Scala

Scala

Scala is a small village located 450 meters above sea level, in the center of the Lattari Mountains chain, surrounded by green woods, terraced olive groves and vineyards.

This village, the oldest on the Amalfi Coast, offers scenery of singular scenic and environmental beauty: it is the ideal place for those who want to spend a few days of peace and tranquility, immersed in the midst of history, spirituality , nature and sea breeze.

A secret and secluded destination, the village holds a variety of precious treasures linked to its past: among the districts of Pontone, Minuta, the Center of Scala, Campidoglio, S. Pietro and Santa Caterina we will discover places of historical, artistic and cultural interest, far from mainstream tourism, in an atmosphere that invites to slowness, meditation and discovery.

How to get to Scala

Scala is 48 km from Naples, 38 km from Salerno, and 7 km from Amalfi.

βœ… You can reach the village of Scala by car, taking the A3 Naples-Salerno highway, exiting at the Angri Sud tollbooth. Following the signs for Valico di Chiunzi and Costiera Amalfitana, you will proceed until you find signs for scala. Alternatively, instead of exiting at Angri.

βœ… If, on the other hand, you wish to travel by train, the nearest train station is Nocera Inferiore, on the Salerno-Naples line, from where you can then continue by bus with one of the SITA SUD bus lines,

βœ… Also from Salerno, and from the other towns on the Amalfi Coast, there are several SITA SUD bus lines connecting Scala to the remaining towns on the Amalfi Coast.

To get around by bus, refer to the Amalfi – Scala Ravello line!

If you’re looking for more information to get around the Amalfi Coast with confidence, download our free guide “How to move around the Amalfi Coast without stress”: inside you’ll find everything you need to know to travel from one town to another, whether you move by car or decide to use public transportation!

Where to Sleep in Scala

πŸ“£ Choose where to sleep now: we have selected for you best accommodations in Scala!

B&B

Ravello View

Scala – Via Torricella 35/A
9.7
Exceptional –
686 reviews
Hotel

Palazzo Pascal

Scala – Piazza Minuta 1
9.5
Exceptional –
133 reviews
Residence

Villa San Lorenzo

Scala – Via lama di priso 1
9.4
Superb –
188 reviews

What to see in Scala Tours and Excursions

Scala keeps an ancient part of the town, full of narrow, steep streets that wind their way among the houses perched and arranged, precisely, in the shape of a staircase. Its six squares-Vescovado, Minuta, Pontone, Campidoglio, Campoleone (also known as S. Pietro) and Santa Caterina-are veritable jewels of art set among the mountains of Gragnano, Agerola and Ravello.

The six districts are ideally gathered around the Church of San Lorenzo: visiting the whole village of Scala, among ruins, churches and picturesque nooks and crannies, requires a bit of walking and the desire to go in search of those small traces of the past that have remained entangled in the meshes of history, among roads, paths, fields and stairways.

Let’s discover together the places of interest in the oldest village on the Amalfi Coast.

πŸ“ Scala center and the Cathedral of San Lorenzo

the beating and oldest heart of the village, where the most important businesses and monuments are concentrated. Here the first stop is the Duomo di San Lorenzo, in Romantic, Gothic and Rococo style, dating from the 12th century.


From the square, the Duomo appears massive and imposing: its grandeur testifies to its importance in the past. Today the church holds precious treasures dating from the Middle Ages, often representing rarities throughout the Amalfi Coast, such as, for example, the 14th-century silver chalice, the mitre (the bishop’s headdress) given to Carlo d’AngiΓ² after his victory over the Saracens in 1270. Very interesting are the crypts on which the cathedral rests, that of Purgatory and that of Paradise. The latter is very interesting because it represents the only example of Gothic-style architecture on the Amalfi Coast. Another peculiarity is the brightness of the environment, different from the dark and strict crypts.

In the crypt of Paradise you can admire a painted wooden Christ, dating back to the 13th century and, on the north side, a funerary momunent that would have housed the remains of Marinella Rufolo. In the Town Hall Square is a precious fountain from the 12th, with an enchanting landscape behind it. A path full of charm that allows you to immerse yourself in the history that has passed through this territory.

Numerous buildings of worship, located in the different hamlets, also testify to the important role from the religious point of view, which the small town has enjoyed; which was also an episcopal seat, rivaling the nearby Ravello.

πŸ“ In the village of Pontone

on the other hand, it is possible to admire the only surviving piece of Scala’s ancient medieval castle: the imposing and monumental Torre dello Ziro, a fascinating cylindrical tower, used for war strategies, in ancient times called Torre San Felice. We will explain how to reach it easily in the trekking section of this article.

