Punta Campanella, a hiking experience near Sorrento
Punta Campanella is the most extreme point of the Sorrento peninsula and it’s a gorgeous place to visit!
In particular, is the perfect destination for those of you that are looking for a hiking experience during a holiday at the Amalfi coast. Punta Campanella can be reached only on foot, following a scenic path that offers wonderful views of the sea and the island of Capri.
Why is so special
Italy is a country with unique geographical features.
The fact of being a peninsula, in the center of the Mediterranean, between continental Europe and Africa, makes it a place where many different species of animals and plants have stabilized.
More specifically, the sea, the mountains and the Vesuvius make the area between Naples, the Sorrento peninsula and the Amalfi Coast rich in wonderful scenery. Moreover, the mild climate, the fertile soils and the fishing waters have facilitated the development of many cultures over the centuries, and we can still admire some of their archaeological remains.
Punta Campanella is a special place because there are only a bunch of small towns and the natural environment is still intact.
But there is more.
Punta Campanella is a place that combines history and legend.
In the Odyssey, the great poem written by Homer, it is said that Ulysses met the Sirens in Punta Campanella.
The Greeks built a temple to Athena, which the Romans turned into a temple to Minerva. Later, in 1300, Robert of Anjou ordered the construction of a tower, called Torre Minerva by the name of the previous temple, to monitor the coast and advise in case of Saracen raids. For this reason, a bell was placed on the top of the tower to ring in case of alarm. This little bell, in Italian campanella, is the origin of the name of Punta Campanella.
The hiking path to Punta Campanella
As I have already said, Punta Campanella can only be reached on foot.
The path to Punta Campanella starts from Termini, the last inhabited village on the Sorrento peninsula, and follows the northern slope of the promontory that separates the Gulf of Naples from the Gulf of Salerno. The path is part of the longest Path of Athena, a loop path that connects Punta Campanella to Monte San Costanzo.
It takes about an hour to reach Punta Campanella, but the path is easy.
It is a pleasant and soothing walk, suitable for everyone, during which you’ll enjoy wonderful sea views, vegetable gardens, olive trees and citrus groves.
At a certain point the path will separate into two directions. The uphill direction will lead you along the ridge of Monte San Costanzo, the other one to the plateau of Punta Campanella where you find the remains of the Temple of Minerva and the Torre Minerva.
Once you’re there, to the left of the Tower you will find a crumbling staircase that leads you to a cliff in which are some grottos and sea caves. Among these, there is the Grotto of Sirens, famous for the clear water and the light reflections that create a magical atmosphere.
Along the staircase to the Grotto, about halfway, stop and take a careful look around. You will find an ancient writing engraved in the rock. It dates back to the 2nd century B.C.
I’m sure you will love the hiking path to Punta Campanella.