A Time When Taking a Great Risk Had a Great Reward
Brittney, SAI Ambassador, 2019
November 1, 2019

The first thing that came to mind when taking a risk while being abroad was hiking the Path of the Gods along the Amalfi Coast! I knew way before I arrived in Sorrento that I wanted to conquer this hike. Seriously, just google it and you’ll get a glimpse of how surreal it is. I almost didn’t hike it because many people, including some of the staff, warned against it because the weather was extremely hot that particular time. Some of my classmates even stressed that they had quite a brutal experience due to the heat and uphill climb. I had my reservations but knew if we were smart and careful, then we would be okay.

Hiking Downhill

The journey to get to the starting point of the hike was an adventure! It started with a beautiful two-hour ferry ride to Amalfi with stops in Capri and Positano. We continued with an hour long bus ride up to the starting point, which consisted of lots of twists and turns. Make sure you have some Dramamine handy. After rejoicing once we were finally off the bus, we found a little café, and I have never been so grateful for a blue Powerade!

Sun Setting in Southern Italy

We timed it perfectly, arriving late in the afternoon, making sure to give ourselves plenty of time to hike and stop along the way to take pictures while there was still sunlight. It was surprising to see farm animals, dogs, and goats making all sorts of noise! Meanwhile, the view of the vast, seemingly endless Amalfi Coast captured our full attention. While some parts of the hike were easier than others, some areas you need to make sure you are watching where you are stepping, or you very well could slip and tumble right off the cliff.

The Most Magical Sunset I Have Ever Seen

After a couple of hours, we successfully made it to the finish line where we were greeted with a 1,500-step staircase at the end of the trail. It felt like it took three years going down those steep stairs! I couldn’t imagine going up them and highly recommend not doing that. We were hustling to get down so we could make it in time to watch the Sunset in Positano. It was the most breathtaking, stunning, and vibrant view I have ever seen in my life. Once in Positano, we swam in the cold Mediterranean Sea, ate authentic Italian food by the water, and ate some very well-deserved gelato. We intentionally missed the bus going back to Sorrento so we could stay longer and decided to take a taxi back to Sorrento. We couldn’t stop talking about how incredible the day was. And to think I almost let my fear of motion sickness, heat exhaustion, or falling off a steep cliff and getting lost get in the way of this unforgettable experience. After finishing the Path of the Gods, the Italian meal afterwards was more satisfying and watching the vibrant sunset more mesmerizing. I will hold onto the memories of this amazing day forever!

Heading Down the 1,500 Staircase

Brittney was a summer 2019 Sorrento student from the University of Florida.

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About SAI

SAI is dedicated to providing academic and cultural learning experiences abroad that enhance global awareness, professional development and social responsibility. We concentrate our programs in Europe, with a focus on in-depth learning of individual European countries and their unique global role in the geopolitical economy, humanities, and in the arts.