The Valley of the Mills to Pontone and Torre dello Ziro
The Valley of the Mills is one of the best-known walks on the Amalfi Coast. It starts from the town of Amalfi following the valley up into the woodland along the banks of the streams rushing down towards the sea.Along the way, you will pass the ruins of the old paper mills and some pretty waterfalls.
Starting Point - Amalfi
Type - circular
Distance and difficulty - 10km. No great difficulty but steadily uphill with some steep stretches as far as Pontone. Steps.
How to get there - Sita bus from Sorrento to Amalfi
Useful info -bar/restaurants/water fountain at Pontone and in Amalfi.
- Landscapes of Sorrento, Amalfi & Capri (Julian Tippett) segments 12a, 16 and 6b.
The path goes steadily uphill, but pleasantly so, for the length of the valley. Then it becomes steeper as you go up the steps towards the saddle before descending to Pontone. Shortly before the village you will pass under a couple of archways where a selection of traditional pots, pans and utensils adorn the walls. There is also a quaint nativity scene built into the side of the path just before the arch which is illuminated during the Christmas period.
The village of Pontone has a pretty medieval square and should the 12th century church of San Giovanni be open, it is worth having a look inside. Pontone is the perfect place to stop for a break.
To go to the Torre dello Ziro, leave the square passing under the archway of the bell-tower, following the path to the right as far as the road. On the other side of the road you will find the sign indicating the way to the Torre. Once past the houses you will see an extremely steep flight of steps straight ahead of you. Unfortunately the steps need climbing since they will bring you to the old castle and the first view point (Ravello and Villa Cimbrione can be seen across the valley). Proceed down some less vicious steps to a dreadful cement eyesore and a small clearing. Here you can go directly to the Torre by going down the path to the left, keeping left at the fork, or you can first go to the belvedere by going up and then round to the right emerging at the top of some steps looking straight out to sea. This is well worth doing since you will also have a clear view of the tower and the ramparts down below. Follow the path round the other side of the hillock and go down in the direction of the saddle where you will come to the fork to the tower and the castle walls.
Once you have seen and admired the views, return by the same route, this time going down the very steep flight of steps.
Walk along the path until the first flight of steps to the left. Go up these and then down the other side. Many steps later you will come back into Amalfi.