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Scala

Description

Scala is the oldest town of the Amalfi coast, set about 400 meters above sea level. According to tradition it was founded in the IV century AD by a group of shipwrecked Roman trying to make their way to Constantinople. Fortified bulwark, part of the defensive system of the territory of Amalfi, the history of Scala is closely related to that of the Marine Republic of Amalfi. It was a bishopric from 987 to 1818. In 1073, after a strong siege, it was burned by Robert Guiscard; soon after it was sacked by the Pisans, by Ottone Brunswich (1210) and by the Sicilians, after the famous Sicilian Vespers (1283). Scala is the birthplace of Gerardo de Saxo, the founder of the Order of the Knights of St. John of Jerusalem, or the Knights Hospitaller.
Scala is a town with a thousand-year history (during the height of its economic splendor it had about 130 churches), rich in monument of great artistic and historical value and an interesting natural heritage characterized by large chestnut forests, the State Natural Reserve of Valle delle Ferriere with its lush vegetation, and the terraces cultivated with lemons and "piennolo" tomatoes.

Among the most important sites of the town, we suggest to visit:
- the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, whose original structure, built during the XII century in Romanesque style, was modified in the XVII-XVIII century, preserving only the original portal. Inside it is divided into three naves, with valuable stuccoes and a precious ceiling decorated with scenes from the Saint's life (1748). In the beautiful Gothic-style crypt it is possible to admire Marinella Rufolo's stucco colored sarcophagus, realized by her husband Antonio Coppola in 1332, a XIII century valuable wooden group of statues and other sculptures.
- the Monastery of Santissimo Redentore, today run by the Redemptorist Order founded by the Venerable Celeste Crostarosa after her meetings with St. Alphonsus;
- the Chapel of Sant'Alfonso, where the small grotto where the Saint retired in meditation is preserved;
- Palazzo Mansi-D'Amelio, with a late XVIII century fa├žade;
- the ruins of the Church of Sant'Eustachio, in the hamlet of Minuta, dating back to the XII century;
- the Church of the Annunziata, in the hamlet of Minuta, dating back to the XII-XIII century. It is characterized by a beautiful portico, where the parliament of the town met during the past;
- the Arab Bath, in the hamlet of Minuta, not too far from the ruins of the Church of Sant'Eustachio, consists of small rooms for cold, warm and hot baths.
- the Church of Santa Caterina, set in the homonymous hamlet, preserves a wooden statue of the Saint and two paintings representing Santa Lucia and Sant'Agnello;
- the ruins of the Church of San Cataldo, in the hamlet of Campidoglio, with the adjacent former Benedictine monastery. Today it houses the Danish Institute of Art and Culture, established in 1908 by Carlo Wiindsteatd.
- the Church of Annunziata, in the hamlet of Campidoglio;
- the Church of San Giovanni, dating back to the XII century, with valuable marble remains and an elegant three floors bell tower;
- the Church of San Pietro, set in the homonymous hamlet, belonging to the noble family Trara and containing memories of Fra' Gerardo Sasso's family. Inside it is possible to admire a beautiful statue of San Michele, donated by Paolo de Saxo in 1358, a bas-relief representing Santa Caterina (XIV century), a XV century tombstone and a XVI century altarpiece.
- the remains of the de Saxo Palace, in the hamlet of San Pietro;
- the remains of the Church of Santa Maria della Neve, in the hamlet of San Pietro;
- the Church of San Giovanni Battista, in the hamlet of Pontone, dating back to the XII century with a beautiful bell tower in Moorish style;
- the Church of San Filippo Neri, in the hamlet of Pontone, dating back to the X century and modified during the following centuries;
the Bishop's Residence, in the hamlet of Pontone, whose medieval structure is still visible, despite the collapses;
- the Church of Madonna del Carmine, in the hamlet of Pontone, a rare example on the Amalfi coast of religious building realized according to the dictates of the Counter Reformation;
- the Ziro Tower, in the hamlet of Pontone, with its cylindrical shape, is located on the spur of the Mount Pontone, between the towns of Atrani and Amalfi. It is part of the ancient Scalella castle.
- the State Natural Reserve of Valle delle Ferriere, along the stream of the river Canneto, in a wide valley between the mountains of Scala, on the border with the towns of Amalfi and Agerola. Here it is possible to admire a mix between the Mediterranean vegetation and the tropical one and rare species of plants, such as the "Woodwardia radicans", a giant fern, and the "Pinguicola hirtiflora" a carnivorous plant with pink flowers.
- the Cave of Scala, along the valley of the river Dragone, characterized by dark dolomitic limestone, formed when the Amalfi-Sorrento peninsula was situated lower than the present.

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