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48 HOURS IN… Scala

It is possible to find places off the beaten track even on the popular Amalfi coast, and Scala is top of the list, says Laura Thayer

Waterfalls in the Valle delle Ferriere; view of the sea from Minuta; standing outside the old town of Scala; wholesome fare for lunch at the Agricola Fore Porta; it is well worth paying the €5 fee to explore the Valle delle Ferriere; the ruins of the 12thcentury Basilica di Sant’Eustachio; inside the Chiesa dell’Annunziata; view of the Basilica di Sant’Eustachio from Minuta

When planning a trip to the Amalfi Coast, the towns of Positano, Amalfi, and Ravello are at the top of most travel lists. Yet these are only three of the thirteen towns that make up this UNESCO World Heritage protected coastline in southern Italy. While most travellers only hit the well-known locations, there’s one little town that has all the charm of the Amalfi Coast that you’ll rarely find on any list. This is Scala, a small mountain town conveniently located between Amalfi and Ravello. Full of history, extraordinary views, and natural beauty, this is a place I have been fortunate enough to call home for more than a decade.

When John Steinbeck wrote about Positano in Harper’s Bazaar in 1953, he said, “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.

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About Italia!

We step off the tourist trail and head for the hills above the Amalfi Coast to explore the tiny town of Scala, which has all the charm of the coast but without the crowds. We pop over to Pisa, not for the Tower this time but for an intriguing tale about the origins of the Renaissance. Our cover stars, the Dolomites, are the setting for a heady mix of outdoor concerts and hiking to be found on their verdant slopes. Next stop Sicily, and the traditional Easter celebrations in Enna, and finally the extraordinary stories of trailblazing Milanese women in the arts, fashion, and more.