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Vico is a good base from which to explore the area's natural attractions of sea, beaches, and mountains. Across from the Municipio in the center of town, you can take Via Castello Marina, the steep old footpath which descends through olive groves and leads to Vico Marina where you will find small beaches hidden within picturesque coves. One of the nicest is Marina di Equa, just west of a defense tower built in the 17th century.

Another great hike -- but one that requires you to be moderately fit and is best accomplished with a good trail map (available from the tourist office in town) -- is the old footpath to Positano. Although the area has been inhabited for thousands of years, the SS 163 (the Amalfi Coast Drive) dates only from 1840; before then, footpaths were the only means of travel and communication on the peninsula. For centuries, residents trekked over mountain paths and commuted by boat to points along the coast. Walking the succession of trails to Positano will require about 3 1/2 hours. Follow the directions for Ticciano until you reach the bridge over the Milo; there, on your left, you'll find a dirt road to the pass of Santa Maria al Castello (altitude 685m/2,247 ft.). Just before the church, to your left, is the connection to the Sentiero degli Dei (Footpath of the Gods) that leads toward Nocelle. Instead of taking this, turn left at the dirt track directly across from the church; this is the trail that leads to Positano. When you reach the fork, the western spur climbs to Monte Comune (altitude 877m/2,877 ft.), with its sweeping views; the eastern branch begins the descent to Positano. Along this trail are several tricky passages around points of rock, so follow your map carefully.

The many agriturismi (farmhouses) in the area are great places to have lunch and to experience daily agricultural activities; you can also arrange an overnight stay. One of our favorites is Coop-Agrituristica La Ginestra, Via Tessa 2, Santa Maria di Castello (tel. 081-8023211; www.laginestra.org; 80€ double, including breakfast), a beekeeping farm that makes delicious organic honey. Another agriturismo is Masseria Astapiana Villa Giusso, Via Camaldoli 51, 80069 Vico Equense (tel./fax 081-8024392 or 081-403797; www.astapiana.com). A historic patrician farm building, it dates from the 17th century, and many of the original frescoes have been preserved. Surrounded by parkland, it has a museum, offers organized tours and cooking classes, and serves dinner. It also has a few simply appointed rooms and a self-catering apartment for rent (100€-120€ double).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.