Vacanza a Palinuro, costa del Cilento

Il Cilento

Cilento coast...It is a scenery of strong contrasts, of incomparable beauty. Cilento enchants with its vertiginous cliffs that drop into the crystalline sea, its spotless beaches, its small medieval villages that cling to the hills and its luminous scenery of pristine nature. One of the most beautiful coasts of Italy: one hundred miles of beaches, cliff formed by the sun and the wind, secret coves and mysterious grottoes.

The cilentan coast begins at Paestum and ends at Sapri, offering an enormous range of seaside activities: from large, wide and safe beaches on a clear sea, to a more sportive choice of grotto and cove exploration and the diving deep into the uncontaminated bottoms of the sea. All of this amidst hills and mountains with sheer cliffs to the sea, where enchanted villages are nestled. We are far from the madding crowds, we are where the world is still like it once was, a universe with rhythms that still follows the seasons.

The Cilento area is also famous for its tasty traditional cuisine, based on typical products used in recipes passed on from mother to daughter.


Paestum is located where Cilento begins. It is one of the most precious of the archeological gems of Italy, known the world over, especially for its spectacular Doric temples. In summer the Night trails amid the temples of Paestum permit the visitor to enjoy the archeological area by moonlight, a magical experience. Not far from the excavations is the Archeological Museum of Paestum, home to some of the most important works in the Southern Italy. The most important are the frescoes from the 5th century BC Tomb of the Diver. It is a painted box tomb , made up of four lateral slabs decorated with banquet scenes. The cover depicts a diving boy: the scene probably symbolises the passage from life to the world of dead.

With Agropoli one enters into the heart of a Cilento made of fishermen and fishing villages. Dominated by the castle, built in Byzantine times, Agropoli has a lovely medieval village that towers over the wild coast below.

Medieval traces are also found in Castellabate. The Village, intact and full of wonder, presents itself like a bundle of intertwining alleys, arches and steep stairs, framed by a vegetation rich with colour and aroma. From above youcan admire the characteristic red tiled rooftops of Santa Maria di Castellabate, a bathing and fishing village blessed with lovely beaches and situated between Punta Tresino and Punta Licosa. Acciaroli is a lovely old village with a marvellous beach. It is said that a local fisherman was the inspiration for Hemingway’s novel "The Old Man and the Sea".

The ruins of the ancient Greek city of Velia are another archeological gem: its fame is tied to the great philosophers Parmenide and Zeno, and to the celebrated School of Medicine, later inherited by Salerno. Elea, the ancient name of Velia, was founded in the 6th century BC by the Greeks from Focea, attracted to the beauty of the place, and soon became one of the most important maritime centres of the southern Tyrrenia area. The archaeological area extends to a promontory that was once bathed by the sea, then buried, and to the most important monument, the “Porta Rosa”, a magnificent structure that opens in the circumference of the ancient walls.

Leaving behind the glorious deeds of the Romans and Greeks, the coast continues dotted with long sandy beaches, bunches of houses and ancient villages: Ascea, medieval in origin, with its charming marina and Pisciotta, characterised by the houses wedged in green and it is renowned for its olive oil. In fact, the oil its splendid olive tree (with its silvery green leaves) produce, is one of the best of Italy, and has earned the denominational marking of Olio d’Oliva Extravergine Cilento Dop.

Palinuro, with its legendary promontory is the pearl of the Cilento coast. It is said that it owes its name to Aeneas’ unfortunate helmsman who, as Virgil recounts in the Aeneid, fell into the water here and perished. Palinuro is an internationally renown bathing resort for its beautiful beaches, cliffs formed by the sun and the wind, secret coves and mysterious grottoes.

And the secret of Palinuro lies in the marine grottoes to be discovered on boat trips: the Blue Grotto, whose waters assume the transparency of sapphires, the Silver and the Blood grottoes. Yellow and green are the dominant colours of the Fetente (stinking) cove, so named for the sulphuric spring that releases an unpleasant odor. The Baia del Buondormire (of the good sleep) with its crystalline waters is one of the most romantic beaches of the coast. The Natural Arch (Arco Naturale) is a moulded masterpiece of nature, with its long beach and nearby mouth of the river Mingardo.

