This is without doubt one of the most spectacular hikes of the Sorrento Peninsula and Amalfi Coast even though it isn't often that there are all the conditions to make it perfect (in particular the temperature and visibility). I like to hike this route completing a circuit from Moiano: S.Maria del Castello, Forestale, the steep ascent to Conocchia and then, after having climbed the Molare, down to the cablecar station via Porta di Faito. You then go back to Moiano or Vico by the Circumvesuviana bus, or to Castellammare by cable-car (only from April to October).
The main climb from the Forestale (763m) to Conocchia (1377m) is completely south-facing and even in early spring it can be extremely hot. Instead some stretches of the higher part of the route are never sunny and you can often find icey ground. Once passing from the southern face to the northern one we registered a temperature drop of 20° C.
Leave the road of S. Maria del Castello at the end of the climb (659m) and take the narrow road (Via Conocchia) going down past a few houses. After these it turns into a pretty wide, easy and scenic path climbing gently for about half an hour to the Forestale (763m). Just above this stone building is the crossroads: the trail to the right descends to Montepertuso, the central one goes to Capo Muro and Bomerano, the left one climbs steeply up to Conocchia and Molare.
You will zig-zag up to 925m where anyone who isn't afraid of heights or suffers from vertigo can step onto a wide flat rock terrace and enjoy an amazing view. You can also reach this outlook by following the Riva Erbatenera route, not as easy as the Forestale, but similarly spectacular. Keep climbing along the east face of the cliff, go past another outlook (1012m) and reach a level path (1075m); follow it to the left for almost 300m and you'll be at the foot of a narrow ridge. Here you can see two signed routes to reach the Conocchia: one along the ridge (steeper and harder, but also more scenic and spectacular - red dots on the map), the other in the valley.
Before you reach the top, turn left leaving the Croce della Conocchia on your right, along an easy path that with some ups and downs (but keeping to between 1360 and 1390m) leads you to the foot of the Molare.
A few meters before you go to the south face of the Molare there is a fork: descending to the left you can go to Agerola passing a few meters beneath the S.Michele church (1268m). After you have been up to the Molare (1443,6m - highest peak of Monti Lattari) come back here and start the descent. About 500m after the cave and spring of Acqua Santa, the main path (CAI 00) turns right towards Agerola; keep going straight up and in a couple of minutes you'll be on the road below the church.
Reach the ridge north of the church and follow it all the way to the cable-car station passing Porta di Faito with great views of the del Sarno plain and Vesuvio continuously in sight.
There are two alternative routes from Molare to Faito: both of them link the old Latteria (dairy) to Campo del Pero and then to Casa del Monaco and Conocchia. The southern one goes to Bandera, is more exposed and in some parts indistinct, but offers great views to the south. The other one goes through the beech forest in the valley and consequently has almost no views, but is anyway pleasant. Both are indicated with a thinner dashed line on the maps.
Trekking boots, water, jacket water-proof, nothing more than normal gear.
Link Giovanni Visetti Trekking Guide