Just the church bells ringing when we arrived bang on noon and squeezed a space in the surprisingly busy village car park in Piazza San Tommaso Apostolo. Magnolias were in bloom…


We were headed for the little bay of Crapolla, several hundred metres downhill from Torca, a walk which promised a beautiful chapel, the remains of a Roman villa and a cove washed with surf and surrounded by cliffs and an unspoilt landscape . Who could resist that? Just the aquamarine sea and steep, wildflower strewn meadows.Oh…and a minor detail, at one point …700 steps to descend! Aargh…would we make it?

The walk was signposted and I also reviewed it on TA in the link below.


After an easy bit of steepish downhill through the village on a tarmac road, we reached woodland and shrubbery and the path turned – not difficult- but quite rough. That said, we’re well used to bouldery little paths at home and this at least was nice and dry.

Not at the rough bit yet

It did seem to go on forever but then it flattened out, we crossed a pretty stone bridge and were soon out on the flower- dotted hillside which gave stunning sea views. This was the La Guardia viewpoint and it would be worth just getting here – what a great place for a picnic.

The viewpoint…just before the 700 steps began
On the steps
The cove is down there somewhere…

500 steps to go!

From here, the steps began, marked handily (or depressingly) in 50 step intervals so that you could track progress(or what a meal you were making of the descent.)

Approaching the chapel

Roman columns

We soon reached the tiny chapel of San Pietro with columns said to date to Roman times. A pilgrimage is made here every June 29 and Holy Mass celebrated, in memory of St Peter having stopped at Crapollo cove below, en route to Rome.

It was only another 10mins to the cove itself where several ancient structures , apparently dating to Roman times, are now used as storage areas by local fishermen.There are also the remains of a Roman villa but it was difficult to identify properly.


It’s a lovely spot and we sat with the surf crashing onto the pebbly shore, looking up at the 200 foot cliffs which make the cove so relatively inaccessible, apart from the steep path we’d just come down.



Early spring would be the time to do this as summer must bring temperatures which are FAR too hot…there is very little shade for most of the hike and it’s a relentlessly stiff pull up on the return! That said the walk only took us about an hour each way.

As we do regular hillwalking at home, we didn’t find the hike back up too bad but I’d say you need a reasonable level of fitness to manage/ enjoy it.

Heading up

A peregrine falcon made an appearance as we headed back up, a real thrill to see it.


Walk rating: 7 out of 10. This turned out to be a lovely walk with the views all the way the most memorable aspect, the views once out on the open hillside, rather than the cove itself, albeit Crapolla was nice. Good to be in an area which is completely unspoiled on this busy coast. An hour each way for us (65 yrs and 67 yrs so – no spring chickens!)

It was 2.30pm by the time we arrived back at the car and it felt like luxury, whirling along the Amalfi Coast on four wheels after the quite tough hike.

The views were to die for….I had almost forgotten how fantastic the coast is.Truly stunning.

Looking back up the coast

We stopped at a few spots where it was possible to pull off the road a little but the best view was beyond Positano itself, giving sight of the pastel coloured houses of the spectacular village tumbling down the almost sheer , green mountainside. A wow.


There was NO chance of getting into the village itself. The main vehicle access was blocked by the Police as it was all so busy.Along the few miles or so of possible car parking on the main coastal road, high above the village , not a space was to be had. And this was only mid March! Traffic seems to have got far worse than we experienced in previous years, though that had been bad enough.


Late afternoon sun, Amalfi Coast

So – no Positano this time but great to see it once more and be stunned by its beauty.Next trip here – we will NOT take the car and use the very good local bus and ferry services.That said, my memory of these is that you are packed like sardines into lurching, speeding buses as they weaved their way along the twisting coastal road.I do recall some being so busy that we didn’t get on.The ferry to Capri was jam packed too and you couldn’t actually sit outside – that may however have changed.Anyway, using public transport at least saves the stressful hassle of trying to find parking which is next to impossible.We did once use a paid ‘valeted’ parking in Positano – basically the guy running the space parked the car.Big mistake! It came back with scrapes on it as they must squeeze in so many vehicles – plus it didn’t come cheap (nor did the scrape!)

Various back roads took us to our sedate little hotel again, where we watched the sunset over Capri and the stars coming out.No wonder the Roman Emperors had their villas along this coast and on Capri! They knew a good thing when they saw it.

Sunset over Capri
Another lovely sunset

At dinner, Veal Limone for me plus a good selection of grilled veg. Beef stew for Chris which was tastier than last night’s steak and nicely done.

Our last day tomorrow and hopefully, a visit to Vesuvius and Herculaneum – ah, little did I know the stress that lay ahead over what I thought would be the simple matter of buying tickets for the volcano walk online!

Previous days:naples, puglia and the amalfi coast EXPLORING SOUTHERN ITALY – Puglia PUGLIA CONTINUED: alberobello, locorotondo, martina francA OTRANTO, LECCE AND MATERA



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