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Villa Fiorentino Sorrento sede della Fondazione Sorrento

Fondazione Sorrento

Floral rarities of the Vallone dei Mulini

In the wonderful ravine which is a few steps away from the old town centre of Sorrento, some species of fern considered rare grow. A series of factors contributes to making this phenomenon possible, such as the humidity rate of the area, the sun exposure and much more.
A few steps away from the main square of Sorrento we can admire the magnificent Vallone dei Mulini which offers an enchanting view thanks to which it is possible to overlook a relatively ancient part of Tasso’s hometown and, at the same time, to appreciate some peculiarities of the tuff ridge and a suggestive green spot.
Yet, few know that right among the many plants which also make this inlet fascinating – which has marked the boundary of Sorrento old town since ancient times -  some varieties of plants, considered very rare or almost disappeared, grow.
Studies by some lovers of plants, in fact, have allowed to establish that the presence of a species of fern (the Phillitis Scolopendrium besides the Phillitis vulgaris) contributes to making  the local flora unique.
A series of factors contributes to making the phenomenon possible, such as the humidity rate of the area, the almost total lack of winnowing, the sun exposure, the presence of tuff and much more.
Actually, the presence itself of this kind of vegetation ends up to generate fantastic tricks. These vary according to the inclination of sunbeams and give a Leonardesque aspect to the environment.
Some specialists, after identifying these plants right in the Vallone dei Mulini, have described them by supposing that their growing was not spontaneous: this thesis, nevertheless, was proved wrong by the analysis of some prints produced at the end of the 18th century, thanks to which it is possible to notice that they are floral manifestations already present since ancient times.
Besides these  rare species of fern, the Vallone dei Mulini itself is characterized, anyway, by the presence of carnivorous plants (object of specific studies, too), and of thick bushes of capers (especially on the highest parts of the ravine).
Right the growing of these specimens creates some perplexities, as they are species considered typical of dry places and so they would suggest general conditions, which are different from those considered ideal for the development of fern.
This phenomenon, too, is object of study, though there are some difficulties in finding answers to be considered fully satisfying.
It is a fact that, besides these specific aspects, the Vallone dei Mulini is still today regarded as one of the most enchanting spots in the Sorrento Coast.
Considered among the subjects ideal for the production of prints and the making of paintings, in fact, the area thanks to the presence of an almost uncontaminated vegetation offers really enrapturing views.

 

 


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