ITALY HOLIDAY in March / April 2005 ….. SORRENTO: The Valley Of The Mills

Still  being rewritten after this website was totally  hacked …..

___________________________________________________________________________

Note: I would like  to share with  you  through  these few words, photographs and hyperlinked websites, a 3 Dimensional  experience as though you were  actually there with  us. Click on any photograph and it should enlarge to  different size ….. at least half screen or size full screen. It will be clearer in detail than the photo on the post. It will be as if you were  really there looking at the actual  scene. You are an arm chair traveller with us.

If you would also like  to see the post in a larger or smaller size, I suggest you follow this procedure: If you right-handed, with your left hand, press  down continuously  on the Control Function Key  with your left hand and with your right hand, move  the   little  cursor wheel either forwards or backwards to make the text in the post larger or smaller.

____________________________________________________________________________

See: The Deep Valley of the Mills:

IMG_0370
______________________________________________________________

We had a holiday in Italy in 2005 from the 17th March to the 18th of April where we had:

Week 1 = Sorrento: We went on a  train down to Sorrento on the southern part of Italy … four hours from Rome. Then we saw by bus over the whole week by bus the following:

Harriet gained the location where we going to stay in Sorrento  off the Internet. The owner wrote back in his e-mail and said that when we  got down  to Sorrento Station on the train, we were to get off and walk down into the big square outside … Tasso Square, ring him on his mobile number and  he would come down and pick us  up. Tasso Square  turned out to be a big square  constructed in 1864 and is the hub of life in the city, brimming with people, cafés, history and art.

 

IMG_0291

See:  Images for tasso square sorrento

He came down with his daughter  and said for me to jump in the passenger side and me being  Australian, we always  drive on the right-hand of the road. I went to get in the passenger side on the left – hand  and suddenly saw that this was the drivers seat.  I had to quietly go to the right-hand and get in.

We were staying in a beautiful little  unit in the building up on a hill in the town of Sorrento. See the photos below of the unit in the cobbled driveway and the terracotta rooves we would look out on through the window of our unit. When you  went outside, you would  look out on the Mediterranean Sea  in the distance.

  • View out over our unit …..

IMG_0268IMG_0269

Every day we would walk down and back to our unit and we would pass through a narrow section of the access road. The access road had a stone wall on the outer edge which you could look over. The outer edge fell as cliffs 150 metres ++ to a Y shaped valley below. In the bottom of the valley was small Y shaped stream and old stone building as a ruin with green foliage growing over the roof and up the cliff face in some areas. The building had a big stone chimney and had a real mystique and a sense of ancient history about it. Because we couldn’t speak Italian, we couldn’t ask anyone about it. I would  photograph it going down in the morning  with the early morning  coming from the east over the Mediterranean Sea  and  I would  photograph it  coming home with the western sun casting many shadows  and light patterns on the old stone building and the cliff faces. See the photographs above.

It was only when I came home in May and I was looking up Sorrento websites on the Internet that I found one website with photos of this old ruined building. The valley was called ‘The Valley of the Mills’.

In the historical centre of Sorrento, behind Tasso Square, it is possible to admire from above – in a suggestive perspective – a natural extraordinary spectacle: The Deep Valley of the Mills. The Deep Valley encircles on the south- east side, the tuffaceous rock of the present historical centre of Sorrento; observing it from above a characteristic rift of the rock is visible, that carves profoundly and transversely the tuffaceous platform.

This incisive rift originated from the vastest eruption which shook the Mediterranean many years ago. The potent eruption filled the entire calcareous valley with debris between Scutolo Point and the Cape of Sorrento; the waters which passed through the valleys – finding them clogged up with volcanic materials – searched for a new path towards the sea cutting progressively through the tuffaceous bank. The valleys became privileged places of the human’s settlement. The pre-historic cave of the Conca (Nicolucci Cave), on the uphill of the Valley of Large Seashore (Marina Grande) and the settlement of Gaudo in Piano of Sorrento, remain two tangible traces of this phenomenon.

