willing to show it to all those who take the challenge to climb up here. Many of those who go to Positano, simply discard the option of walking the steps up to Nocelle, as on a hot summer afternoon it can really seem too much an effort. Typical Amalfi Coast style, the effort is proportioned to the beauty that it leads to, which in Nocelle is extraordinary.
A walk to and around the village can be a nice alternative to the typical beach afternoon, or when visiting the Amalfi Coast in spring or autumn, when everything is still quiet, the air is fresh and the land seems to belong only to those willing to discover it.
It will feel like standing on Mount Olympus, better if well equipped with walking shoes, lots of water and sun screen even when the heat does not seem that strong.