Escape from the crowds on the amalfi coast and enjoy the natural beauty and simple life in the little town of scala.
While not one of the big travel destination names on the Amalfi Coast – such as Amalfi, Ravello and Positano – the peace and quiet of Scala is what makes this towns so charming. Along with its beautiful setting in the mountains above Amalfi and convenient location just across a pretty valley from Ravello. While nearby Ravello attracts most of the tourists, the town of Scala has much to offer visitors, especially those interested in exploring, hiking and experiencing daily life on the Amalfi Coast.
Known as the oldest village on the Amalfi Coast, Scala has a long and fascinating history tied very closely with the medieval Republic of Amalfi. Hiking up in the mountains surrounding the town, you can still spot some of the medieval walls that once protected Scala and Amalfi, further down the valley on the sea. During the Middle Ages, Scala was an important defensive point of the Republic of Amalfi, and the close connection brought much wealth to the prominent merchant families of Scala. The town is spread out across the mountainside and divided in to many frazioni, or hamlets, including Scala Centro, Minuta, Pontone, Campidoglio, San Pietro and Santa Caterina. Each little hamlet has its own unique feel and center surrounding a church.
The heart of town is the Duomo of San Lorenzo in the center of Scala. Dating back to the 12th century, this grand church – far larger than any of the churches in Ravello – retains its Romanesque central portal surrounded by medieval sculptural decorations and two griffins standing guard. Traces of frescoes above the door are all the remain of what once must have been an elaborately decorated façade. The bell tower dominates the town’s main piazza, which is surrounded by shops, the city hall and the town’s elementary school.