Il vecchio abitato di San Severino è un borgo medievale abbandonato che sovrasta la valle del fiume Mingardo dove scava una stretta forra chiamata Gola del Diavolo. Risale al X-XI secolo e serba tracce delle varie epoche storiche fino al Novecento, conservando le rovine di un castello e di una chiesa. Man mano la popolazione cominciò a trasferirsi a valle per cui nel giro di una cinquantina d’anni il paese venne quasi del tutto abbandonato, anche se fino al 1977 la chiesa sul Borgo restò la chiesa del paese a valle e alcune case del borgo vecchio erano ancora abitate. Attualmente il vecchio Borgo è meta di un notevole flusso turistico ed alcune associazioni si occupano della sua tutela con la collaborazione del Comune di Centola. Da segnalare la suggestiva rappresentazione del “Presepe Vivente” che si svolge ogni anno e che coinvolge gran parte dei cittadini.
Imposing cliffs, coves you can get to only in boat, and exceptional grottoes are also to be found at Marina di Camerota, famous destination for summer tourism. We recommend a boat trip to Punta degli Infreschi, with its evocative coves and clear water, and a trip on land, to Camerota, on hills covered in olive groves.
The coast continues to Policastro and Sapri, passing through gracious bathing resorts like Scario. In the centre of the Gulf to which it gives its name, Policastro Bussentino preserves interesting remains of a castle and of medieval walls. A fascinating excursion is that to the Grotto of Bussentino, an imposing fenomenon created by the river, and one of the most interesting of the Campania. On the southern extreme of the Campania, Sapri is one of Cilento’s most important towns, with a lovely panoramic waterfront. “ They were three hundred, they were young and strong” , in this way begins the famous poem by Luigi Mercantini “The Gleaner of Sapri”, dedicated to a group of about thirty youths led by Carlo Pisacane, which in the 1857 landed on the coast of Sapri to begin an anti-Bourbon insurrection. The patriots, however , were all killed by the troops. Every year in august, at Sapri there is a costumed reenactment of the tragic event.
Even though you are seduced by one of the most beautiful seas of Italy, the “other” Cilento is not to be underestimated. The one of inland, full of surprises. Nature is still uncontaminated here, like that of the coast, and is protected by the Cilento e Vallo di Diano National Park. There are innumerable trails that take you into this park blessed with hills, rivers, wood and paths that cut deep into the wild. Vallo della Lucania, the most important town of the Cilento from a commercial and administrative point of view, is the centre of the main roads and railways, and the starting point of hikes in the Alburni Mountains (also known as the Dolomites of the South for the clear colour of its limestone walls), on Mount Cervati (the highest summit of the Campania with 1,900 mt), or on Mount Gelbison (also known as Sacred Mountain, popular for the presence of the sanctuary of Madonna di Novi Velia on its summit). The surrounding landscape leave sits visitors fascinated: the karst phenomenon has permitted long gorges to be carved into the rock (the karst swallow holes) and mysterious grottoes, not to mention the small “mirrors of water” to be found here and there. A stop at the evocative and famous Grottoes of Castelcivita is a must, with its underground system of caverns.
Nature and Art are the stars of the Vallo di Diano with the marvellous grottoes of Pertosa, the village Teggiano and the magnificent Certosa (monastery) of Padula. The grottoes of the Angel at Pertosa are set in an evocative natural amphitheatre in the green of the Alburni mountains. They twist and turn for about 2.500 meters through galleries, tunnels and immense caverns; a truly enchanting place full of stalactites, stalagmites and huge underground halls. To add to its charm, this is the only cave in Italy, where, to gain access, one has to row across a small lake originating from the underground river. Teggiano has one of the area’s most interesting historical centre and is the ancient capital of the Vallo. It was formerly known as Dianum. Located on top of a round hill, it dominates the plains that, in Roman times, were dangerous swamps. The village, with its narrow twisting streets, is nestled around the Castle which was founded in 1285 and rebuilt in the 19th century.
The town of Padula has the most important monastic monument of Southern Italy, the Certosa of San Lorenzo. The majesty of the building, a true “convent-city”, and the exhuberance of the décor, make this an obligatory visit. The grandiose enormity of the complex is amazing.

Le tue vacanze al mare nel Cilento

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