Valle delle Ferriere: a nature reserve in the heart of the Amalfi Coast

March 21, 2014

Not only beaches on the Amalfi Coast: the state reserve of Valle delle Ferriere, reachable in one hour's walk from Amalfi, is a beautiful natural area with protected plant species of great interest and a large colony of aquatic and terrestrial animals. The valley owes its name to the presence of the old ironworks of the Amalfi Republic, active mainly in the production of nails for boats.

The landscape is characterized largely by the irregular course of the river Canneto, which comes close to Acqualta to form waterfalls high about 20 meters, while in Palara it creates an impressive canyon almost similar to those of Oregon. Large chestnut forests surround the area and alternate with the maquis scrubland, in contrast with the vegetation of the bottom of the valley, which is typically tropical, with the presence of unique Italian plants as the Woodwardia radicans, a giant fern, and the Pinguicola hirtiflora, a carnivorous plant with pink flowers.

The Valle delle Ferriere can be easily walked through by two routes commonly referred to as "Low Trail" and "High Trail". The first, definitely more simple, starts from the 266 meters above sea level of Pontone, a fraction of Scala, and continues through lemon groves and vineyards before the slight slope of Sella (309 m a.s.l.), and then through the steep descent towards Amalfi, passing the remains of the Ferriera, the arch of the ancient aqueduct and the bank of the river Canneto. The so-called High Trail begins by Pogerola (307 m a.s.l.) and rises to 500 meters above sea level crossing waterfalls with very large jumps between wide and spectacular views. After passing Castello, you can choose whether to end the trail in the direction of Pontone, Minuta or Campidoglio. During both trails the lucky ones might come across the bizarre spectacled salamanders engaged in fishing in the creek.

Currently, to access the state reserve of Valle delle Ferriere is required prior approval of the Office of territorial biodiversity of the State Forestry Corps of Caserta. In fact, because of a state decree and the morphology of the territory, groups must be accompanied at all times by qualified personnel. Infotel: +39 089 873043.

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