From Colli S. Pietro via Torca to Schiazzano
The loneliest part of the Amalfi Coast
The fifth stage of our Amalfi hiking trail leads us through the loneliest section of the Amalfi coast, giving it a very special flair. Omnipresent are the Li Galli Islands (also called "Sirenuses"), consisting of the three small, privately owned islands
- Gallo Lungo ("long rooster")
- La Rotonda ("the round")
- and the island north of La Rotonda with the peculiar name "Dei Briganti a nord della Rotonda" (but sometimes also called "La Castelluccia").
The islands are not only spectacular to look at but also have an illustrious history: 1924, acquired by the Russian choreographer and dancer Léonide Massine, was built a little later with the help of Le Corbusier, a villa on Gallo Lungo with the aim of being a creative center for ballet and art and create culture. For decades, the islands have therefore always been a magnet for artists and the rich and beautiful: Pablo Picasso was there, as were Igor Stravinsky, Sophia Loren and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. Despite several changes of ownership, this is still the case today: on the one hand, the island group can be rented for supposedly 150.000 € per week, on the other hand, artist workshops are still held on the islands under the leadership of the "Fiorucci Art Trust".
Entry: first through towns
Far from any celebrities, our hike begins at the bus stop at the intersection of "Colli San Pietro". We leave this intersection westwards on the slightly rising street "Via Nastro Azzurro" (signpost "Sant'Agata 7 km"). We could follow this relatively busy road to the next town, but the official route of the CAI300 is nicer and calmer: In the first left turn, it continues straight and past a large hotel complex on the right (currently "Sensimar Nastro Azzurro" from TUI Group operated). Behind the hotel complex, the CAI300 runs along an idyllic stone wall and then meets the large driveway again (waypoint 1, approx. 15 min after the start).
We cross the street and hike on the other side past the pretty church and after a few minutes reach the promising village square of "Colli di Fontanelle" planted with old olive trees. From here it goes a bit uphill, so the driveway runs in serpentines, which we can skilfully shorten on foot: From the village square first the small path between the houses, then taking a staircase that looks like access to a pizzeria, but to us as a shortcut to the next bend.
After another short stretch on the road we reach a hairpin at the edge of the forest outside the village - here we leave the road for good, the CAI300 leads us uphill into the forest on a narrow deposit (waypoint 2, approx. 45 min from the start).
Lonely: On the CAI300 to Torca
Now the lonely part of the hike begins. We continue on a narrow path with a great view, always following the red and white marking. First we are fascinated to see that from this point we have a view of Vesuvius, the Gulf of Naples and the Amalfi Coast together, then the three "Li Galli" islands keep captivating us. A short distance later, the foothills of Capri appear on the horizon with the characteristic, conical rocks "Faraglioni di Capri".
We reach the somewhat sleepy place "Torca" approx. 1: 30h later (church in the center of Torca, waypoint 3). If all shops and bars in Torca happen to have closed - at least you can fill up your water bottle here: in the small park next to the parking lot in front of the church there is a public drinking water fountain.
Facts about stage 5
Altitude: 460 m rise / 500 m descent
Duration: 5: 00h (without pauses)
See also Elevation profile in detail
GPS route download to stage 5
From Torca further west
We leave the large square of Torca through the "Via Nula", which branches off to the right as seen from the church portal. After a few meters, we turn right at the T junction. Shortly afterwards the path leads very close to a tall, elongated house. Attention: here our path branches off to the left through an easy-to-overlook archway "right through the house" (waypoint 4). We hike downhill through a small olive grove and shortly afterwards meet the well-known, tiled signposts (direction "Marina di Crapolla" and "Punta Campanella").
In a valley we meet a small stream bed with a bridge (waypoint 5). We continue to follow the CAI300 slightly downhill in a southern direction. Shortly afterwards, the view widens, the three "Li Galli" islands appear spectacularly again and we can enjoy the view on a stone bench. Shortly afterwards there is the possibility of a detour down to the sea (waypoint 6): If you have the time and desire to master 200 vertical meters in addition (down and up), you can take the CAI-344 to the beach in the "Fiordo di Crapolla" / Descend "Marina di Crapolla". The following section of the CAI-300 is used even less frequently than the previous section. The path is marked throughout, but this is sometimes improvised: handwritten signs with red sprayed arrows help in some places.
