Il Cilento, tra mare e monti
The Cilento is one of the most beautiful parts of Italy, not yet discovered by mass tourism. A place containing all the ingredients for a great holiday:
- a cristall-clear sea
- deserted beaches
- remote villages, unspoilt and untouched by time
- olive groves
- forest covered mountains, waiting for you to explore
- scenic coastal villages
- marked footpaths
The Cilento area is sometimes called the ‘green tongue ‘ of Italy. Because of its many rivers it is always green, even in summer. Since 1998 Il Cilento is on the Unesco World Heritage List for its outstanding natural beauty, which helps to preserve the unique and pure character. Also Il Cilento is one of Europe’s largest National Parks (180.000 acres).
On its coastline, stretched out over 70 miles you will find skye blue waters, steep rocks with hidden beaches, which sometimes can only be reached by boat. These beaches are among the most clean and beautiful beaches of Italy. Apart from the months of July and August you have these beaches for yourselves. The sea is a paradise for divers.
The mountains are covered with mediterranean thickets and olive groves. These secular trees are most problably brought to this region by the Greeks. You will find many of them around the beautiful little village of Pisciotta.
Inland you will find expansive forests of oak trees and chestnut trees, filled with a great variety of plants and animals. (otters and wolves)
The highest peaks of the Cilento are Monte Cervati (1899 m) and Monte Bulgheria (1224 m) From the Monte Bulgheria you have a splendid view on the Gulf of Policastro.
The coastal road, littered with small sand – and pebble beaches starts at the beautiful tiny port of Scario and goes to the larger town of Sapri. Sapri has its own intercitystation, many nice shops and a beautiful boulevard. Until half july and from september you have it all for yourself. In between the Italians will join you and than it can become crowded.
You can leave it all behind you if you explore the roads leading to the inner part of the Cilento. There you will find the many small authentic villages like San Christoforo, San Giovanni a Piro, Tortorella, Camerota and Vibonati. Its inhabitants will welcome you and there are great places to enjoy a typical meal at a low cost. Slow food was invented here!
From Sapri the road goes on to Maratea. There are many places to stop and enjoy the breathtaking views, not unlike the famous Amalficoast but much less crowded.
High above Maratea stands the enormous statue of Jesus Christ, being the second largest one in the world! It can be reached by car but there is also an easy path for those who like to walk.
For further information:
For those who like culture there is enough to see and do: In Paestum are some very impressive temples, dating from the Greek times. At the coast near Velia are Greek excavations. More inland at Padula is the beautiful abbey of Certosa di San Lorenzo. (the largest abbey of Southern Italy)
And for those who have more time to spare: Naples and Pompeii can easily be reached by train.