The Vallone delle Ferriere route commences in the Monti Latteri. From here it descends towards Amalfi through a wood of tall chestnut trees and rare, long leaved ferns. The ruins of the medieval foundries, which gave the valley its name, can still be seen.
The valley is also known as the Vallone dei Mulini and, the final stage of the walk, takes visitors past a number of water powered mills which once the produced Amalfi's famous paper.
- Things you should know before commencing the walk:
- Departure point: Pontone
- Arrival point: Amalfi
- Duration: 3 - 4 hrs
- Kilometers: 6
- Difficulty: easy
The route commences in Pontone, a district of Scala, some 225 meters above sea level. To reach Pontone you can take the Sita bus which runs between Amalfi, Ravello and Scala.
Not all buses stop at Pontone: but you can easily reach Pontone on foot from Ravello or from Scala by way of a pleasant little lane.
From the main piazza in Pontone, take the mule path which passes in front of the Trattoria Antico Borgo. Once past an archway, to the left youll come to a junction where, at Christmas time, locals stage an impressive nativity scene.
Immediately after this, to the left, a long flight of steps lead down, towards Amalfi. Dont take these, but go towards the valley, descend a few steps and then take the short uphill path amidst the lemon trees and vineyards.
At the top of the hill, a path leads to an aqueduct, beyond which, after a few meters, take the downwards path to the left.
Youll soon come to the first foundry and the Canneto stream. The path leads all the way down to Amalfi following the stream and passing by the ruins of the foundries and mills.
Before commencing the descent, you can make a detour to reach the Riserva Integrale, a habitat for rare fauna and flora The only remaining examples of Woodwardia radicon, a fern which dates back to before the ice age, survive here thanks to the unique microclimate.
The detour is brief but demanding, and should be avoided if you are not particularly fit or are walking with small children.
In order to reach the Reserve, you will need to cross a stream, (a tree trunk serves as makeshift bridge) and follow the little uphill path which leads to the fences around the Reserve.
At this stage, turn back and take the no.25 route which traces the left bank of the river and in circa 45 minutes leads to the center of Amalfi.
Once in Amalfi, check out the Paper Museum where you can visit an old 13th century paper factory. The museum library houses more than 3.000 volumes highlighting the history of paper making, an ancient art for which Amalfi is renowned.
To purchase a supply of the original famous Amalfi Paper, head to the Cartiera Amatruda which still produces sheets of paper, envelopes and watermarked cards using traditional techniques.