One of the captivating scenic attractions in Sorrento is the Vallone dei Mulini (Valley of the Mills), a site among the most photographed (and Instagrammable!) worldwide.
This gorge is the result of an ancient eruption of the Campi Flegrei, with debris accumulation and the erosive action of the streams named “Casarlano” and “Sant’Antonino” shaping the terrain, creating a picturesque groove.
Today, this location remains in a state of abandonment, shrouded in dense vegetation due to the high humidity levels, rendering it uninhabitable for humans.
Among the various species present, the standout is the Phyllitis vulgaris, a rare plant belonging to the fern family.
The radical transformation of this site was triggered by the construction of Piazza Tasso in 1866, completely isolating the Vallone.
In the 1500s, the Tasso and Correale families alternated control over the area, with the latter deciding to build a port at the bottom of the valley, now known as the Marina Piccola of Sorrento.
During the 1600s, a mill for wheat milling was constructed, giving the valley its name, followed by a sawmill for wood processing, supporting the development of local craftsmanship.
The Valley was a vital center where the local community gathered, facilitated by its proximity to the port and Marina Piccola di Sorrento.
Activities in the Vallone ceased in the 20th century due to water scarcity and increased humidity resulting from the artificial closure caused by the construction of Piazza Tasso.
The mill and sawmill are now mere ruins covered by vegetation.
The Vallone dei Mulini was part of a group of five valleys marking the natural boundaries of some peninsula towns.
This site is a clear example of how human intervention can influence the landscape.
Today, the Vallone dei Mulini remains a captivating place to observe and photograph, providing a glimpse of its past.
Although access is not permitted to visitors as it is private property, it can be admired from Piazza Tasso, the heart of Sorrento, or captured from above the railing of Via Fuorimura.