Itinerary: Costa Cilento, Marina di Camerota, Palinuro, Ascea, Castellabate, Paestum
The scenic drive along the stunning coast of Cilento to discover the mythology, art, history and legends of this land
Whoever thinks that there is nothing to see below the Amalfi Coast is greatly mistaken. One of the beauties that you can find beyond the wonderful Salerno coast is Cilento National Park, declared World Heritage by UNESCO. We are talking about the large peninsula between the Gulf of Salerno and the Gulf of Policastro, with a hundred kilometers of coastline caressed by crystal-clear sea waters, and a hinterland featuring awe-inspiring mountains, deep canyons, and a pristine nature. It is a real hiking and a swimming paradise at the same time!
Our trip along the Cilento coast begins from Marina di Camerota (pic n°1), following one of the most beautiful scenic roads of Italy. Few kilometers away from this fishing village, we find the most famous seaside resort on this coast, the legendary Palinuro (pic n°2). Virgil tells us that it was here where the helmsman of Aeneas, a man called Palinuro, was lured by the sirens' seductive song and fell into the water, drowning.
This peninsula extends far into the sea, its northern side is made of a steep coast and small coves. Although the numerous grottos and caves are not sensational as in other parts of Italy, the witty stories told by the local fishermen make such trips a memorable experience. Instead, you can see the famous "Arco Naturale"(pic n°3) from the south side of the cape.
Ascea, the popular tourist resort on the Cilento Coast is just a few kilometers away from Palinuro. The most beautiful beaches you will find in the last flat part of the coast, just before the rocks rise out of the sea.
Along the coast, we then find Castellabate (pic n°4) founded in 1123. This ancient village seems to be frozen in time, and it is perched like a sentinel above the coastal town of Santa Maria di Castellabate, the seaside area of the town. Following the winding narrow streets, we arrive at the Belvedere viewpoint, from which the view sweeps over the Tyrrhenian Sea to the island of Capri, so it is a perfect vantage point to admire a wonderful sunset!
Paestum is famous for its three great Greek temples (pic n°5) (pic n°6). The Greek colony of Poseidonia (now Paestum) was founded at the end of the seventh Century B.C. The three large, partially-preserved temples arose between the middle of the sixth and the mid-fifth Century B.C., and today they are precious testimonies of the Doric-style architecture. Their beautiful location surrounded by nature and their architectural beauty can be enjoyed daily from 9:00 am until one hour before sunset.
Some pics along the coast of Cilento:
Marina di Camerota (pic n°1); Palinuro (pic n°2); Arco Naturale (pic n°3); Castellabate (pic n°4); Greek temples, Paestum (pic n°5); Greek temples, Paestum (pic n°6);