Between 35,000 and 37,000 years ago a massive volcanic eruption shook the Mediterranean, carving a deep chasm in the limestone plateau adjacent to the center of old town Sorrento in southern Italy. Over time, water running through the basin forced its way through volcanic debris and carved out new channels to the sea. Settlements sprang-up and the Valley of the Mills was born. The mills were constructed where two streams met. The ruins include a flour mill, which remained in use until the early 20th century. An adjacent sawmill supplied high quality wood to Sorrento’s cabinet makers. The mills were gradually abandoned over the years. The humid environment created a micro-climate in which “Phillitus Vulgaris.” a rare fern, consumed the ruins in a layer of rich green flora. From our room in the Hotel Antiche Mura, we peered straight into the gorge and the spooky scene.