Agerola and the path of the gods
Agerola and the path of the gods
If it were a woman it would be Agerola, of a genuine, sober, bucolic beauty. One of those with a retro taste, anything but self-centered, determined to reserve its treasures for the most curious.
Today's history takes us right here, on the borders of the Neapolitan territory, to discover a small unspoiled jewel of our land.
Set in the Lattari Mountains, six hundred meters above sea level, it boasts an ancient history.
The first traces of human presence date back to the Iron Age and it is attested by a necropolis of the Osci of the IX century BC found in the 70s of the last century, in the hamlet of Bomerano. It is in fact the oldest town on the Sorrento peninsula.
The historical agricultural vocation of the territory has led to the hypothesis that the toponym derives from ager or "field, land".
A more curious hypothesis, on the other hand, traces the name back to "jerula"That is pannier, probably alluding to the rounded shape of the basin in which it stands.
Today in Agerolese it is simply known as "Ajerl".
Always known to most for its gastronomic excellence, it is in the Neapolitan territory the pride of dairy production: fiordilatte, provolone and provolone del Monaco DOP are its treasures.
It seems that the milk produced in the Lattari Mountains was a real panacea for the ancients. Cassiodorus (5th century AD) wrote as follows:
"Remedia Lactarii Montis He commanded him (the king of the Ostrogoths turned
eum iussit expetere, to one of his faithful servants) to experiment with remedies
ut, cui medela humana nil profuit, of the Lattari Mountains so that he to whom
vulgati loci benefits subvenirent ”no medicine had helped, could
(Variae, XI, 10) to experience the remedies of such a famous place.
In fact, this belief seems to have spread widely after the well-known Greek physician Galen, in his De methodo medendi (V, 12), had boasted and advised the "Lactarius Msgr"As a therapeutic destination for the healthiness of the air and its milk.
Goodness but not only, also a lot of beauty, without any rhetoric.
The geographical position in fact makes Agerola a belvedere surrounded by greenery that overlooks the Amalfi Coast with boundless views. There are numerous naturalistic and extraordinarily panoramic trails that cross it, making it an excursion destination highly appreciated by trekkers or simply by those who want to indulge in refreshing time away from the chaos of the city.
Among these, unmissable is the path of the gods.
The path of the gods, a leap into the blue
View of the coast. At the bottom, in the sea, the central strip of land is the "Li Galli" archipelago
A picturesque landscape, in which the horizon line is evanescent and the blue overflows in all its shades.
It is the path of the Gods.
Before it had the reputation of being a wonderful excursion destination, it was in the beginning a historic mule track as well as the only road that connected the villages of the Amalfi coast, in fact only with the advent of the Bourbons the coastal state road was built.
The reason for its name is rooted in history and myth. It seems that the Agerolese people knew it with this name on the one hand because traveling along it, the altitude and the fascinating scenery, gave them the sensation of rising towards Olympus, on the other because the local myth wants it to be the path followed by the Gods to save Ulysses, stranded in the archipelago Li Galli from the song of sirens.
Li Galli, also known as "Le Sireneuse", is a constellation of three islets: "Gallo Lungo", "La Rotonda" and "Dei Briganti". Gallo Lungo is the largest and is the only one to have been inhabited since the Romans, as evidenced by the remains of one domus maritime. The triad and its morphology fueled the idea that it was the home of the three mythological sirens.
The archipelago is clearly visible in the most panoramic section of the path.
Between beauty and myth: it is therefore not difficult to imagine why even the pen of famous writers such as Calvino and Lawrence could not be silent.
Ceramic plaques affixed at the beginning of the route
Let's now explore its characteristics.
The path is about 7 km long and starts at 638 m Bomerano, fraction of Agerola,
to descend up to 450 m of Nocelle, a fraction of Positano located on Monte Pertuso.
Immersed in the colorful Agerola Mediterranean scrub, the excursion is anything but monotonous, precisely due to a continuous change in the landscape that welcomes us. It is a lively and dynamic landscape: it passes from the roughness of its gorges, spikes and rocky precipices to green sinuous hills, inlaid by the terraces of vines and citrus groves; from narrow passages in dense woodlands to panoramic promontories.
The route can ideally be divided into three parts based on the points of geographical interest. The first step, after a few minutes of walking, is that of "Grotta del biscotto ", so called for the limestone and brittle nature of its rock. The intermediate point instead is represented by the "Colle la Serra ", unmistakable because you find yourself in front of a fountain as well as a crossroads: on the left you go down towards Praiano, to the right continue along the path of the Gods.
The last stop is the square of Nocelle, a refreshment and rest point overlooking Positano.
This small and delightful village will be able to welcome and amaze you with the hospitality of the Nocellesi, the goodness of juices and slushes with citrus fruits from the coast and certain alleys where time has stopped.
The goal has come, but after such great beauties, it has never been so averted.
The coast, however, can still enchant you. In fact, from Nocelle it is possible, by taking a special shuttle, to easily reach Positano and take a dip in that blue so far only admired from afar.
"Practical" advice before venturing out? Clear mind, child's heart and eyes still capable of marveling.
Ps. Kindly offered by the Gods, the path is free!
Marianna Di Nardo
Naples, Pompeii and the Amalfi Coast, Lonely Planet, EDT, 2016
Become a supporter!
With a small contribution you will keep the largest cultural dissemination site in Campania alive! Many advantages for you