Amalfi is known not only for being the Maritime Republic of the Mediterranean, but also for its production of handmade paper. Here people had learned the techniques of paper making from the Arabs, and paper was then called "carta bambagina." The first paper mills arose between the 12th and 13th centuries, and by the end of the 18th century the Valle dei Mulini in Amalfi had about 16 paper mills. Today, a medieval paper mill from the 13th century has become the Amalfi Paper Museum.
In this one-of-a-kind museum, visitors can admire functioning centuries-old machinery, such as the ancient wooden hammers which, driven by a hydraulic wheel, beat and shred the linen, cotton and hemp rags previously stacked. There is also a Dutch machine that was installed on site in 1745, as well as the 18th century presses used to remove excess water from the sheets of paper and other paper making machines. All this equipment has been restored and today works thanks to the waters of the Canneto stream. The museum offers the unique opportunity to directly experience the ancient manufacturing techniques that make Amalfi paper.