Amalfi is famous all over the world for its glorious past and for the sea. Only a few people, however, have visited its charming jewel: the natural reserve called “Valle delle Ferriere”. Botanists know this reserve thanks to the presence of a plant which is very rare in Europe, Woodwardia radicans (http://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Woodwardia_radicans): it is a so-called living fossil, that lived during Tertiary age. This is a very important example of pre-glacial age; the reserve is also the habitat of different kinds of orchids and of a small carnivore plant, called “Pinguicola hirtiflora”(http://www.meditflora.com/flora/pinguicola.htm ), a plant that lives eating small insects.
Small animals, among them the
so-called “salamander with glasses” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Salamandrina_terdigitata),
inhabit the valley, too.
The valley is reachable through a wonderful path along the stream called Rio Canneto. The path is easy and goes through beautiful woods, springs, and small cascades of Rio Canneto. The river was once used as the power supply for the ancient paper factories, whose remains are still visible and can be visited. In these factories, there was the production of the famous paper of Amalfi, very famous and used still today.
In the middle of this path
there the ancient ironworks factory that gives its name to the valley:
it provided iron to the ancient Republic of Amalfi.
Since the path is easy, there is no need to use special tools or equipments: it is important to wear long trousers and comfortable shoes, fit for mountain walking. The most important thing to remember is to bring a camera to take beautiful photos. Forgetting it would be a great mistake!