Valley of the Mills: Hidden in the Heart of the Amalfi Coast, a Hike of Discovery

Apr 02, 2024 133

BY: Grace Russo Bullaro

In one of the most visited countries on Earth, and in one of its most storied regions, there is a place that even many Italians don’t know exists. The Valley of the Mills (Il Vallone dei Mulini or Valle dei Mulini), right in the heart of the tourist-congested Amalfi Coast, is a silent valley where nature has reclaimed the medieval and the modern ruins of the mills that produced oil and flour for centuries. The ivy and vines have taken over the bricks and mortar, the deep cracks in the earth have filled in with shrubs and trees.

The gorge that houses the crumbling buildings was created during a huge eruption which devastated the Mediterranean area 35.000 years ago. The same one that created the volcanically volatile Campi Flegrei, outside of Naples, at the feet of Vesuvius. The flour mills, built from stone as far back as the 13th century, were in a perfect location to access the stream at the bottom of the valley. It was once home to thriving flour mills, sawmills, and tanneries powered by the water from the Canneto River.

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