Archeological area of Paestum
As in the entire territory of the Protected Area , even the archaeological sites of Paestum and Velia , like the monumental glory of the Certosa di Padula, are part of the prestigious list of the sites included by the UNESCO in the (world human heritage). Around the seventh century b.C., the Achaeans Sibariti come on existing settlement of civilization Gaudo through the safe and rapid paths ridge and found the city of Posidonia , in honor of the god of the waters. In the fifth century BC the political domination of the city goes into the hands of the people of the area which it changed its name to Paistos or Paistom to become so when Paestum in 273 BC the city became a Roman colony ; Paestum is then abandoned in the eighth century AD for fear of the Saracen invasions . The rediscovery of the splendors of Paestum , which began with the interest expressed by writers and poets in 1500 , is especially true in 1800 when the ancient Greek colony becomes a place of ” travel training ” and worldly intellectuals . Artists of many nationalities , writers and cultural figures such as Goethe , Shelley, Canova and Piranesi begin to attend the Greek city , spread its fame throughout Europe giving way to the fashion of the Grand Tour Still Paestum, famous tourist destination in the world , allows us to admire the most beautiful and best preserved monuments of Ancient Greece , if not the classical world ; unmissable excursion among the three Doric temples of Hera , Ceres and Neptune, the court with the agora , the Treasury , and the tabernae comitium , so the pool , amphitheater and chapel ipogeico . A visit to the local National Archaeological Museum allows, among other things, the famous Tomb of the Diver , one of the rarest paintings handed down by Greek painting.
Ogliastro and Licosa
The bay of Ogliastro and the small island of Punta Licosa are two of the best kept zones of the coast Cilento and are a true landmark of the environmentalistic Italian history. A boat trip to the island of Licosa is very pleasant but also a walk through the woods, an enchanting scenery of Pinus Alepensis, the sacred plant of the Phoenician who probably imported it an here it grows spontaneously; and centuries old Pinus Pinea, cultivations of olive oils and grapevines. The beauty of the place is enriched by the suggestion of the myth of the Mermaid Leucosia, who according to the Legend, here disappeared into the sea.
The Sinker of Vallivona
The sinker of Vallivona, one of the wonders of the South Italy, is located on the South-west side of the mount Cervati at a height of 1100 m/sm. It was once a crossing cave where all the high waters came and reached a portal where they plunged and then reappeared in Varco la Peta and Montemenzano. This river was actually the high path of Bussento, that left signs of its passing into the fossil channels on top of those still active. During the 70ies a dike and an artificial tunnel long almost 200 m were built, from which there’s the access to the area.
Badia (Abbey) of Pattano
An exceptional witness of the presence of the Greek and Oriental monks in Cilento is represented by the Abbey of Santa Maria in Pattano, one of the most ancient and best kept Italian-Greek cenobies. The unit is made up of the Church of Santa Maria, the bell tower and some other conventual buildings and the splendid Chapel of San Filadelfo which still shows Byzantine paintings of extraordinary interest. In this Chapel was found the Greek wooden statue of S. Filadelfo, with his particularly long face, exposed into the Museo Diocesano of Vallo della Lucania.
Morigerati and the cave of Bussento.
The Bussento River, born from the southern slope of the Cervati Mountain, near Caselle in Pittari, sinks into a massive cave and reappears, after running his course into the depths of the ground, a little southerly, under the housing of Morigerati. The trip starts from Morigerati with a beautiful mule track that brings to the entrance of the cave. From here, after entering with tiny stairs in stone, you can cross the canyon dug by the river, with two wooden little bridges. On the outside, the river provides striking sights along the canyon, where limpid and fresh waters form falls. The entire zone deserves a prolonged visit, because of its extraordinary beauty.
recommended period: spring – autumn
interest: history nature flora and fauna
travel time: 1 h 30
initial height: 272
middle height: 142m
final height: 272m
altitude gap: 130m
The ancient pilgrims track from Novi Velia to the Gelbison mountain.
