Adventure

Italy’s Hiding This Very Awesome Abandoned City

When you think of Italy, what comes to mind? Rome? Pasta? The beautiful Amalfi Coast? Truth be told, Italy is far more than meets the eye, and it’s always a welcome surprise when we discover another side to this charming European stalwart.

The Valley of Mills is one such stunner.

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Image: Pikakoko / Flickr

This historic valley is found in Sorrento, a town overlooking the Bay of Naples in Southern Italy. In it, you’ll find a verdant group of modern ruins planted deep in a crack in the earth’s floor. It’s believed the crevasse was created during an enormous eruption that devastated the Mediterranean over 35,000 years ago.

The Valley of Mills, or Valle dei Mulini in Italian, is a nice depart from the alluring coastlines of Amalfi. To get here, it’s a hike through the mountains from the centre of town. On your way there, you’ll pass by abandoned buildings, old paper mills, lemon plantations and hear the roar of the Canneto River.

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Photo: Ronel Reyes / Flickr

The valley functions much like its name suggests: as a home to flour mills, each dating as far back as the 13th century. The mills were built from stone and used their handy location near the Canneto River’s stream to their advantage.

It’s here that all types of wheat were made for the Sorrentine people. Read between the lines, the Valley of Mills might have been the birthplace of many a plate of scrumptious pasta enjoyed by countless Italians over the centuries. Nice one.

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Photo: Mentnafunangann / Wikimedia Commons

Since the mills were closed and abandoned in the 1940s, the buildings have sprouted lush greenery from all available spaces. A variety of unique plants have grown and settled within ferns, making the whole place seem pretty enchanting.

Italy, you’ve done it again.

(Lead image: Mentnafunangann / Wikimedia Commons)