Not many people really know about the Cilento, others get confused because it has never had precise borders. Even less known is the Cilento National Park, a surface area of over 100,000 hectares which stretches from the Tyrrhenian coast to the foot of Campania-Lucanian Appennines, characterising spectacular landscape, natural environment and archaeological treasures, a wonderful coast jagged with white fine sandy beaches and rocky inlets.
The Cilento, for an observant traveller, is an environment where the border between the myth, the history and the landscape does not exist, the three elements mix together. If the traveller arrives by sea the beaches and the rocks, the cliffs and the caves are diffused among the green of the olive trees and the Mediterranean maquis, but if someone comes by train or by car they pass through small villages located on narrow river valleys or coast the Paestum’s beaches.
Still today the myth combines the certainty of the history, evoking deep feelings and noble qualities, creating an exceptional varied and multifaceted landscape: Palinurus, Aeneas, Hercules and Vastasi (the giants of Mount Stella), the archangel Michael and the dolmen of San Mauro Cilento, the siren Leucosia, buried, it is said, near Castellabate.
The Cilento coast, extending over a distance of about 80 km, presents long coastal sandy beaches strips at the mouth of the main rivers, the Alento and the Mingardo rocks and cliffs are also spectacular like Punta Tresino near Agropoli. The Cilento has a protected biological zone which includes the Punta Licosa, the Punta delle Ripe Rosse di Montecornice and above all the Infreschi Coast.
The Consulting Committee of the Biosphere’s Reserves of the MAB (Man and Biosphere) Program of UNESCO, in the meeting held in Paris between the 9th and the 10th of June in 1997, has included unanimously the National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano in the prestigious network of the Biosphere’s Reserves.
The National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano, together with the archaeological sites of Paestum and Velia, has been included in the list of the Worldwide Patrimony of UNESCO.