πŸ“ The Crypt of the Santissima Annunziata, in the Minuta district

a must stop to admire its medieval frescoes, illustrated in 1871 by art historian Demetrio Salazar, who also contributed to their dating. Some of the images depicted along the walls of the crypt have been destroyed. Visible are the Byzantine Christ behind the altar, the nativity, on the wall behind the altar, but above all the frescoes telling the story of St. Nicholas of Bari, which represent a unicum in all of Europe.

πŸ“ The little church in the rock of Sant’ Alfonso Maria de’ Liguori

the place where the saint, who came to Scala in 1932, used to pray. Located just outside the center, it is worth a visit for the apsidal area, behind which the bare rock can be seen.

πŸ“ The Arab baths of the Pontone and Santa Caterina districts

they testify to the grandeur of Scala’s nobility, as these are rooms that only the most sumptuous buildings could afford, since their construction required very advanced technical devices for the distribution and heating of water. Unfortunately, the two buildings can only be visited during special events, however, it is possible to ask the owners for permission to visit them. The Arab bath of St. Catherine is the best preserved, as it has a fluted dome roof with a central basin, which is accessed by steps.

πŸ“ The Basilica of St. Eustace

Walking down the stairs connecting Minuta to the Pontone district, one reaches the remains of this wonderful example of a 13th-century church, considered one of the most beautiful in southern Italy. Of the ancient splendor of this building, situated between sky and sea, overlooking the village of Pontone, only a few ruins remain, part of the apse area, with still traces of decorations, the crypt and the wall of the left aisle. The setting is magical, both because of the panoramic position and the atmosphere that envelops the place. The location is so scenic that it is also chosen for the celebration of weddings and sometimes, during the summer period, it becomes the natural stage for musical and cultural events.

πŸ“£ They also retain considerable artistic and architectural value:

πŸ”Ή the Parish Church of Santa Maria Assunta,Β 

πŸ”Ή the Shrine of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, and the Church of St. Anthony of Padua;

πŸ”Ή the chapels of Santa Maria della Porta and San Paolo;

πŸ”Ή the Church of San Pietro; the Church of San Giovanni Battista dell’Acqua;Β 

πŸ”Ή the Church of the Annunziata.

What to do in Scala

Trekking and walking

In addition to its architectural heritage, Scala also holds an important natural heritage that offers trails and breathtaking scenery, ideal for those who love to get lost in nature, letting themselves be enraptured by the beauty of the coastal landscapes. Discovering the village of Scala also means walking through its streets, investigating the traces of its past: if you venture along its silent paths, you will set off to discover the remains of dwellings, ruins and courtyards, which will allow you to touch upon the history of this hidden and, for this very reason, all the more fascinating location.

πŸ“ Valle delle Ferriere

Valle delle Ferriere is a nature reserve of about 500 square meters that stretches between the mountains of Scala, on the border between Amalfi and Agerola. Among chestnut forests, waterfalls and a rich Mediterranean vegetation, wildlife trails are generated that give rise to landscapes of singular beauty.

Next to the reserve, it is possible to reach, among nature trails, the Scala Quarry, which stands on the course of the river Dragone, characterized by a very ancient dark limestone that dates back to the origins of the Amalfi-Sorrentine peninsula.

Your hike begins from Piazza San Giovanni in Pontone, taking the small road that gently ascends through the contrada. Continue until you reach the driveway that leads to the Ferriera Ruins.

πŸ“ From Scala to Santa Maria dei Monti

A real hike that leads to a thousand meters above sea level, passing through Mediterranean scrub along the coast to beech and chestnut groves. The trail starts from Piazza Duomo (Scala center) and continues to the Church of San Pietro, of the Campoleone hamlet. Just to the left of the Church you take a small road that after 450 meters rejoins the carriageway, near the Church of St. Catherine of Alexandria.

You also pass the Church of Santa Maria de La Porta, which marks the ancient entrance to the town. Leaving the Church on your right, you proceed, reaching the most mountainous part of the route: in a few hundred meters you reach a flight of steps that passes through some stretches of forest and arrives at an altitude of about a thousand meters: here stands the Church of Santa Maria dei Monti, now used as a refuge.

πŸ“ Walk to Ziro Tower

Starting from left: Torre dello Ziro, Cappella di Santa Maria del Bando, Grotta di Masaniello.

