Agerola is a little town that is surrounded by the Lattari mountains. Therefore, it is called “Little Switzerland” because of a fresh and fizzy breeze that arrives in town from Lattari, thus creating a contrast with the Mediterranean heat of the Amalfi Coast. The town is considered a tourist resort on the coast, even if it’s not actually at sea. It actually stands just above the picturesque villages of Furore and Amalfi. Agerola hotels are frequented by tourists who wish to enjoy the fresh scent of the mountain near the sea.
The town is famous for the richness of fruits and for farms that produce milk. Milk is usually used for making butter and delightful cheese. The surrounding Lattari Mountains are so-called because of the milk produced by goats that graze on the slopes and the presence of numerous pastures. Agerola is surrounded by lush vegetation, forests, and peaks 900-1100 meters high. The town is one of the areas protected by the Ente Parco Dei Monti Lattari, an institution with the task of preserving this natural area.
History of Agerola
The town’s name derives from the Latin “Ager,” which means “field.” Therefore, the name “Agerola” comes from terraced fields that have been stretched to the ridges of the mountains and the forests. And from these forests, the Maritime Republic of Amalfi took the wood for its ships. The area was notorious for robberies. These robberies lasted until the year 1700, when the town was thwarted by the Bourbons. But in time, Agerola has become a thriving commercial hub in a strategic position at the center of the Sorrento Peninsula.
At the end of the year 1800, a road was built to connect Agerola to Castellammare and the Gulf of Naples through the Lattari Mountains, giving further stimulus to trade and tourism. In this same period is the opposition of the nobles of Agerola to Ferdinand I of Bourbon, who had joined the coalition against Napoleon’s expansion in Italy. Instances of the French Revolution had made inroads into the local nobility. Since then, a linden tree that represents the symbol of freedom is regularly planted in the churchyard of Our Lady of Loreto in the hamlet of Campora.
The Path of the Gods
There are many paths around Agerola that are great for walking, trekking, or cycling. Agerola is the starting point for the Path of the Gods, a walking route along the west part of the Amalfi Coast. The route starts from the hamlet of Bomerano and ends in Nocelle, near Positano. Actually, there is also a road that starts in Santa Maria di Castello and comes to Bomerano, called High Path of the Gods, but the best-known route suitable for anyone who wants to walk is the one coming to Nocella, called Low Path.
The route is 7 km long, and it overlooks a landscape that takes your breath away. Luckily, it is mostly downhill, so you can enjoy the stunning coastline and the woods while walking down the road. Also, there are the crossroads with paths and stairways that climb from Vettica and Praiano, as well as the pathways on sheer cliffs. The Path of the Gods is one of the paths that is an ideal destination for hill walking lovers.
The most popular routes are the “Sentiero Delle Fonti” along the river Penise and the 6 km long “Cima Dello Sparviero” that leads to a spectacular view stretching from Amalfi to Salerno. From the top of the “Tre Cavalli,” you can get a 360-degree view of the Amalfi Coast. Furthermore, there is the route “Denti del Gigante” which leads to Monte Sant’Angelo and the grotto called dell’Acqua Santa. The “Sentiero dell’Alba” route climbs to Monte Murillo and from there to the medieval monastery of Cospita. The route “Antica Repubblica” starts from the viewpoint of San Lazzaro and comes down to the beach of Santa Croce.
Products of Agerola
After the long walks, there must be some reward. One of the reasons why Agerola is such an interesting tourist destination on the Amalfi Coast is its local liqueurs. The typical products of Agerola have crossed local boundaries, and they are nowadays found in the menus across the world. Starting from liquors, such as “Finocchietto,” which is very appreciated for its digestive properties, or the “Fragolino” (strawberry liqueur), or liquors made from red mulberries or nuts. The latter is called “Nocillo,” which is a very ancient liqueur.
However, another delicious typical food in Agerola is cheese. One of the most popular is the cheese called “Provolone del Monaco,” which is exclusively produced in the area around the Lattari Mountains. It is made with cow’s milk and matured from 6 to 18 months. Furthermore, there is a smoked caciocavallo cheese called “Ricotta di Fuscella.” It is essential in the traditional dishes of Campania, from filled pasta to desserts. The “Fiordilatte di Agerola” is a cheese with the “Protected Designation of Origin” certification. It is a fresh cheese made from the spun paste of cow’s milk.
Also worth mentioning is the local ham like the traditional Napoli salami, as well as the fresh and smoked pork sausage and sausage in lard called “Sotto Sugna.” It is produced in glazed ceramic pots, and it is soft and aromatic. The local wines are the typical ones of the Sorrento Peninsula. There are wines called “Lettere”, “Gragnano”, “Sorrento”, and “Pompeiano”.