trekking inn-to-inn from Amalfi to Sorrento (& Capri) - May 10-14, 2010 * 2010 itinerary
Inn to Inn trekking has for years been one of the most enjoyable and popular forms of hiking throughout the world. There is nothing more gratifying than arriving at the end of a day’s hike, tired but content, having walked for miles up hill and down hill, along paths and trails, with a surprise at every turning: a breathtaking view, a tiny flower peeping through the undergrowth, a couple of falcons circling in the sky above, a fig tree laden with fruit ready for the picking.
The Sorrento peninsula and the Amalfi Coast are particularly suited to this kind of activity, having one of the most spectacular and extensive networks of trails to be found in the whole of Italy.
There are a thousand miles of paths to be found in this area, stretching virtually the entire length of the Lattari mountains from east to west. The southern slopes are bathed in sunlight for many hours a day, which makes walking possible even in winter. In the summer heat, you can keep to the northern slopes, walk through the shady beech forests or along the higher ridges refreshed by cooling breezes. It is a far cry from the chaos of the overcrowded beaches down on the coast, and a world apart from the famous towns of Sorrento, Positano, Ravello and Amalfi heaving with tourists. And yet you are only a stone’s throw away, in a nature lover’s paradise, immersed in tranquillity.
It is incredible to think that you can walk for hours without ever needing to cross a road. There is in fact just one road passing over the Monti Lattari, at the Valico di Chiunzi; the only other road passes through a tunnel on its way to Agerola.
Rather than the traditional mountain refuges of the classical Inn to Inns, overnight shelter can be found in one of the many small hotels, comfortable B&Bs and farmhouses that have opened over the past few years throughout this area. There is no shortage either of excellent local trattorie where genuine Italian cooking and a bottle of local wine will replenish your strength at the end of the day.
Thanks to the incredible number of paths and trails, it is easy to put together the route of your choice, adapting it to your interests and physical capacities. From any one departure point there are numerous destinations to choose from, each of which can be reached following different routes ranging from 5 to 15 miles. You can also include one or more loops into your itinerary by staying in one place for two nights rather limiting yourself to the traditional one night stopover.
You can walk in any period of the year, unrestricted by the season, the type of trail or your physical limitations. The choice is yours and it is this flexibility that makes the Inn to Inn experience in this area such an attractive proposition, suited as it is to anyone with a reasonable degree of fitness and a love of walking.
the B&B and Agriturismo which are spread out along the ridge
above the Amalfi Coast and Sorrento within walking distance
of one other are perfect for multi-night hut-to-hut hiking trips
(translation by Ruth Peake)
When and Where
Following the success of the 2009 trial edition (31st Aug. - 4th Sept.), here we are ready for the first “official” Amalfi Inn to Inn which will take place from Monday 10th to Friday 14th May 2010, culminating in an extra excursion on Capri on Saturday 15th.
For the 2010 edition, the average daily distance will again be of between 13 and 15 miles with an elevation of between 3,000 and 4.000 feet. In fact, even if some participants slightly over-estimated their capabilities (or rather under-estimated the physical effort required to cover these distances on terrain which is frequently rough and at times tricky underfoot), the majority of our fellow trekkers were more than enthusiastic about the routes chosen, the magnificent views along the way, the challenging and varied trails and indeed the company, with ages ranging from the late teens to the mid seventies.
So we will be setting off once again from Amalfi, but this time passing through Atrani, Torre dello Ziro and Pontone to reach the Valley of the Mills, before continuing up to Agerola (San Lazzaro) via Acquolella and Monte Murillo.
Once more we will be staying two nights in Agerola, so that on the second day we can include a loop from Bomerano following more or less the same route as this year, but in the opposite direction (with various options for lengthening or shortening the day’s trek).
On Wednesday on our way up to Faito we will follow a different itinerary to reach the ridge between Agerola and the valley of Pompeii, taking the mule track from the tunnel to Colle Sant’Angelo and then proceeding to Crocella and Palmentiello. Once at the foot of San Michele there will be countless possibilities of completing the day, walking through the beech woods or along the crests between Faito and Monte Sant'Angelo a Tre Pizzi.
The fourth and fifth days have been kept virtually unchanged since the routes, being linear, have fewer alternatives. Of particular note the lengthy descent down the steep and very rough steps leading down from the Conocchia on day four. Not for anyone suffering from vertigo or with gammy legs, but the amazing views compensate for the difficulties of this particular stretch.
We will conclude our week once again on Capri, this time probably including the path to the Blockhouses. Since the island offers so many possibilities, the final itinerary will be established there and then, according to the temperature and the weather conditions.
In order to better enjoy the amazing variety of wild flowers to be seen in mid May, next year we may set off a little earlier in the mornings (taking into account public transport times to let the daily hikers join the group), but in any case we will have at least half an hour more daylight (the sun setting after 20.15).
All participants will book their overnight stops wherever they prefer and will make their own meal arrangements, although there will doubtless be occasions to enjoy meals together.
Baggage transport will be arranged, thus enabling participants to walk with lighter rucksacks.
The aim of this initiative is to promote the area between the Bay of Naples and the Gulf of Salerno: a nature lover’s paradise with its woods, deep valleys and precipices interlaced by paths which at every bend offer magnificent views stretching as far as the eye can see.
Participation is completely free. The only costs are for your food and lodgings, which are to be organised by yourselves.
You must however be self-sufficient and able to hike 20-22 km (13-14 mi) a day with an elevation gain of 1.000m (3,500 ft).
The itineraries include different kinds of trails, often rough and uneven underfoot,
with steep inclines, lots of steps and short exposed stretches.
None of them though are rated "dangerous" or "for experts" and there is no need for any special equipment.