A journey in Cilento among the Paestum ruins, the Cilento National Park, the Certosa of Padula and the Cilento villages and towns.
Top sights in Cilento
Things to do in Cilento
With the Valinas of Paestum and Velia and the Certosa di Padula, which have been part of the UNESCO World Heritage since 1998, Cilento is a large area in the south of Italy, in the province of Salerno (Campania region), characterized mainly by hills full of olive trees, chestnut and evergreen woods, crossed by wild streams and lapped by the deep blue sea. It is here that one of Europe's largest nature reserves is located: the National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano, to which two marine protected oases have recently been added: Punta Licosa, between Agropoli and Castellabate, and Punta Infreschi, between Palinuro and Scario.
Top sights in Cilento
The main things to see in Cilento: attractions, beaches and parks
The region is rich in Greek mythology and legends, as can be deduced from the names of some cities, as can be seen in the remains of the colonies of Paestum (ancient Poseidonia) and Velia (Elea). The latter was also the seat of "Eleati", a school of pre-Socratic philosophers such as Parmenides, Zeno of Elea and Melissus of Samos.
In addition to its history, Cilento is home to the second largest natural park in Italy: the National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano. It stretches from the Tyrrhenian coast to the foot of the Campania-Lucano Apennines and preserves numerous traces of the ancient presence of humans. Thanks to its extraordinary natural features it was included in 1998, along with the archaeological sites of Paestum and Velia and the Certosa di Padula, in the World Heritage list of UNESCO.
So let's see below what are the main things to see in Cilento:
Things to do in Cilento
Excursions, tours, activities, here's what to do in Cilento during the holidays
The Cilento is home to spectacular mountain ranges, unspoiled beaches, some of the best village fairs in Campania, traces of its long history and centuries-old ruins. Every year thousands of Italian and foreign tourists decide to spend their vacations in Cilento, being fascinated by the natural and wild beauty that only the Cilento Coast can offer.
The diversity of the area, therefore, offers its visitors a wide choice of outdoor activities to do: from boat excursions to Palinuro and Marina di Camerota, trekking along the Calore gorges, a zipline flight experience in Trentinara with Cilento in Volo and much more.
The beaches of Cilento
The beaches of Cilento are without any doubt one of the greatest natural beauties in south of Italy, as well as being part of the Natural Park of Cilento and Vallo del Diano. The intense and incredible colors of the sea water, the Mediterranean vegetation, the colorful shades visible at dusk in the sky give all its visitors, adults and children, a real nature show.
This is why the clear and clean waters of the sea, the beaches of fine golden sand, often set between rocky cliffs have made much of the territory of Cilento become a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1998.
Here are some of the beaches of Cilento that absolutely deserve to be visited:
- Cala Bianca - Marina di Camerota
- Spiaggia del Buondormire - Palinuro
- Spiaggia dell'Arco Naturale - Palinuro
- Cala degli Infreschi - Marina di Camerota
- Spiaggia di Marina di Ascea - Ascea
- Spiaggia Baia di Trentova - Agropoli
- Cala d’Arconte - Marina di Camerota
- Punta Licosa - Santa Maria di Castellabate
- Spiaggia di Lentiscelle - Marina di Camerota
- Spiaggia del Pozzallo - Marina di Camerota
The territory of Cilento extends from the city of Paestum, home of the Doric temples, up to the Gulf of Policastro, near the city of Sapri. Therefore, the vastity of the territory (there are more than 200 municipalities) and the plurality of cultures has meant that it was marked by a variety of traditions.
More than towns, along the coast there are tourist "villages", in fact among the most visited villages we can find the beautiful Santa Maria di Castellabate, Acciaroli, the ancient Velia, Palinuro, Marina di Camerota, Scario and Policastro Bussentino. The most important cities are Vallo della Lucania located in the heart of the Cilento National Park, Sapri and Agropoli: the latter is the largest in terms of population and hosts the main port.
Let's see below which are the main villages of Cilento:
Some of the other villages and towns of the Cilento, which deserve to be visited for their characteristics and peculiarities, are:
- ACCIAROLI: town of fishermen, become in recent years small treasure of the Cilento coast, as well as famous thanks to the literary work of Ernest Hemingway, "the Old Man and the Sea".
- AGROPOLI: one of the largest cities of Cilento, which nevertheless retains a valuable medieval quarter in which is kept the castello Angioino Aragonese, the symbol of the city.
- ASCEA: known for the archaeological park of Velia, but also for the very long beach of Marina d'Ascea, characterized by 7 km of fine sand, golden color.
- CAGGIANO: village of Cilento, rich in history and culture, in which it is possible to identify traces of the passage of populations, such as: Lucanians, Romans, Longobards, Normans, Angevins, Byzantine monks and Knights Templar. Not least the typical products that evoke a culinary heritage not indifferent.
- CASTELLABATE: probably the most beautiful medieval village of Cilento, such as to be chosen as the location of the film "Welcome to the South".
- MARINA DI CAMEROTA: marine fraction of the municipality of Camerota, one of the most frequented destinations from the tourists during the summer season.
- PIOPPI: small village of Cilento, recognized in the '60s world capital of the Mediterranean Diet.
- ROSCIGNO VECCHIA: UNESCO World Heritage Site, an ancient abandoned village in the National Park of Cilento famous for being called "ghost town" or the "Pompeii of the twentieth century".
- SAN SEVERINO DI CENTOLA: abandoned medieval village, one of the most fascinating of Cilento, where time seems to stand still
- SCARIO: small fishing village, known for the beauty of its waters and for being close to the marine protected area Punta degli Infreschi
Even Italians who are not from this area agree: the best Buffalo mozzarella in the world comes from this area. Here, Buffalo are treated like stars in excellent living conditions to produce the best milk for Italy's favorite cheese.
A trip to production houses such as Vannulo or Barlotti will show you that these well-treated animals produce not only the most juicy mozzarella but also Ricotta, yogurt, desserts, ice cream and more.
Cilento has always been known for its healthy and good cuisine. It is enough to think that we are in the land of the Mediterranean Diet, in fact every year hundreds of tourists come from all over the world on the occasion of the various food fairs. The typical products, P.D.O. and P.G.I. go crazy on the market, in fact after tourism, are the second most profitable source of income to the territory.
. Fortunately still today, there where many years ago the Mediterranean diet was affirmed, it is still possible to rediscover the true flavors of the cuisine.