What to see in Cilento: 5 hidden wonders

by Yuri Buono

Talk about the Cilento it is something that is always good for the heart. A region in the region, very different between the coast and the inland area, but with a minimum common denominator: the poignant beauty. That's why if you ask us what to see in Cilento, we can't help but talk about breathtaking views, unique sunsets, caves, gorges, karst rivers and then green, lots of greenery!

Yet, today, talking about Cilento has become a common exercise and we are very happy about it; we, however, would like to lead you by the hand, in that deep Cilento, more hidden and, at times, guilty forgotten. Follow us carefully, because choosing what to see in Cilento is not a simple thing, given the endless amount of wonderful places.

The Castle of Rocca Cilento

Cosa vedere in Cilento: 5 meraviglie nascoste

Built around the end of the 9th century on the ridge of Monte Stella, it was born by the Lombard hand, following the waves of Saracen invasions. Become the property of the family Sanseverino at the end of the 11th century and until 1552, after that date, its destiny follows that of the new, different families who will buy it and will partially modify its primordial appearance.

Located in the municipality of Lustra, in the hamlet of Rocca Cilento, stands at 635 meters above sea level and dominates the entire coastal arc, from Capo Palinuro a Punta Campanella. Equipped with a pentagonal plan, Angevin walls, circular towers and a narrow entrance passage - the result of a defensive stratagem of Norman military architecture - which, through a sudden change of direction, prevented enemies from being able to easily break down the door with a ram .

Then fallen into disrepair, it was recently purchased by a new owner who restored it to its former glory, allocating its future use not only to guided tours, but also to the organization of social and cultural events.

The Living Museum of the Mediterranean Diet

We are a Poplars, part of the municipality of Pollica and here, located on the first floor of Vinciprova Palace, we find this unique place managed by the Living Museum of the Sea and from Legambiente, part of the network of the Ecomuseum of the Mediterranean Diet. In this spectacular museum, which overlooks a crystalline sea, you will find a rich exhibition hall, an herbal tea room and laboratories, where you can learn more about the concept of Mediterranean diet, studied by the US epidemiologist Ancel Keys and that it was in Pioppi that he stayed for years with his wife.

It was here, in fact, that he correlated health and nutrition, coming to the conclusion that an active lifestyle and a "Cilento and Mediterranean" diet made mainly of cereals, legumes and fish, made it possible to keep the cholesterol and greatly decrease cardiovascular disease.

The Medieval Bridge of Laurino and the waterfall

We are a Laurino, a town with a glorious past, known as "the pearl of heat”, For its uncontaminated territory and its rich vegetation. From 1811 to 1860 it was the capital of the district belonging to the District of Vallo of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, while during the Kingdom of Italy and until 1927 it was the capital of the district of Vallo della Lucania.

Crossed by the waters of the Calore river, it preserves the evidence of a wise architecture, such as the medieval bridge humpbacked, very ancient construction typical of some internal areas of Cilento, useful for connecting the towns cut in two by the course of rivers. It is also found similar in the municipalities of Magliano Nuovo, Felitto and Piaggine, and here, in Laurino, continuing along the bridge you will find yourself in a "natural" swimming pool with icy waters, but you will enjoy a breathtaking view, complete with a few cascades. "Strokes" away.

The sources of the Sammaro

Cosa vedere in Cilento: 5 meraviglie nascoste

Located at the end of a very deep natural gorge - formed in a limestone rock 1600 meters long and dominated by one of the highest single arch bridges in Europe with its 150 meters in height - the Sammaro springs offer a natural spectacle of immense beauty.

We are located in the municipality of Sacco, in the unspoiled nature of the Alburni Mountains, in a territory of karst origin, rich in gorges and sinkholes. And it is precisely here that the Sammaro river, a tributary of the Calore, returns to the surface, between smooth vertical walls and among the astonished gazes of those who find themselves observing a unique place in the world, enjoying waterfalls, streams and jumps between the rocks.
The entire route is about two kilometers long, with a difference in height of four hundred meters and is the ideal place for lovers of trekking and canyoning.

Archaeological Park of Velia-Elea

Cosa vedere in Cilento: 5 meraviglie nascoste

Imagine closing your eyes and being transported near Ascea in a time dated more than two thousand years ago. And imagine again listening to philosophical dissertations by Parmenides, Zeno, Melisso di Samo and, again, Xenophanes and Leucippus. Well yes, it can be said that philosophy was born here.

This place, founded in the sixth century BC by the Phoceans fleeing the Persians and known as Velia for the Romans and Elea for the Greeks, became so prosperous that it was considered a holiday resort.

The major philosophers of the time met there and, perhaps, precisely for this reason, the city always remained very neutral in conflicts, maintaining excellent relations with the Romans who in 88 BC elected it a Roman municipality with the right to mint coins and to speak Greek. Right here, the encounter between sublime minds found unity and fulfillment in the Eleatic philosophical school.

Today it is possible to visit the ruins of the ancient city of which the Port Area, the Hellenistic Baths, the Roman Baths, the Agora and the Acropolis remain.

What to see in Cilento? For the moment we would like to point out these five places that are certainly “less crowded”, but certainly “more unique”.

Sitography:

https://www.operatorituristiciagropoli.it/blog/escursioni-alle-gole-del-sammaro/

https://www.velia.it/

http://www.comune.lustra.sa.it/il-castello.html

https://www.ecomuseodietamediterranea.it/

Yuri Buono
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