A pleasant and not too tiring walk, suitable even for untrained people. To reach the impressive Ziro Tower, start from Pontone: in about 40 minutes you will be right at your destination. The trail is well marked and you will easily reach the tower. Along the path, before reaching the tower, you will find a well-marked detour, which leads to the belvedere: from here you can observe and photograph the Ziro Tower from above and contemplate the town of Atrani and Amalfi.

πŸ“ Punta d’Aglio

From the village of Campidoglio, walking immersed in the scents of the Mediterranean scrub, you reach Punta d’Aglio, a popular destination for trekking and climbing enthusiasts. Here, through a coniferous forest, you first reach a tunnel carved into the rock, used by Scalese families as a shelter from the bombings of World War II. Continuing on, you reach the rock face of Punta d’Aglio, considered the most beautiful rock face on the Amalfi Coast: a must if you are fond of climbing.

From the rock face you reach the source of Ficanoce, a beautiful wooded area, from which to continue to reach Pogerola or Valle delle Ferriere.

πŸ“ Walk to Fontana Carosa, along Lady Chatterly’s paths.

From contrada Santa Caterina, walking along the Dragone River, on the border between Scala and Ravello, you will reach an area rich in vegatazione, where the precious chestnut groves of Scala rise. Here you will walk along the paths that D.H. Lawrence frequented, nal 1928, during his stay on the Amalfi Coast and where he imagined Lady Chatterly’s meetings took place.

Unmissable experiences in Scala

πŸ“£ Trekking, climbing, leisurely walks through its quarters: staying overnight in Scala means above all carving out quality time to enjoy idleness, slowness and tranquility.

Enrich your vacation with authentic taste experiences, at local trattorias, discovering genuine flavors and authentic traditions, where you can enjoy genuine dishes made from sheep and goat meat and excellent first courses or desserts made from chestnuts, an excellent local raw material.

If you have chosen this destination, you probably do not like chaotic and crowded places, but prefer more intimate and meditative experiences. You will probably move on to discover the other destinations of the Amalfi Coast: take advantage of this to enrich your trip with unique and unrepeatable experiences, such as, for example, a visit to a lemon orchard or vineyard, a boat trip or a cooking class of local cuisine.

Events in Scala

βœ… The chestnut festival: held every year in October to mark the harvest;

βœ… Numerous summer events, held among the various contrade, including Sound Trek, a series of musical events that combine the pleasure of outdoor walks with the value of live musical performances. Locations for the musical events include the Basilica of St. Eustace, Punta d’Aglio and Torre dello Ziro.

βœ… August 10 is the celebration of St. Lawrence, patron saint of Scala. For the occasion, the statue of the saint is carried in procession through the streets of the center. This is followed by musical band performances through the streets of the town and a fireworks display to close the celebrations.

βœ… On May 1, the pilgrimage of the faithful to Fontana Carosa is held, with the celebration of mass in the morning at the cave of Our Lady of Fontana Carosa in the Santa Caterina district. This is followed by a heartfelt sharing moment: a picnic breakfast among the chestnut groves attended by the whole cominity.

Why choose Scala as a travel destination?

This Amalfi Coast destination seems hidden, almost secret. Here you will be far from the mass tourism dynamics experienced in other locations, such as Amalfi and Positano. Even in high season you won’t find crowded streets or clubs, but you can enjoy all the peace and intimacy you desire. If you are a lover of the sea and it is impossible for you to give up the beach, we advise against choosing the village of Scala as the base of your trip, since to reach the nearest beach you would be forced to take the bus or car several times a day.

Instead, we recommend the village of Scala if:

πŸ”Ή You are looking for a quiet, almost secret destination to discover slowly.

πŸ”Ή The phrase you say several times a day is “Now I’m going to unplug everything-including my phone-and go away to a secluded place!” Joking aside, we understand the feeling of overload that overtakes in some periods, due to work and very tight daily rhythms.

The village of Scala can be a great solution if you have decided to unplug for a few days. Of course, you will not be isolated from the world: the quarters are inhabited and you will find other travelers around, but the atmosphere of the place invites relaxation, slowness, almost peace of mind. There is almost a kind of ancient wisdom that imbues the stones, buildings and streets: few cars, few people, little noise, but lots of greenery, lots of history and just as much beauty, only more secret. Perhaps even more precious for that reason.

πŸ”Ή You have a smaller budget: as you can imagine, since it is a less iconic destination, further from the sea and more hidden, accommodation prices are on average lower than in the more central destinations of the Amalfi Coast.

The best time to visit Scala

If we had to indicate the best time to visit this beautiful village, we would have no doubt: spring! In this period, in fact, you will have the opportunity to enjoy nature awakening, in all its beauty and you will be able to walk through the narrow streets of Scala, without sweating and without suffering too much from the heat. The months of September and October also offer wonderful days.

