|The Park of Cilento and the Cilento Coast || |
A very antique land, the expert consultants date it back to 500.000 years ago, Cilento is an authentic treasure chest. It's an heterogeneous area that includes the 2/3 of the province of Salerno and so many resources.
First of all it offers to the visitors around one hundred km of coast in the clearest sea of all Campania Region (certificated by Legambiente, the most important italian environmentalist association), it is also characterised by the alternation of a white sand, cliffs, promontories and caves concealed in the rocks.
A wonderful aspect of this place is near the immense stretch are stood out the tips of the "Dolomiti del Mezzogiorno" (the biggest montainous ghauts of the southern Italy). Furthermore, on the scopes of the hillocks there are little villages all age-old and sometimes microscopical with few undred people.
The greatest part of the villages look like small crib risen in the shade of old manor houses, sanctuaries and monasteries; especially in these places you could find the main ingredients of the famous Mediterranean diet. The rich lever ground is cut through several rivers like: Sele, Calore, Tanagro and Bussento. Long their flow lives the pacifica otter, one of the many symbols of the spectacular cilentan biodiversity.
From the December of 1991 Cilento and the neighboring Vallo di Diano are included in a boundless and naturalistic enclaves protected and officially recognized as world heritage site by UNESCO. Recently the National Park of Cilento and the Vallo di Diano have been enlarged thanks to the establishment of two protected marine oases: Punta Licosa (situated among Agropoli and Castellabate) and Punta Infreschi (placed between Palinuro e Scario); with the addition of these two oases the National Park has become one of the biggest in Europe. The total area is equivalent to 215.000 hectares, the perimeter of the park includes 7 Mountains Communities and 86 Municipalities in which live about 250.000 persons who are famous for having in common the "genome of longevity". In this location, in fact, the average life of a normal resident is much longer than one who lives in the rest of Europe, effectively ongoing studies in european and american universities are focusing on the so-called "genoma cilentano" (cilentan genome).
In this fantastic land have been left the marks of the great history, indeed Cilento is universally renowed as the "Land of the Myth" because in the past it hosted important settlements of the Romans, Lucans and Greek. Today inside this limitless territory there are two imperious statements of antiquity: the archeological areas of Paestum and Velia, splendours from the classical period. Paestum and Velia are looked after by the Policy of the Cultural Heritages that has the duty of safeguardind the area and to make available to the visitors, travellers and scholars the beauties of this magnificent land.
The tourist package is congruent with the characteristics of the area: you could find luxurious hotels on the coast but also B&B in the hinterland. Even though is not famous as the Amalfi Coast, Cilento, above all in the recent years, has been able to stand out in the province of Salerno and in all the Region of Campania thanks also to its amazing natural resources and the delicious cookery. Indeed the cilentan gastronomy is based on the typical local food and the greatest part of the dishes have age-old origins. You could taste these flavourful courses in all the agritourisms and the restaurants located in the zone but also in occasion of the numerous feastes and festivals that take place especially during the summer.
The cilentan coast extends from Agropoli to Sapri with lots of seaside resorts, part of the coast is reachable only by sea but in this amazing place there are also wonderful sandy beaches reachable even by road. Agropoli jointed to Acciaroli, Pioppi, Santa Maria di Castellabate, Ascea are some of the most spectacular seaside resorts where you could do scuba divings that are very usual in the zone especially in the beautiful Punta Licosa, maybe the most enchanting place of the Cilentan coast. Undoubtedly the most socialite and well-known locality of the coast is Palinuro that is marked by its wonderful beaches and the stunning clefts and caverns in the sea, the first is for sure the "Grotta Azzurra" (the Blue Cavern).
As we have previously said, beyond the breath-taking coast Cilento is famous for its hinterland in which sticks out the National Park of Cilento and the Valley of Diano, characterized by limpid rivers, rises, paths: an uncontaminated environment perfect for all the naturalistes who love walking tours and trekking. Another important feature of the Park is the speleology: indeed in the park you could find out the beauties of the amazing Grotte di Castelcivita (Caverns of Castelcivita) and the wonderful Grotte dell'Angelo (Caverns of the Angel) located in the village of Pertosa. These age-old caverns are full of galleries, burrows and tunnels in which you could appreciate the outlook of the magnificent thousand-year-old stalactites and stalagmites: a unique panorama trimmer by fantastic examples of the art of nature.
Sea, nature, enogastronomy, art and history, Cilento represents all these things and, beyond Paestum, it includes two other archeological sites: the excavates of Velia, well-known for the "Porta Rosa" (literally "Pink Door" is a viaduct of the IV century a.C. the most ancient of all Italy), the second site is represented by the "Antica Volcei" (Ancient Volcei) in the district of Buccino.
As land of great tradition Cilento is also defined by the antique Catholic monuments that prove the cult of the cilentan citizens. Surely the most renowed in the world is the "Certosa di San Lorenzo" (Charterhouse of Saint Lawrence) located in Padula; it's the biggest Catholic building af southern Italy where you could always visit the fantastic gardens and above all the huge and majestic facility with the courtyards, the residences of the monks and the altars.