Worldwide Amalfi is known for its glorious past and its
sea, but few know the nature reserve "Valle delle Ferriere”.
Due to its special geographical position, among the mountains
of Scala, the reserve is protected from cold north winds
through the rocky ridges, but open to hot-humid southern
winds and subject to high rainfall distributed over three
months. It thus kept unchanged over time its microclimate
keeping intact plants of past times. Botanists, in fact,
know this natural reserve for the presence of a rare plant
in Europe, the Woodwardia radicans (http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodwardia_radicans),
a so-called living fossil appeared on earth in the Tertiary.
In addition to this important example of pre-glacial plant,
this nature reserve is also the habitat of several species
of orchids, and of the small carnivorous plant "Pinguicola
) whose meal consists of small insects. The valley is also
inhabited by small animals among which must be recorded the "spectacled
The trekking route into the “Valle delle Ferriere” is of minor difficulty with a duration of about three hours and a drop of 500 meters down and 250 m up. The “Valle delle Ferriere” can be reached through a wonderful path along the river Rio Canneto. The departure is from San Lazzaro, in Agerola at 630 m height, and from there follow the direction to the castle ‘Castello Lauritano’ and the trail to Mount Murillo (849 m) and continue for the ancient Paper Mill Valley, crossed by the river Rio Canneto. The route is easy and not particularly tiring, winding through beautiful forests, springs, small waterfalls and the rapids of the Rio Canneto, once driving force for the old paper mills, where once the famous paper of Amalfi was produced, and still very much requested still today, and which can be viewed in the Museum of the Amalfi Paper. In the valley the ruins of the mills of the twelfth century can still be visited. The landscape is unspoilt and descends into the valley with breathtaking panoramic views, through the Mediterranean bush and terraces of lemon trees and vineyards. Halfway we meet the old ironworks, giving the name to the valley, which supplied iron to the ancient Maritime Republic of Amalfi.
An alternative route, starting from
Atrani, a picturesque Saracen village on the outskirts
of Amalfi: This path is for trekking lovers and leads across
the ancient village, passing through the valley of the
river Dragone, to the location of Pontone where you can
admire the tower ‘Torre dello
Ziro’ and the remains of the Cathedral of St. Eustace.
From here we head towards the Nature Reserve of Valle delle
Ferriere, and then the route to Amalfi is the same as above.
The ease of the trails does not require special equipment or facilities, but long trousers and a pair of comfortable shoes suitable for walking in the mountains are recommended. Be careful and do not forget the camera, water, sunscreen and a hat.