Valva, a fascinating journey between history and mistery

Nature, history and culture meet in the small village of the upper Sele valley and they give us surreal scenery made of an unusual beauty.

Imagine yourself in an enchanted place, rich in sculptural masterpieces, fountains, little architectural works and evocative sceneries. Walking through its old town, you can lose yourself in the medieval alleys and the fascinating views in an evocative atmosphere.

Welcome to Valva

Laid on a promontory between the hills of the province of Salerno, in the upper Sele valley, Valva, a very ancient village, seduces us. Through the narrow streets and the buildings we discover the mysterious charm of a hidden place that looks after its natural, historical and cultural beauties.

Many generations of children from Valva have played in this monument, that is, with the square opposite to it, the biggest place of the town. The soldier, from the pedestal, reminds the tribute paid by our ancestors to the wars; it seems that he looks with affection after the succession of generations of this small and quiet community of the upper Sele valley near Salerno” (Based on “La saggia pazienza di zio Pietro” by Vito Torsiello).

The charm of the old town

Valva origins, or Balba, as it was called in the Norman manuscripts, are very ancient: during the period of the Roman Empire the small community on the slopes of Marzano and Eremita Mountains was already a flourishing town. After the fall of the Roman Empire and the devastating barbarian invasions, the inhabitants built a new impregnable fortress, higher up the mountain. You can still see the ruins of Valva Vecchia, but it is very difficult to reach them.

The historical park of Villa d’Ayala

Everyone who arrives at Valva must notice the entry of Villa d’Ayala, an enormous gate from which you can see a medieval tower immerse in the green, between plants of hundreds of years old and romantic sculptures. The huge surrounding park, 17 hectares (42 acres) large, seems to be immersed in a sorcerous atmosphere, like an oasis where time has stopped.
Built at the end of XVIII century by the Marquis d’Ayala, the villa was expanded in 1867: today the huge park is surrounded by old walls and embellished by artistic statues such Diana, the Deer and the Muses statues.
The fountains and their water games follow us through our visit and they bring us towards a wood full of hundreds of years old trees and exotic plants. In the middle of the park there is a neoclassic amphitheatre, surrounded by hedges from which appear marble spectators.
Our visit goes on through the area of the old royal residence where there is the castle that shows its Norman origins. We go back to the gardens looking for the last time the palace and we are enchanted by the sweet sound of water flowing from the fountains. We say goodbye to this little town, aware of the treasure we have found and that we will be back there soon.


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