The Athena Trail combines the excursions to Punta Campanella and Monte San Costanzo in a single loop circuit, which allows you to walk through all the most extreme part of the Sorrento Peninsula.
The Athena Trail passes through an area of particular interest for its historical importance, for the wild look that nature preserves and the wonderful views it offers.
The walk begins in the square of Termini; you will reach Punta Campanella through the northern slope of Promontorium Minervae, which separates the Gulf of Naples from the Gulf of Salerno.
From the little square of Termini, piazza Santa Croce, head down Via Campanella. After about 200 metres take the first turning to the right in the direction of via Minerva, a Greek-Roman mule track built in the fourth century B.C. and still partially paved with the Roman paving. The vegetation gradually becomes thinner and you can see the Promontorium Minervae and then the beautiful island of Capri. On the right, you will see the tower called Torre di Fossa Papa, the path gets steeper and a layer of asphalt covers from 1962 the well preserved Roman floor.
Finally you will see the tower and the lighthouse of Punta Campanella: the tower, in gray tuff, probably stands on the site that housed an ancient temple dedicated to Athena – Minerva, founded by the Greeks and then used by Romans. The presence of a temple is attested by the archaeological ruins that can still be seen around the tower.
From here, Capri is so close that seems you can touch it with your hands.
From Punta Campanella, the trail continues towards Monte San Costanzo, the highest hill of Massa Lubrense, following the white-red signs. You will cross the southern slope of the promontory, leaving behind the island of Capri. On the right, the view opens out over the Bay of Ieranto.
The little mountain has two peacks: one has a radio station used for the air traffic control and the other is the one with the characteristic little white church dedicated to San Costanzo. Between the two peaks, a small pinewood offers a nice shaded area. From this point, few limestone steps lead quickly to the church of Saint Costanzo, founded in the second half of the sixteenth century.
This peack of San Costanzo offers a 360 degree panorama of the entire territory of Massa Lubrense, from the Gulf of Naples to the Gulf of Salerno, with the majestic Vesuvius, the islands of Capri, Ischia and Procida. Take a tour around the church to admire it all.
To go back to Termini the ancient path that intersects the curves of the main road is shorter but steeper and quite rough, ending just before the junction with Via Campanella.