Bus connection to Raito
The first stage of our Amalfi Trail begins in Raito, a small village a few kilometres west of Salerno, about 150 metres in altitude above the coastal village of "Vietri sul Mare".
There are several bus connections from Salerno to Raito, but usually only one direct connection without changing buses per hour (journey time approx. 15 min). Bus tickets cannot be purchased on the bus itself, but must be bought in advance in one of the numerous "Tabacchi" shops (recognisable by the sign with the big T), a kiosk or a bar. It is therefore advisable to get your bus tickets the evening before at the latest and to find out about the departure times. The departure times can be found, for example, via the following link (starting stop in Salerno on Via Roma, approximately at the level of the cathedral): https://moovitapp.com/. The "Unico Campania" app operated by the transport association also provides information about all departure times and even allows registered users to buy tickets via the app (thanks for this information to Martina!). Download the app at https://www.unicocampania.it/app-unico-campania, the app is also useful for the bus ride at the end of stage 4.
The best bus connection: As of May 2022, bus line 001 runs directly to Raito without changing buses and turns around there (on Sundays and public holidays, this may vary). Other bus connections require a change of buses or a longer walk up to Raito, which lengthens the hike accordingly.
Attention: In Italy, it is customary for passengers to beckon the bus. It is not enough to simply stand at the bus stop at departure time. You should wave at the bus to signal that you want to get on.
Facts about stage 1
Altitude metres: 815 m ascent / 983 m descent
Duration: 6:00h (without breaks)
See also Elevation profile in detail
GPS route download for stage 1
Places to stop between Raito and Maiori
There are no refreshment stops along the way, but there are two small supermarkets in Raito that can provide fresh bread on request.
Our hike begins at the small church of Raito: opposite the church, to the right of the artistically decorated fountain with columns, a staircase leads upwards. The stairway, enclosed by walls, leads us quickly upwards and out of the village. On the left we see the slope that we still have to overcome in the course of the morning. After about 20 minutes, you reach a transversal path (waypoint 1), which you follow to the left into the village of "Albori".
From Albori to the saddle point at Monte Falerio
In Albori, we walk down past the church, left past the turning platform (waypoint 2) onto a path marked red and white (the official path designation of the "Club Alpino Italiano" for this part of the hike is "CAI-303"). About 15 minutes after Albori, we reach a fork in the path at a watering hole (waypoint 3). Here we take the path up to the right.
The trail takes us more or less in a direct line upwards to the saddle point (waypoint 4) next to Monte Falerio (calculated from Raito after about 2 hours).
Via the Cappella Vecchia to the Santuario della Madonna Avvocata
From waypoint 4 we follow the ridge in a north-westerly direction, gaining a few more metres in altitude, until after about an hour we reach Cappella Vecchia at 694 metres above zero. Here we meet the CAI300 trail (waypoint 5) and follow it to the left, always sideways along the slope. At the next ridge at about 900 metres above sea level, the CAI300 branches off to the right into the hinterland, but we keep left towards the coast and about 30 minutes after the Cappella Vecchia we come to the pilgrimage church "Santuario della Madonna Avvocata" (waypoint 6, with full name also "Santuario di Maria Santissima Avvocata sopra Maiori").
From here you have a great view of the coast in good weather - but we were in the clouds or fog during our hike and had a very mystical impression instead.
Descent to Maiori
To descend, we leave the sanctuary railings through the archway we came through and go around the southern tip of the small plateau. The path leads us down and after a short while meets a cross-cutting path (waypoint 7), which we follow to the right.
As stage 1 continues, we keep going downhill, round another ridge and then look towards Maiori (about 2.5 hours of descent from the sanctuary).