Where the mountain is sacred, where there is one of the most visited shrines of the entire Campania, the shrine of Madonna di Novi, there is the possibility of walk through one of the many ways, the most significant one, which leads to the top of the Gelbison Mountain. Yes, Gelbison, which in Arab means “Mountain of the Idle”, since this mountain was sacred long before the Basiliani monks founded this shrine on the top of it in the Xth century.
You can feel the sanctity of these places from the entrance of this track, where, between the rich and suggestive vegetation the Torna river runs between sandstones forming several pools and little falls. ,where an always fresh and limpid water gushes in front of an effigy of the Virgin.
A sanctity that you can also feel into the high parts of the track, where two huge masses of stone with a cross upon them, the so-called “Monti della Pietà”, remind us of the strong devotion of ancient people.
The caves and the centre of Castelcivita
The caves show an enchanting underground landscape. The strength of the erosion on the limestone of the upper Cretacico is here shown in all its great power. The fossil finds witness that the caves once were a primal and secure shelter for the man of the Paleolithic era (around 40.000 years ago). This is a succession of tunnels, bottlenecks and wells that gives birth to unique forms: the castle halls, the crocodile hall, the vegetables hall, the Pagoda are just some examples. The symbol of the village is a tower built at the end of the 13th century. In the centre you can also admire interesting stone gates, ancient churches, monasteries and ruins of the old castle.
It’s the landlady of the river. The undisputed queen of limpid waters: the otter. This funny animal has found a welcoming hospitality around the rivers of the Park and particularly near the Calore river. Which is for its and the landscape’s beauty the “Prince River” of the Park. Between the villages of Felitto and Magliano it reaches its maximum majesty. Here, the Calore waters penetrate the stone walls falling into the river’s floor and create into the rocks many art masterpieces.
During the past ages, the ancient local people left indelible tracks of their cities: the two wonderful medieval bridges.
Once upon a time there was the sea. From Velia to Punta di Telegrafo.
When the last dinosaurs were about to disappear, at the bottom of the sea there started to deposit the first sediments that gave birth to the rocks that now form the cliff of Punta del Telegrafo, 65 millions of years ago. For millions of years the sediments kept on amassing until the tectonic forces pushed them out of the water pushes them together: the Cilento was born just like Venus out of the sea. From the sea also arrived the Focei, founders of Elea, which soon became the cultural centre of the entire Occidental world. Attracted by the beauty of the place and by the natural landings, the Focei settled down next to a source of water that they devoted to the nymph Yele, from who derived the name of the ancient and well known town of Elea. The southern area, with the rests of the port, the sacred well, the roman thermal baths, the tower, Porta Rosa they show the many golden centuries this territory has lived.
The Canyon of the Sammaro river and Old Roscigno.
Going down the canyon of the Sammaro is like getting into the bowels of the earth, where instead of fire, fresh and limpid water comes out to smooth the chalky rocks of the river’s floor to make them candid and slippery. The show is sublime in its wild beauty and offers unforgettable sensations. Also unforgettable is the appeal of the ghost village of Old Roscigno, abandoned about a century ago, that becomes animated again, thanks to the renewed interest for culture and the roots of the people from Cilento, whose memories are jealously and accurately kept into the small ethnographic museum into the village, the square in front of the church, the round stone fountain, the entire village looks like a big stage that impatiently waits for whom can make it live again even for only an hour.
The Cilento mountain, the Stella Mountain and Rocca Cilento.
The name that today defines the territory of the Park derives from the mountain that is now known as the Stella Mountain. Today, just like in the past, it is considered a particularly advantageous point to control the coast of Cilento and the beach In front of it. During the 12th century the buildings on the mountain lost their importance to one of the centre on its crests. The castle here built is still well kept and shows the feudal control by Sanseverino, which lasted until 1552. It’s also fascinating the remaining part of the inhabitations of the village, perfectly in harmony with the castle that still shows the typical ancient color of the houses of Cilento.