View of Scala on the Amalfi Coast

A Glimpse of My Scala in Italia! Magazine

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.

dream-of-italy-capri-walks

Check Out My Favorite Capri Walks in Dream of Italy!

ciao-amalfi-capri-walks-dream-of-italy

It’s been a quiet summer around here on Ciao Amalfi, but it certainly hasn’t been a quiet time. Summer is always a busy period, but this year seems especially hectic … and hot! We’ve had a heat wave on the Amalfi Coast, making usually hot August even stickier than normal. But I’ve had a lot of fun experiences this summer, including writing a feature piece in Dream of Italy’s June/ July newsletter on my favorite walks on Capri. It was a pleasure to explore the island, covering familiar pathways and discovering some new ones to me – all while taking notes and photographs for the article. I’ve shared a variety of walks, including some short and easy walks if you only have a limited time on Capri as well as some longer hikes if you’re staying for more than a day. However, all of them show you the way to discovering the natural beauty of Capri!

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You can check out a sneak peek of one of the walks on the Dream of Italy blog with Capri Walk #2: Natural Beauty Up Close. To read about all the walks, check out the Dream of Italy June/ July 2017 issue here.

The Amalfi Coast in Perillo Traveler Magazine

Perillo Traveler The Amalfi Coast

The last few months have been a bit of a whirlwind, but in many good ways. In the middle of multiple writing projects, the end result can sometimes seem so far away. But when the final product arrives, all the extra work is worthwhile. It was a joy to get the Winter 2016 issue of Perillo Traveler magazine recently and see my feature article on the Amalfi Coast. This was an especially fun project because it included all of my own photos. (Except the cover below – that’s not my shot.) When I write about the Amalfi Coast, the words are intimately connected to the landscape here and the photographs that I love taking while out exploring. To have the two of them together is a dream!

Perillo Traveler The Amalfi Coast

The article takes a broad tour of the Amalfi Coast, with stops in Amalfi, Positano and Ravello. I also share some of my favorite walks, beaches and day trips along with the best restaurants, hotels and shopping spots on the Amalfi Coast. Planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast? You won’t want to miss this article and the Insider’s Guide section! Even better, you can download it for free at the Perillo Traveler website. Or click here.

Perillo Traveler Amalfi Coast Winter 2016

In this issue you’ll also have the chance to win a 5 day trip to Rome for two! (Make sure you enter before March 24, 2016.)

The Amalfi Coast: Walking Through History One Step at a Time

NIAF Ambassador Magazine The Amalfi Coast

This summer I had the pleasure to write about one of my favorite pastimes on the Amalfi Coast — walking and exploring the ancient pathways and hiking trails — for the NIAF Ambassador magazine. This is this quarterly magazine for the National Italian American Foundation, which is a wonderful resource for all things Italy. It was a joy this autumn to virtually flip through the magazine feature and to see my photographs across so many pages!

NIAF Ambassador Magazine The Amalfi Coast Hiking

If you’re a NIAF member then you’ve likely already read through three of my favorite walks on the Amalfi Coast. If you’re not a member but would like to find out more, visit the NIAF website for all the details.

NIAF Ambassador Magazine Fall 2014

A huge grazie to Michelle from Bleeding Espresso for the very kind recommendation for this writing project! Over the coming weeks I’ll share more of the photos of the different walks that I took while doing some of the most pleasurable research I’ve ever done. Stay tuned to the Ambassador magazine winter issue for an article about my two favorite spots on Capri. You will be tempted  … oh so tempted!

Amalfi Coast Moments of Poetry

Foto Friday: Instructions for Living a Life

Amalfi Coast Moments of Poetry

There are so many ways that the poet Mary Oliver has captured beautiful moments of life in her work, but this excerpt from her poem “Sometimes” is perhaps my favorite. It has that slap you in the face simplicity and speaks a truth that really resonates with me. So few people pay attention to what happens in life – from the simple little things that can bring joy to those experiences that can change our lives if we let them.

If you pay attention, it’s easy to be astonished.

If you pay attention, it’s impossible to be bored.

If you pay attention and are astonished, the drive to tell about it is second nature. For some people that comes through writing, photography, art, music or any other form of creativity. Or maybe it’s just telling a good bedtime story to your kids or sharing what happened yesterday on your walk with a friend. These are the things we remember.

So, what do you have to tell?