View of Scala on the Amalfi Coast

While travel and most everything has been on hold this spring, the April 2020 issue of Italia! Magazine featured an article I wrote called 48 Hours in Scala. For those of you following Ciao Amalfi for some time now, you’ll know that I’ve spent a lot more than 48 hours in Scala. About 12 years actually. Until last summer, when we moved down into the historic center of Amalfi, I lived in the charming area of Minuta in Scala with my husband. It’s a peaceful and beautiful area with views to set your heart dreaming.

I treasure my time in Scala for so many reasons, especially the quiet atmosphere and the welcoming people. It will always be the first place I lived in Italy, where I learned the Italian words to go shopping, where I realized how much I love hiking, where I became an Italian citizen, and so many more memories. So it was a pleasure after all these years to share more in depth why I think Scala is such a sweet spot on the Amalfi Coast.

When John Steinbeck wrote about Positano in Harper’s Bazaar in 1953, he wrote, “Nearly always when you find a place as beautiful as Positano, your impulse is to conceal it.” Although he was mistaken to assume that Positano would never become such a popular travel destination, I do understand that desire to keep special places hidden away. So, consider this an exceptional glimpse into one of my favourite quiet spots on the Amalfi Coast.

– Laura Thayer, “48 Hours in Scala”

What makes Scala such a special place? It starts with the fact that hardly anyone has heard of it. Yes that is possible on the Amalfi Coast. Yet it also happens to be between Amalfi and Ravello – two of the most popular towns on the coastline. When they say hidden treasure, this is Scala. If you’ve stood in Ravello’s main piazza with the church to your back and gazed across the valley, you were looking right at Scala. It is among the oldest settled areas on the Amalfi Coast and was once closely tied to the Republic of Amalfi in the Middle Ages.

View from Scala looking down the valley to Amalfi

The town spreads out across the mountainside and is comprised of many different areas, including the area called Minuta with its Chiesa dell’Annunziata from the 11th century. Although rarely open, the crypt holds a captivating series of 12th-century frescoes. I’ll give you a look inside the crypt here as well since it isn’t easy to get inside to see for yourself.

Minuta and the Chiesa dell’Annunziata
Frescoes in the Chiesa dell’Annunziata

Scala is perfectly situated for hiking as you can set off up into the mountains above town for spectacular views, hike to the 15th-century Torre dello Ziro watchtower above Amalfi, or hike down into the Valle delle Ferriere above Amalfi.

Hiking in the Valle delle Ferriere

In this article, I’ve shared my favorite spots in Scala, the best hikes, great restaurants, and places to stay if you’d like to make Scala your home base while visiting the Amalfi Coast. Something I would highly recommend, especially if you enjoy a quiet and natural setting. One of the things I love about collaborating with Italia! Magazine is that they cover popular spots in Italy, like my piece 48 Hours on Capri, as well as smaller places a bit more off the radar so you can experience all the different sides of Italy.

If you’d like to read the full article 48 Hours in Scala, you can purchase back issues of Italia! Magazine or you can also purchase individual digital issues. Italia! Magazine is currently on hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Hopefully, the magazine will continue with publication later this summer, but now is the perfect chance to support Italia! and your favorite magazines by subscribing or buying back issues.

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