We have great news!
The lost and forgotten path going from Arco Naturale to Vanassina has now reopened, thanks to “Associazione Percorsi e Sentieri Isola di Capri”, a non-profit organization in Capri whose aim is to protect the ancient, historical paths of the island from forgetfulness and misappropriation of territory by private people.
The path goes through a large area that in the past was used to grow hay. The hay was stored in caves, some of them still visible, located in the area . One of them is “La Grotta del Fieno” that is visible not only from the path itself but also from “La Piazzetta delle Noci”. Unfortunately, the cave is no longer accessible (no, don’t even try to go there! it’s really dangerous!!!).
The area of the path is wedged between the natural arch and the cliffs of Mount Tiberius and once upon a time was crossed by a series of paths that allowed reaching the Sementella beach situated near the stack of Matermania from the top of Vanassina (about 250 meters above sea level) .
Once people stopped to cultivate, the area was for a long time used as a place of ambush for hunting of migratory birds that came from the south and also a location for the skeet shooting.
Abandoned the skeet shooting, the hunting and the cultivation, the area has undergone a radical transformation in recent decades with lush Mediterranean vegetation that has taken over and occupied the paths making them disappear.
Today, thanks to the work of the volunteers of the “Percorsi e Sentieri” (Paths and Trails) association, joined by the volunteers of “Capri è anche mia” (Capri is also mine) and with the help of the hunters who indicated the various hunting stations, it has been possible to reopen the first of many paths of the area. Because of the contribution of hunters the path is now called the “hunter’s way” (Il sentiero dei cacciatori).
As I always recommend, being this a dirt path to always wear proper footwear. Do not bring kids unless they are really used to walk in rough paths. Do not underestimate the difficulty of the path and do not venture out after heavy rainfalls. Do not attempt this trail if you suffer from vertigo or fear of heights.
Estimate time: 1h
So now, back to the path and how to find it!
From “la Piazzetta” of Capri, take via Botteghe, via Matermania and via Arco Naturale. After the restaurant “le Grottelle” (worth a stop – alici marinate and zucchine alla scapece are our favorites), continue downhill towards the Arco Naturale. The path start just behind the house you’ll find on your left (via Arco Naturale 13). If you look carefully, you will also see a sign with a writing on it: “Sentiero ad uso pubblico” ( it means: this is a public path).
There is a story behind the sign. In 2014 the urban engineering department sent an order to the owner of the house (who did a misappropriation of that territory) to remove the unauthorized wooden fence that did not allow the access to the path.
Yes, it’s like you are entering a private house, but you are not!! Just follow the path behind the house. Going forward, the path is not always clearly defined and marked. We did the trail when it was recently opened.
Along the path, there is a stunning view over the “Penisola Sorrentina” and at least two caves are visible, including the “Grotta del Fieno” (the hay cave).
Here’s a map of the trial but if it’s not so easy to put it on a map, especially if you try to do it after month :-). I did my best.
Hopefully, other people have made the path and it’s now tracked more clearly, maybe the volunteers have had time to put some markers along the track.
Be sure to bring your camera with you and take some pictures, it’s really worth it. Forgotten the camera? Ok, I’m sure you have your phone then 🙂
Once you are on the top you will see a wall, follow it going to the right, until you reach a green fence.
Once you are at the fence turn left and follow the path, that after a while becomes a small road.
You will soon see the first house inhabited by a not exactly friendly dog. Maybe he spends too much time alone 🙂
This dog will not stop barking as long as he can see you, so hurry up and walk just 20/30 meters and then turn the head and say goodbye to the dog.
Go ahead until the end of the road and then turn left to get back to via Matermania.
This is, more or less, the map.
… and if you’re happy with your trip and would like to have a special souvenir please check my Hidden Capri shop online with lots of beautiful postcards, calendars, mugs and Capri gadgets!
“click on the postcard image below!!”