Few really know the Cilento, others confuse it, perhaps because it has never had precise boundaries. Even less, they know the Cilento Park, over 100,000 hectares from the Tyrrhenian coast to the foot of the Campania Apennine – lush that characterize spectacular environmental, landscaping, archaeological resources, with the beautiful shingled coastline of fine and white sandy beaches and creeks Rocky Mountains, the interior with spectacular naturalistic emergencies, the world-famous archaeological sites such as Paestum and Velia, cultural and artistic testimonies such as the beautiful Cerosa of Padula, the blue sea and clear site of protected Marine Areas.
The Cilento presents itself to a caring traveler as an environment where the border between myth, history and landscape is confused and confused. If the traveler comes from the sea the beaches and the cliffs, the crags and the caves blend with the green of the olive trees and the stain, if instead arrives by train or by car, it enters through small villages wedged in narrow river valleys or lurking beaches of Paestum.
Even today the myths are confused with the certainty of history to give soul and nobility to an exceptional, varied and lively landscape: Palinuro and Aeneas, Hercules and Vastas (Giant of the Mount of the Star), Archangel Michael and dolmen of San Mauro Cilento , the Leucosia siren, buried, is told, near Castellabate.
The same name is wrapped in mystery. Contrary to philological analyzes, the most credited theses also question the most accentuated interpretation of Cilento = cis-Alentum “aloft of Alento”.
The Cilento, named Enotria by Herodotus, Pliny and Stefano of Byzantium, was occupied by the Lucani in the hilly and mountainous part; the coast was concerned with the Greek colonization, of which Posidonia / Paestum and Elea / Velia have handed down significant testimonies. As Velia resists Lucky pressure, Paestum will suffer from occupation and inculturation.
Numerous traces of Greek-Byzantine cultural action, favored by the generous policy of the Longobard princes and coexisting with that Latin Church, disseminated in Cilentan villages and villages.
Guard towers, the result of the defense of the coastal populations against Saracen raids, built by individuals and universities before 1566, and after this date by order of the Kingdom of Naples, along the coast from Paestum to Policastro, today gaze through some private residence, or some fashionable night, or left only miserable evidence on the ground, still suffused with a vague romanticism for what they represented.
The Cilento is mainly hills and mountains, if the landscape was not part of small coastal plains and the Vallo di Diano, a large internal plain, once occupied by a lake, nowadays disappeared. The reliefs are unmoving, and the succession of mountainous dorsals continues: some with steep and steep slopes, and rounded hills, with varying orientations, engraved by a dense riverbed. A territory full of contrasts, where altimetry passes quickly from the sandy shores to nearly two thousand meters (1,899 for the exactitude) of Mount Cervati and the other peaks: Mount Alburno (1,742 meters), Mount Gelbison (1,705 meters), centered inwards, and Mount Bulgheria (1,224 meters) and the Mount of the Star (1,130 meters), isolated, descending towards the sea creating suggestive high and rocky shores.
The Cilento is drained from a few river basins: the Alento, the Lambro and Mingardo, the Solofrone, the Testene, the Fiumarella, the Buscento towards the Tyrrhenian, the Heat, the Sammaro and the Tanagro towards the Sele.
About eighty miles of coastline, offering long strips of beaches, the mouths of the main waterways, the Alento and Mingardo, cliffs and cliffs, as spectacular as Punta Tresino near Agropoli, also protected at sea by a biological protection zone, of Punta Licosa, of the Ripe Rosse di Montecorice and above all of the Costa dei Infreschi.sede of the institution “Parco Marino degli Infreschi and of the Masseta”
The Biosphere Reserve Consultative Committee of UNESCO’s MAB (Man and Biosphere) Program, at the meeting held in Paris between 9 and 10 June 1997, unanimously united the National Park of the Biosphere Reserve in the prestigious network of the Biosphere Reserve Cilento and Vallo di Diano.
The National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano, together with the archaeological sites of Paestum and Velia, is included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.