The enchanted forest

The walk to the Ferriere Valley starts with a taste of medieval life in one of the most characteristic districts of the Amalfi Coast: Minuta, close to Scala. The stairway that gently winds from the street brings to a little and quadrangular square with a stone floor and the small white church of the Annunziata, which has three arched vaults on the facade, now discolored by the sun.

One of the waterfalls in the valley | Ph.  Anna Monaco - Trentaremi

One of the waterfalls in the valley | Ph. Anna Monaco - Trentaremi

The view from here is spectacular: the Dragone Valley, Amalfi, the houses of Atrani that look like colored dots, the Basilica of St. Eustachio, suspended on the Aureo mountain, and the village of Pontone, Pogerola. The walk continues along a staircase and an ancient mule track immersed in the Mediterranean vegetation, amid the scents of the citrus groves dotted with the yellow-gold of the “Sfusato” lemon, which fills the landscape like an impressionist painting. 

The church of the Annunziata | Ph. Anna Monaco - Trentaremi

The church of the Annunziata | Ph. Anna Monaco - Trentaremi

The Valley is famous for the Bourbon ironworks, whose remains are hidden among the shrubs and bushes that stand the test of time to witness the ancient genius. Waliking towards the heart of the Valley you feel like entering the forest of fairy tales: the cicadas orchestra gives the rhythm, the water of the Cannet river flows along impressive rocks and draws their face with rivulets of incredible beauty. The garrigue and the Mediterranean vegetation climb toward the sun, together with grasshoppers, spiders, scorpions and other animals that live well in dry places. “Sfusato” lemon, which fills the landscape like an impressionist painting. 

Inside the ferriere valley | Anna Monaco - Trentaremi

Inside the ferriere valley | Anna Monaco - Trentaremi

Ferns, wild orchids and small carnivorous plants look instead for the earth, the damp. The coexistence of different plant species is one of the most interesting features of this oasis. A particular microclimate of subtropical type which does not change during the seasons has allowed particular types of plants of pre-glacial era to resist over the centuries, says the naturalist Simona Gargiulo. This has happened thanks to the position of the Valley, which is protected by the Scala mountains to the north, is exposed to the sun and to the sea currents to the south and has a copious water reserve due to the constant flow of water from the calcareous rocks.

typical flowers of the valley | Ph. Anna Monaco - Trentaremi

typical flowers of the valley | Ph. Anna Monaco - Trentaremi

With these environmental characteristics the majestic Woodwardia radicans, a giant fern whose leaves reach up to three meters, can live here in the Ferriere Valley as well as in very few other places in the world, such as Calabria. The same applies to Pteris cretica, a type of fern common in the shady valleys of the Sorrento Peninsula and the Amalfi Coast, or to Pteris vittata, which grows behind Amalfi and in a few other places around the world scattered between China, Australia and South Africa.

the water of the river flows along the rocks | Ph. Anna Monaco - Trentaremi

the water of the river flows along the rocks | Ph. Anna Monaco - Trentaremi

The fauna is affected by the microclimate, too. The small spectacled salamander is an endemic species of southern Italy and lives in this place along with other amphibians like the newts, the Rana Italica, and together with reptiles and birds in need of water such as the kingfishers or the natrals. It’s not easy to see these animals, but with a bit of luck the enchanted forest may always give the sight of a buzzard or a lestrel circling in the air in search of lizards, or that one of the peregrine falcon, which nests right here, among the cliffs of the Ferriere Valley.

Ludovica Baratta - Trekking

Read more

Scroll

This website uses cookies to improve your experience