The Valley of the Mills is incised by two streams of water: Casarlano-Cesarano and Saint Antonino. The lack of water has contributed to form very narrow gorges, only in the point where the two streams of water meet the gorge widens and forms a vast area at the feet of the Villa “La Rupe”. The name Valley of the Mills, derives from the existence of a mill – functioning since the beginning of the ‘900’s – used for grinding wheat. Attached to the mill, rose a sawmill which furnished chaff to the Sorrentine cabinet makers.

Everything is completed by a public wash-house used by the women of the people. The creation of Tasso Square, since 1866, determined the isolation of the mill area from the sea, provoking a sharp rise of the percentage of humidity, which made the area unbearable and determined its progressive abandon. The new microclimate favoured the development of a thriving and spontaneous vegetation in which the dominant element is the Phillitis Vulgaris, a splendid and rare model belonging to the fern family. Today it is possible to have access to the remaining part of the Deep Valley crossing antique ramps engraved into the tuff with entrance from a trapdoor near the Stragazzi parking.

What is old? Here in the  ‘The Valley of the Mills’,  you can see a wheat grinding mill  from 900 AD. Australia where I  come from is a very young country with only 240 years of recorded history when Captain Cook sailed into Botany Bay from England in the 1770’s.

My suggestion: Equip yourself with binoculars and camera and observe from above the remains of the mill and the splendid savage vegetation. The best position is Fuorimura Street, behind Tasso Square.

_____________________________________________________________________________

Other Views of Sorrento:

_____________________________________________________________________________

Walking to Lubrense: Lubrense is a nearby small town within walking distance from Sorrento.

IMG_0354IMG_0355

Harriet walking along the track to Lubrense …..

IMG_0356IMG_0357

Looking back at Sorrento  where we have come from ….. buildings are looking smaller ……

IMG_0359IMG_0360IMG_0363IMG_0362

IMG_0364IMG_0366

Olive trees in the orchard ……

Stone wall on the right hand side and covered orange trees on the left hand side …..

The driveway ends by going under an arch in the building …..

There is a lot of whimsical mystique here with the stone wall,

the green moss  on the stone and  the enclosed nature of the driveway …..

_____________________________________________________________________________

  • Sorrento  Restaurants …..

IMG_0340IMG_0343IMG_0346IMG_0350

_____________________________________________________________________________

  •  Sorrento Walking Back ….. some of the things we saw

IMG_0176IMG_0177IMG_0278IMG_0279

My wife Harriet loves the beauty of this china ….. especially the blue  and white glazing ….

IMG_0280IMG_0281IMG_0282IMG_0284IMG_0327IMG_0352

  Plasticceria = Snack Bar Gelateria …..

_____________________________________________________________________________

  •  Sorrento by the Sea 

13049-Travel_Picture-Rome 13050-Travel_Picture-Rome IMG_0309 IMG_0312

_____________________________________________________________________________

 Sorrento Streets:

IMG_0270 IMG_0291 IMG_0326 IMG_0328 IMG_0341

Many little alley ways off Sorrento streets ….  stone paved and earth – ochre colours ….

IMG_0342 IMG_0344 IMG_0349 IMG_0368

_____________________________________________________________________________

  •  Personal … Harriet beside a Big Old Wall

IMG_0329

_____________________________________________________________________________

There were many hotels on the cliff overlooking the Mediterranean sea. One with ready  access was the Europa Hotel …..

  •  Sorrento  … the Europa Hotel

IMG_0292IMG_0294

We walked off Tasso Square ….

IMG_0300

We would walk into the gardens and look around and photograph the beautiful gardens. We would even walk into the hotel as though we  were guests  there …..

The Gardens:

IMG_0302IMG_0301

IMG_0306 IMG_0309IMG_0308

IMG_0324IMG_0337  IMG_0327

IMG_0323 IMG_0322

IMG_0321  IMG_0318

 

IMG_0316 IMG_0314IMG_0328

IMG_0310 50

_____________________________________________________________________________

  •  Sorrento  …. Some of the Buildings:

IMG_0280 IMG_0299 IMG_0315 IMG_0318 IMG_0322 IMG_0323 IMG_0325 IMG_0353 IMG_0358

_____________________________________________________________________________