Guide – The Cilento National Park is an area of immense environmental and cultural value.
Paradise for lovers of the sea and nature, the Cilento is that part of the Campania region still left as a virgin land by overbuilding and by mass tourism.
Coming in Cilento, knowing that the coast is still wonderfully wild, you can breathe clean air because the smog and traffic are actually distant and in the evening you can still see the stars.
A land of myths and legends, from the sirens to the helmsman of Virgil, or ancient folklore and religious traditions to which the local population is particularly linked.
Not to mention the gastronomy. Not everyone knows that the Mediterranean diet was born in Pioppi, in Cilento.
For this reason oil has a special flavor, and so grain, vegetables and all of the inestimable local products, because they come from organic production.
People often confuse the Cilento with the nearby Salento, but here we are far from the hustle of Apulia coastline and for this there are stages and places not to be missed.
1.Paestum and mozzarella
The Paestum archaeological area has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Of humanity.
The three towering majestic Doric temples of the Forum, the Agorá and the amphitheater of the ancient Poseidonia, ancient name of Paestum in honor of Poseidon, god of the sea, and Latinized by the Romans.
Do not miss the Archaeological Museum, which contains pieces of inestimable value as the famous Tomb of the Diver, one of the earliest examples of Greek painting of the classical age.
(Entry ticket museum + excavations € 7.00. Free entry for EU citizens aged less than 18 and older than 65 years. 50% discount for EU citizens aged between 18 and 25).
Oasis of River Alento
“At the gates of Cilento, an oasis surrounded by nature”, this is the motto of the Oasis Alento River, located at the exit of the SS 18 ‘Diga Alento “between Agropoli and Vallo della Lucania.
It covers an area of 3,024 hectares which includes much of the Alento River, where it is This is an earth dam that dams the river and originates an artificial lake about 1.7 square kilometers.
The oasis is spread along the right bank of the river and is made up of lakes, areas Equipped with guest house, playground, restaurants and botanic garden. Possibility of hiring Bike, archery, fishing and many other activities.
The Oasis is a unique heritage of biodiversity that is home to many animal species: otters, wild boars, foxes, hares, turtles and various specimens of birds and fish.
(Entrance fee of EUR 5.00. From Monday to Friday the price of admission is reduced to 2.00 euro).
Ascea and Velia
The archaeological area has been recognized by UNESCO. The name of this town is full of poetry: Ascea comes from the greek a-skaidon or area free of shadows and so full of light, while the greek name was Elena, famous for the philosophical school of Parmenides and Zeno. In the archaeological area it is interesting to visit the port area, Porta Marina, Porto Rosa, Terme Hellenistic and Roman Baths, Agorá the Acropolis, the Southern and the archaic neighborhood by neighborhood. Priceless the famous Porta Rosa, the first example of a round arch in Italy, which performed the dual function of connecting the two parts of the city, and the viaduct joining the two top of the acropolis. (Entrance fee of EUR 3.00 full / EUR 1.50 reduced)
The village of Punta Licosa Castellabate counts 72 inhabitants. His name is linked to The legend of the Siren Leukosia (in greek means “white”), one of the three sirens Ulysses met during his trip, which jumped from a coastal cliff for an unrequited love and his body took the form of a rock: the island of Licosa.
It is a semisprofondato island, where there are ruins of walls and a lighthouse. In its water, submerged remains of a Roman villa and a spa are visible to training of morays dating back to a period from the first century. BC to the first century A.D.
Recently declared a Marine Protected Area, the coastal area is characterized by the presence of the “Flysch del Cilento”, a rare type of rock composed of different stratifications. Moreover Punta Licosa was several times awarded as the most beautiful beach by Legambiente and won several blue flags.
Blue Flag for 18 consecutive years, Castellabate is part of the homonymous Marina Area , populated by several protected plant and animal species such as parrotfish or the castanets, a rare breed of mollusk.
