The unassuming village Nocelle rests in the clouds high above the affluent Positano town. The lights shine brightly from down below but the stars sparkle up atop the mountain peak.
The peaceful village is the last stop on the designated bus route that faithfully chugs up and down the mountain from Positano. It’s a throwback to yesteryear when you disembark off of the weary vehicle at Nocelle’s designated car park. The only way forward from that point is through rustic stone lanes, which are too narrow for cars or bikes, is on foot, or on hoof. Donkeys are available to carry luggage to B&Bs or needed supplies to the village’s one family run restaurant, a church, the lone mini mart and a single daytime bar.
Stepping into Nocelle is to enter a real tightknit community. I stayed at the lovely bed and breakfast, Casa Cuccaro, which was located right in the centre of the village. A peaceful spot to observe panoramic views and daily life. My cappuccino shielded my grin the morning I observed our B&B owner carry a conversation from the breakfast terrace to a neighbour perched just a little higher up on the mountain. But that is simply the way of life in the mountainside summit village. You can read more about my stay in Casa Cuccaro here.
Even if you’re not staying in Nocelle, there are reasons to pay a visit to the tiny village. There is no nightlife but there is a splendid dining experience at the family run restaurant, Ristorante Santa Croce. I loved the delicious dishes, particularly the Homemade pasta with ricotta, mozzarella and vegetables inside (€10), and what’s really appealing is the great value – I had a bottle of champagne (€25) on both occasions, simply because I could. The prices are exceptional and such finds allow you to experience the glamorous lifestyle associated with the Amalfi Coast on a budget. We strolled into Santa Croce twice without a booking made and they were able to accommodate us. I do recommend you’re not as spontaneous as we were, though, because if you book ahead you could reserve a table by the floor to ceiling windows that overlook the coast.
Another reason to head up to Nocelle is to immerse yourself into nature’s heavenly beauty by embarking upon the renowned Path of the Gods trail. The panoramic views available on this elevated hike will steal your breath away, and one of my absolute highlights during my time in the Amalfi Coast is the discovery of a little gem. Located at the start / end of the Path of Gods is a tiki hut style bar called the Kiosk of the Path of Gods, which serves light bites such as paninis and an amazing spritz for only €4.
The Kiosk is a lovely secluded spot to reflect upon your accomplishment and to soak in the reward of the expansive views of the Italian Riviera. They don’t take card, just cash, so make sure you bring enough because if I lived in Nocelle, this would be my local!
Nocelle is just a 30-minute scenic bus ride from Positano and you can buy your ticket on board. The Mobility Amalfi Coast route costs €1.70 per person for a single trip, but €1.30 if you buy your ticket from a selling shop, however, for convenience, I suggest just buying it aboard because you don’t want to risk missing your ride. The bus goes once an hour and the frequency changes due to the seasons so keep up to date on the schedule or else you’ll have to take a taxi.
Having stayed in this little village feels like I’m in on a secret. Nocelle has only 150 residents and possesses a charm from a bygone era. Visitors aren’t considered intrusive (yet) as every passing resident salutes a buongirno your way in the morning and bids you a pleasant buonasera in the evening. My husband found his inspiring writer’s retreat up in the mountains of Amalfi Coast and I discovered a magical tranquil hideaway ideal for spiritual reflection. I really recommend staying in this special place for all those considering a visit to the beautiful Amalfi Coast.