The rugged cliffs of the Lattari Mountains rise out of the Mediterranean to form coves and ravines in which nestle pretty whitewashed villages of which Scala one of the oldest and smallest of the Amalfi towns. A stopping off point for pilgrims to Jerusalem in the 12C it has a lovely 13C cathedral. Once industrious and populated town, Scala is nowadays a nice small village sorrounded by chestnut, oak, and ilex woods, rising quiet and isolated in front of Ravello.
Steps of Scala
The network of wide and well-maintained mule paths criss-crossing the region, some of them centuries old dressed stone steps. The paths wander among lemon and olive groves, pines and oaks, valleys and ridges. They are lined with sweet-smelling herbs and bright with rock roses, prickly pears and cyclamen. The tracks are never far from the sparkling blue sea and give spectacular views of the near-vertical towns below.
From here we did some pleasant walks down these old steps to Atrani and Amalfi.
Pontone another of the village environs of Scala was once a defence stronghold for the surrounding towns during the Amalfi Republic.
Its another picturesque tiny hillside medieval village you'll pass on a hike in these parts.
Comfy shoes for those steps! Mosquito repelents would be advisable here. A sarong was invaluable for returning down the short stretch of road to Hotel La Margherita from the pool at the other Hotel.
Valley of the Ferriere Hike
This 3 hour hike starting from Minuta and then Pontone, leads down old steps and along good, sometimes shaded paths through lemon and citrus groves and then along rocky slopes to the Valle delle Ferriere Nature reserve, a wooded area with tall chestnuts trees, natural springs and waterfalls. The valley is surrounded by the high ridges of Mount Cervigliano. It resembles a deep, southfacing amphitheatre surrounded by high cliffs and has an unchanged microclimate which allows for the preservation of the Woodwardia radicans, a rare type of long-leafed fern from the preglacial age.
Proceed through the long, winding Valle dei Mulini which abounds in lemon groves and trough which the Canneto stream flows. Remains of a former ironfoundry on the higher part of the valley can still be seen, along with the ruins of an aqueduct and what remains of the many paper factories which made Amalfi paper famous with the Curia and religious institutes up to the XII century.