When I first saw a picture of the Valley of the Mills, I knew I had to add it to the bucket list.
I’m a little bit obsessed with abandoned places. I’m sure my vast amount of blog posts on the subject is testament to that. But the deep Valley of Mills in Sorrento is a perfect example of an abandoned place where nature has taken over. It’s one of the most surreal and beautiful places I’ve ever been to and also one of the most unexpected.
How to Get There
You see, unlike my trip to see Berlin’s abandoned theme park, getting to the Valley of Mills was surprisingly easy. I imagined getting there would mean embarking on an hour long trek into a mountainous region, far out from the city centre. The reality couldn’t have been further from the truth.
The Valley of Mills is actually located inside Sorrento’s city centre, about a two minute walk from the train station. You can view the mills from the side of the road right next to the Relais La Rupe hotel.
I wish this could have been a most complex adventure for the sake of this blog post, but nope. Getting to the Mills really was just as simple as that.
History of the Mills
The history of the mills start as far back as 37,000 years ago. When the super volcano, Campi Flegrei, erupted. The eruption released water that began to flow through the tufa plain. The local Sorrentine people took advantage of this new water source and opened up a flour mill in the 13th century. After the flour mill was established, a sawmill and a wash house was built.
Though the flour mill was initially successful, the industry soon shifted from flour to pasta. This small area of industry couldn’t keep up and was abandoned in the 1940s. Since then, it has been taken over by the shrubs and greenery that thrives in the dark, humid crevasse.