One fact is to be taken into account surely concerns the location of the village of Scala, which, given its more inland location, is easier and more convenient to reach by its own means, rather than by bus.

In this regard, we would like to remind you that reaching the Amalfi Coast can be difficult, especially in the high season months, when tourist flows intensify and, consequently, so does the traffic along the winding State Road 163 Amalfitana.

For this reason, be smart: avoid, if you can, the busiest tourist periods to enjoy the village of Scala and other destinations on the Coast during periods characterized by fewer travelers and tourists.

Interesting facts about Scala

βœ… On November 18, 1947, a plane carrying young Swedish soldiers coming from a mission in Africa crashed on the summit of Mount Carro in Scala. Locals, mostly shepherds and farmers, rushed to the aid of the few survivors. Later, other residents of Scala also rushed to help in assisting in the transport of the bodies and the collection of all the items lost at the crash site, which were promptly returned to the Swedish authorities.

The latter were greatly impressed by the compassion and participation of the Scala people. As a confirmation of the friendship between the two peoples, a cross was erected at the crash site in 1987, which is still a pilgrimage site today.

Insight: historical background on Scala

Scala glories in ancient origins shrouded in legend. In 330 BC some Roman families, called by Constantine to the court of Byzantium, were surprised by a storm and saved themselves by taking refuge in the mountains of the Coast, finding there the safest place to settle. Here they founded a city that, due to the characteristics of the territory, was called Scala. The people of Scala have always claimed their ancient origins dating back to the Roman patriciate, so much so that for many centuries they had the privilege, recognized by the Lombards and the Swabians, of ruling themselves iure romanorum.

During its period of maximum splendor and prosperity there were as many as 130 churches and parishes, along with a considerable number of monasteries and noble palaces, so much so that Scala was an episcopal see from 987 to 1818. The origins of the city of Amalfi can be traced back to that same Scala patriciate who, pushing down the valley, found on the sea routes the premise for the expansion of its sphere of commercial and cultural influence to the Mediterranean countries.

In 1073 it was burned and sacked by Robert Guiscard. Scala, called the lioness of Amalfi, was the acropolis of the Amalfi Republic and shared its honors and adverse events with it.  Particularly serious was the sacking in 1137 by the Pisans, who, in addition to setting fire to the city , enslaved a large part of the inhabitants.

Rehabilitated, thanks to the tenacity of the survivors, it suffered further sacking during the wars of the Sicilian Vespers, so much so that Carlo I of AngiΓ² relieved the citizens of the duchy of Amalfi of the tax contribution for the period of one year, to allow the inhabitants to return and facilitate them in the reconstruction of the city. It should not be forgotten that Scala, like the great cities of the Kingdom, had a seat of patrician and illustrious people in which very noble families were enrolled: D’Afflitto, Rufolo, Muscettola, Trara, Coppola, etc. Prominent among them was the Sasso family to which belonged that noble Fra’ Gerardo, who in the 11th century founded the Order of the Hospitallers of Jerusalem, later to become the Knights of Malta.

In 1731, thanks to the Influence of Mother Maria Celeste Prostarosa and the collaboration of St. Alphonsus of Liguori, who had already given birth to the Order of the Redemptorist Fathers, the Order of the Nuns of the Most Holy Redeemer was founded, which still welcomes novices from all over the world. What induced the saint to found the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer was a beautiful Madonna venerated in a small crumbling chapel on the plateau of St. Mary of Marti.

The wooden statue of the Virgin, which exudes a charge of spirituality that strikes those who venerate it, the work of a 16th-century Amalfitan artist, is recognized by Redeemer Fathers scattered throughout the world as the Mater Redemptoristorum.

Where to sleep in Scala

B&B

Ravello View

Scala – Via Torricella 35/A
9.7
Exceptional –
686 reviews
Hotel

Palazzo Pascal

Scala – Piazza Minuta 1
9.5
Exceptional –
133 reviews
Residence

Villa San Lorenzo

Scala – Via lama di priso 1
9.4
Superb –
188 reviews

NEI DINTORNI

Napoli


A mixture of theatricality, chaos and vital energy. Absolutely unique place that you must experience at least once in your life

Furore

Furore


A crib of little houses clinging to the slopes of the Lattari Mountains. Best known for its picturesque Fiordo

Praiano


Ancient fishing village nestled on one of the most beautiful inlets of the coast, where among rivulets of stairs, olive trees, pines and oleanders you reach the sea