Approximately 1 km from Ravello is the atmospheric town of Scala, surrounded by chestnut trees and fruit orchards. The town has a fascinating history and an excellent choice of shops and restaurants. The location is ideal for excursions to other towns on the coast, including Amalfi, Ravello and Positano.
Normans, Spaniards and Frenchmen have all lived here and it is said to be the oldest settlement on the coast of Amalfi, so if you are interested in history there is plenty to see.
The sights include the old fort ”Scala Maggiore”; its characteristic Byzantine towers were used as a warning shield against attacks from northern Italians. The cathedral, ”il duomo”, in the town’s main square has an impressive glass floor and is also worth visiting.
It is also possible to go touring by horseback in the wonderful green surroundings. In July and August, Scala hosts various town parties and religious processions, which also are well worth experiencing.
Because of it's location in the hills, mules have been historically used for transportation. Nowadays of course there are roads, but still in certain parts of this area mules are still required where roads are not complete. You can still see them today, the trucks arrive at a certain point laden with mules and cargo and the mules are offloaded and the cargo is strapped to them to carry on the last leg of the journey though the mountains.
Scala is an ideal starting point for hiking as there are many pleasant villages scattered around interspersed with pathways and trails. The small neighbouring towns of Minuta and Pontone are worth a stop off on your trails, as are the towers of Torre dello Ziro where there are the most amazing views of both Atrani and Amalfi.
Another exciting trip - but more challenging, is the walk from Scala to Pogerola, which is yet another of the many unknown gems. You can eat an unforgettable lunch at one of the town's three local restaurants. The trip over the mountains takes about. 3 hours. It is marked by skiers and snowboarders, and is reproduced in one of the great and extensive hiking books that you can buy, but do not expect the locals know it - and more will probably deny that it exists at all. One should not take this trip alone, and certainly not in high summer If you want to take up this challenge, don't forget to tell someone where you are going and don't forget plenty of water and good hiking boots.