In the village of Castellabate, made famous in 2010 by the film “Welcome to the South” is interesting to visit the Castle of the Abbot, built in 1123 by Abbot Costabile, for defend the territory from Saracen attacks by sea and hence the name, the Basilica of Santa Maria de Giulia, the Sacred Art Museum, the Belvedere San Costabile and famous Piazza October 10, 1123, which takes its name from the date of the founding of Castle dell’Abate and location of many scenes in the film “Welcome to the South” admired Also by Joachim Murat, to whom is dedicated the present plaque to the side of the square “Here you do not die” Do not miss the places bordering on the coast, such as Santa Maria di Castellabate with the beautiful sanctuary of Santa Maria a Mare, San Marco di Castellabate with necropolis and St. Mark the Evangelist Church and the nearby Agropoli, the picturesque old town, the historical fact of gates and towers from which stands the castle.
Acciaioli, Pioppi and Pollica
Acciaroli is a typical fishing village rewarded for several years for its limpid waters. Places to visit are the church of the ‘Annunziata and the historic center. It is said that Ernest Hemingway stayed there several times fascinated by the beauty of the place, and that here He drew the inspiration for “The Old Man and the Sea”, although there is no evidence. Little far from Acciaroli there is Pioppi, home of the Mediterranean diet, which houses the museum Vivo the Sea. Pioppi is a town of about 300 inhabitants and fraction of the town of Marina Pollica, where it is nice to visit the castle of the Capano Princes, St. Nicholas church and Franciscan convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie.
Grotte di Pertosa and Certosa di Padula
The Certosa di San Lorenzo in Padula Charterhouse is the first to have been incurred in Campania, a Unesco World Heritage Site. It occupies an area of 51,500 square meters, consists of three cloisters, a garden, a courtyard, a church that constitutes one of the most sumptuous Baroque monuments in Southern Italy and the largest Charterhouse at national level and among the best in Europe. After the visit of the Certosa is definitely the walk to the caves of Pertosa. The caves are the only site caving in Europe where you can browse an underground river, penetrating to the heart of the mountain. The first stretch is visit with a particular boat pulled by a steel cable, which serves to reach the rest of the pedestrian route. The caves fact extend for about 3000 meters in the massif of Alburni, in a road full of stalactites and stalagmites that decorate the spaces with shapes, colors and sizes. For about eight years the Caves of Pertosa hosted the first form of cave theater “Dante’s Inferno in the caves” . Still today the caves are the scene of several events and shows. (Certosa di Padula: full price € 4.00, reduced ticket (EU citizens between 18 and. Free admission 25 years € 2.00) for EU citizens under the age of 18 years and above 65 years)
The valley of orchids
Perhaps it is the most particular nature trail around the Cilento National Park and Vallo di Diano.
Its 184 varieties of spontaneous orchid bloom in May which is therefore the month recommended for a visit.
However this path, which crosses Sassano fantastic forests and plateaus inhabited by many animals in the wild and arrives at 1200.
WWF Oasis of the gorges of the river Calore
Among the jewels of the wonderful National Park of Cilento this oasis is a destination For both families and lovers of trekking, cycling and canoeing.
It is made up of five imposing incisions formed in the limestone rock over time due to the erosive force of the thundering waters of the river Calore.
Waterfalls and rapids, bridges and limestone caves, plants of myrtle, wild lilies, oaks and elms ferns;
Wild boars, badgers, newts, otters, buzzards and hawks and of course trout.
In these 120 hectares of protected land, from the medieval bridge located in the valley of Felitto border with the territory of Magliano, an eerie silence reigns in where there are feelings now forgotten. Best time to visit the gorge is in the spring / fall
The parties, festivals and events
The Cilento offers all kinds of parties, from small but traditional village festivals to parties of International importance. Among the many: Marina di Camerota meeting, Laurin jazz, at the table of Princess Costanza of Teggiano, the Tourism Exchange archeology, ancient Christmas tradition of nativity scenes and Christmas markets. The festivals, the best known of the fusillo of Felitto, Fair Frecagnola of Cannalonga. The events are mainly concentrated during the summer months.
Bay (or port) Infreschi
Natural harbor well known to the national and international tourism, flower jewel of the Cilento coast. Porto Infreschi is the destination of each trip by sea which starts from Marina di Camerota. It is named after the freshwater springs that mix to sea water and forms a natural shelter protected from all winds, which It was often used as a refuge for fishermen.