Approximately 1: 30 h after Torca we see a small pine grove in front of us. We ignore a path leading upwards (waypoint 7), instead we continue towards the lower part of the pine grove and reach the fork in the path between CAI-300 and CAI-355 (waypoint 8). In theory, you can descend from here on the CAI-300 to Marina del Cantone. Attention: We advise against this route, the feedback of some hikers was that this section is in very bad condition (danger of slipping, overgrown, thorns). We recommend an overnight stay on the other side of the mountain (e.g. in Schiazzano) because there you can enjoy the beautiful evening sun and sunset better. Therefore we describe the way to Schiazzano in the following.
Information and feedback on the current route status: The section from Torca is one of the loneliest sections of the entire hike, so it can happen that the path is overgrown, especially in late spring / early summer. We therefore collect continuously Feedback on the current route status and ask for the help of all hikers!
From the CAI-300 to Schiazzano on the other side of the mountain
At the end of the pine grove (waypoint 8) the CAI-355 branches off to the right. Don't be surprised: this path is also overgrown or difficult to see, but it leads up and to the left over a small incision on a road, the "Via Spina" (waypoint 9). We follow this in a northwesterly direction until after a few bends we meet the through road "Via Leucosia" (waypoint 10). Here we turn left and follow the road for approx. 800 meters. We pass some restaurants and shops. Outside the village, at the intersection where Via Tuoro meets our street from the left (waypoint 11), we turn right (Via della Tore).
We reach the junction to Schiazzano (waypoint 12) a little later: this is a steep cul-de-sac (cul-de-sac sign) that leads right in front of the magnificent entrance gate to the private villa "Fondo Turiello" down to the right on a concrete slope.
If we found the path on the main road a bit dreary, we will be rewarded with a wonderful view of the Gulf of Naples, Vesuvius and the island of Ischia at the latest. After a few minutes we reach the small village "Schiazzano" with the wonderful Lubra Casa Relax (approx. 1: 15h from the junction of the CAI-355 at waypoint 8).
Recommendation: unique accommodation in Schiazzano
For an overnight stay after stage 5, we recommend switching to the northern side of the hill: The unique Pension Lubra Casa Relax with evening sun, views of the Gulf of Naples and the island of Ischia (Lubra Casa Relax). Although the towns of Marina del Cantone and Nerano with many accommodations are located directly on the CAI-300, however, based on feedback from other hikers, we do not recommend descending to Marina del Cantone on the CAI-300 (path steep and slippery, sometimes overgrown and thorny). From waypoint 8, our route therefore leaves the CAI-300 and leads to the other side of the hill to Schiazzano.
Schiazzano is a bit off the beaten track and has therefore remained a dreamy little village. There are two roads to Schiazzano, but these are dead ends. Through traffic is impossible. Schiazzano is also a little too far behind the hill to still belong to the Amalfi Coast and a little too far away from Sorrento to attract overnight guests from there. Surrounded by lemon plantations and with a view of Capri and Vesuvius, Schiazzano is a little paradise with a medieval village center!
And right in the middle is the unique Pension Lubra Casa Relax: unique because it is a mixture of an Italian palazzo, boutique hotel, family bed and breakfast and cooking school, which is officially categorized as a "guest house with six rooms". The wild mix of different concepts is explained by the interesting history of the building: originally owned by the Catholic Church in the Middle Ages, the 2009 building was extensively renovated and rented to well-off guests as a high-quality holiday villa for several years. 2015 leased the building to Lucia, who was actually just looking for a new place to stay for her cooking school and was not interested in the hotel business. But what luck for the guests: Lucia now runs the cooking school and hotel together! We therefore highly recommend this accommodation!
Update May 2019: Lucia has now moved out of Schiazzano with her cooking school and has given the Lubra Casa Relax to other operators. However, the new tenants seem to be just as passionate about the matter, so our recommendation is still valid! Booking at Lubra Casa Relax.