Morning pick-up from your hotel or prearranged meeting point to Ravello where we begin our hike.
We start by going down ancient stairs and paths amid lemon trees; on the way down, we visit an 8th-century church, followed by the ruins of a Roman basilica. We leave the village and get on the trail where there are stunning views of the Amalfi Coast and Salerno Bay.
In about 2 hours, we reach the Valley of the Mills – a pristine wooded area full of springs and waterfalls amid high cliffs. Within the deep valley, there are several examples of industry from as early as the 10th century, such as the remains of an old aqueduct and ironworks. There are also ruins of several paper factories that remain one of the few links to the history of wealth and power of the medieval Republic of Amalfi. Amalfi’s famous paper was produced by hand with cotton shipped from Egypt, making Amalfi one of the earliest locations where paper was produced in Western Europe.
The vegetation of the Valley of the Mills has been studied since 1859 starting with the famous German naturalist Karl Haekel. In this subtropical microclimate, one can find Cyclamen, Wild Orchids, Pterris vittata, Pinguicola hirtiflora (a carnivorous plant), Woodwardia Radicans, and Erica terminalis (a rare species of the giant fern which has its origins in the tertiary period). You can also spot Peregrine Falcons, Otters, and the Spotted Salamander “with glasses”.
Once we reach the town of Amalfi, we visit the Museum of Paper to discover the medieval tradition of making paper and we will view a paper-making demonstration.
After our visit, there is free time to further explore the town of Amalfi, purchase souvenirs, or enjoy a well-deserved gelato or pastry at an outdoor cafe.
Return transfer to hotel or drop-off point.