As you can pronounce the name of Cilento without feeling the heart beat?"

quote from "Journey to the Cilento" by Cosimo De Giorgi.


Cilento is a vast coastal region of southern Italy in the province of Salerno.

It takes its name from the fortified city of "Cilento", which no longer exists, located on the Monte Stella 1131 meters above sea level, already the city of "Lucania" during the Lombard domination (VIII century).

The territory, mainly mountainous and green, overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea between Paestum and Palinuro and borders, inside, with the Vallo di Diano: together they form the National Park, from December 2, 1998, "UNESCO World Heritage".


Cilento, ie Western Lucania, is a mountainous sub-region of Campania in the province of Salerno, in the southern part of the region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The area is limited to the north by the chain of mountains Alburni and east by the Vallo di Diano. It derives its name from "cis Alentum" ("here of the Alento"), although the river not more signs the border.

Until the creation of the National Park of Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni, Cilento area was identified among the countries at the foot of Monte Stella (1131 meters) and others bordered to the east by the River Alento.

For objective reasons it was decided to extend Cilento well into the interior and southern coastal province of Salerno.

Formerly, Cilento was part of Lucania (together with the Vallo di Diano and the Gulf of Policastro). It remained sign in dialect, in the gastronomic traditions and place names (Vallo della Lucania, Atena Lucana).

Cilento for decades has inspired poets and singers. Many of the Greek and Roman myths that are the basis of our Western culture, have been set on its shores. The most famous myth is that the island of the Sirens in the Odyssey. Those evil creatures that, according to Homer, radiating a song that was crazy passing sailors, leading them to crash with the boats on the rocks. The island that inspired the ancient Cantore is probably the one in front of Punta Licosa south near Castellabate. In front of his sea Ulysses had himself tied to the mast to listen quell'ingannevole hand. Another myth is important to Palinuro, the helmsman of Enea. During the journey to the coasts of Lazio he fell into the sea along with the rudder. He clung to wreckage for three days and hired a grueling fight against the raging waves. But when he was finally to safety on the shore, he was brutally killed by the inhabitants of those places since then the promontory named Cape Palinuro. Another myth is that of Jason and the Argonauts who once fled from Colchis, to appease the goddess Hera stood beside his sanctuary at the mouth of the river Sele (today Sanctuary of Hera Argiva).

Let the legend and the strength of the imaginary to the real history of man, who in this land has been hosted by at least half a million years. Traces of its presence are evident from the Middle Paleolithic to the Neolithic, to the age of metals. The first men lived in the coastal caves of Cilento in Camerota, where they discovered the remains Omo camaerotensis. In Palinuro, where they found the stone materials industry. In the caves of Castelcivita, in San Giovanni a Piro and San Marco di Castellabate, where they found themselves Palaeolithic finds. A Capaccio and Paestum, where emerged grave goods of the local Neolithic civilizations of Gavdos. The discovery of artefacts and tools from the nearby Tavoliere or the Lipari Islands, also, we are told that even then Cilento was a crossroads of trade: paths ridge inside put him in contact with other civilizations Apennine (ways of transhumance and traffic, places of worship and market); while the sea brought him closer to civilization nuragiche, those Aegean and Mediterranean. Then, between the seventh and sixth centuries BC came the Greeks. The Sibariti, descendants of the Achaeans, founded Posidonia: become in Roman Paestum. In the same period at the hands of the Phoenicians, from Asia Minor, was founded Elea (which later became the Roman Velia): the thriving center Cilento host the Eleatic School of Philosophy, the author is Xenophon in the sixth century BC, and the one from which medical It traces its origins the important School of Medicine, mother of modern Western medicine. As in Paestum is continued to coin money, law handed down by the Achaeans (experts in this art), even in Roman times.

The thread of history Cilento unfolds until today sewing events large and small. Tying the Roman period (Emperor Augustus made it a province to raise animals and grow food for Roman tables), made in medieval important (the Principality Lombard at Salerno, the advent of the Basilian monks and the Benedictines, the birth of the Barony with Sanseverino, their revolt to Capaccio in 1246 against Frederick II), up to the first "rising of Cilento" of 1828, with the insurgency against Francis I of Bourbon and his ministers, followed twenty years later by new motions Bourbons, then all 'accession to the unification of Italy which quickly followed the years of post-unification brigandage.

Traces, memories, monuments, culture, hiking trails linked to this rich history are safeguarded thanks to the National Park of Cilento. Since June 1997, the Cilento is inserted in the network of biosphere reserves of the MAB-UNESCO (where Mab stands for "Man and Biosphere"): all over the planet (in 80 states), there are about 350 of these special protected areas, which serve to protect biodiversity and promote development compatible with nature and culture.

Cilento, in 1998, is entered, along with the archaeological sites of Paestum, Velia and Vallo di Diano, in the list of world Heritage.

Soria in Spain, Koroni in Greece, Cilento in Italy and Chefchaouen in Morocco are the places of the Mediterranean Diet, inscribed to the list of Intangible Cultural Heritage in November 2010.

In 2010 the National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano Alburni has been included in the European Network of Geoparks.


Fonte Wikipedia - Cilento