Our instructions for ourselves were simple and direct. Have a BLAST, and travel by car to somewhere on the Amalfi Coast. How could we go wrong here in my “favorite” home country? I had no idea what “a ways UP the road” meant. Yep, we drove towards the sky. Yep, we drove toward the trees. I still have that queasy mountain goat feeling living here in my bones.
Samuele, the waiter (and all around kind wonderful Italian man raised in the UK), working at Capo la Gala, told us about a secret (off the beaten path and free except gas) special spot right up in the mountains outside of Vico Equense. “Go and see the beautiful view, and the trees, (up the road) its a small mountain, he said. Just go through Vico, keep going straight up the hill, and you will be there – in Faito, my home town.”
We drove up through Vico Equense, just like Samuele suggested, and continued heading up and up and up and up the road. A hell of a lot of “UP,” I might add! All right already. The roads became thinner and smaller, until they were one lane roads, and 180 degree switchbacks round’ every turn.
The weather was so “morning” lovely. My anxiety level was growing with every dip and dodge corner. All I could think about was (that this tiny highway) made our favorite Maui road to Hana, look like a darn freeway! At some point I remember that we stopped passing cars. We were now scaling the side of Monte Faito (just kidding), in our Nissan rental car. We passed 10 dogs and five horses eating tall green snacks off the mountainside. We passed a gaggle of goats. No, not mountain goats, but tiny baby goats all happy and grassy munching. Then, all of a sudden, without notice, presto pronto, we were in the trees! YESSSSS! I felt like I was home in Portland all fir treed and pine treed out. It was warm and cuddly in those trees. My mother would love this. All I knew was that the mountain climbing and naked road edge, was all green and lush now. AAhhhhhh. AAAVEEEENNNNOOOO. Life is good.
The cutest little “Grammie red” chairs lined the road ahead of us along the cliff side and the only bar at the top was just opening. A perfectly petite Italian Grandmother was waiting there at the door for us. We bought waters, found the toilette out back, and we walked around oooohing and aaaahhhhing at every edge up there. WOW. WHAT AN AMAZING PIECE OF WORLD! This is a priceless Italian beauty. Standing here on Mount Faito, you get a perspective of the Amalfi Coast that you’ll get nowhere else. It’s worth the drive. Trust me.
Grazie Mille, to our new friend Samuele for this wonderful adventure.
And so………we made the our way down the opposite side of the road less traveled. The navigation system FECKED up again. This squiggly picture below is what our navigation system looked like on the many switchbacks on the way down to Salerno Sud. Do not travel the opposite way down the mountain if there is rain. Trust me.
Go to Monte Faito. Go south towards Salerno Sud to Vietri and make your way up to Ravello. Much less traffic that way. Read the post for things to do and places to stay on the Amalfi Coast. I kissed the sky in Ravello too!
Watch a YouTube of Monte Faito below:
Definition of Urban Backpacker:
1. Of, relating to, or located in a city.
2. Backpacker redefined: Artful reviews that lead you from hidden budget gems to five-star destinations helping you find palate pleasing adventure, enjoyment, and story collection.
3. Pack bag. Travel there. See city. Eat food. Respect culture. Take picture. Share story. Be thankful. Repeat.