land of enchantment
The Cilento, situated in the south of Campania in the province of Salerno, a territory rich in history, culture, charming locations with excellent food and wine.
Rolling hillsides covered in centuries-old olives trees reflecting in the blue of the Tyrrhenian Sea, intersected with rippling streams and ancient pines sweeping toward the sea. Recognised as the National Park of the Cilento, boasting numerous sites inserted in the ‘World Heritage List’ of ‘Unesco’, among which is the hamlet of Castellabate, a short distance from Approdo Resort Thalasso SPA.
Approximately 80 km of coastline runs through the territory in which there are 3 Protected Marine Areas including that of Santa Maria di Castellabate.
The village of Castellabate is located on a hill overlooking the coast between Punta Licosa and the promontory of Punta Tresino.
The name of the municipality recalls that the fortified village was built in 1123 by the abbot of Cava de’ Tirreni, Costabile Gentilcore, to defend the trading ports of Licosa, San Marco and Santa Maria from the Saracen invasions.
After a walk around the hamlet of Castellabate, we suggest stopping at “Il Chiostro”, a Wine Bar & Restaurant set in a charming medieval cloister.
What to see:
- Castel of the Abbey;
- Basilica Pontificia di Santa Maria de Gulia;
- Piazza 10 Ottobre 1123 (FilmSet of the Italian movie“Welcome to the South”);
Not far from the actual harbour of S.Marco di Castellabate, the archaeological ruins of the ancient Greek-Roman port are still well visible. In older times this was the main commercial port of the area, serving, according to historical sources, the city of Erculia.
From Approdo Resort, a path leads to one of the most beautiful areas of the Cilento Coast, Licosa, reachable only on foot or by bike.
What to see:
- S.Maria del Soccorso Chapel: the building once used as a refugee for the sailors, which is now been transformed into a small church;
- Licosa Tower: ruins of an Angioin sighting station built-in 1277;
- Palazzo Granito: hunting lodge of the 18th century;
- Licosa Islette: a small island in front of Licosa, linked to the myth of Ulysses mermaids in the “Odyssey”;
In older times, Paestum was most likely one of the largest Greek cities of the ancient Magna Graecia. The city was founded around the 600 BC by the Greek colonists under the name of Poseidonia (named after the Greek deity of the sea). Later in the fifth century BC, the city was conquered by the Lucanians who renamed the city in “ Paistos” and then in the 273 BC by the Romans, who gave to the city the actual name of “Paestum”.
The ruins of the city are famous for their three ancient “Greek temples” which are still kept in a very good state of preservation.
Today the remains of the city are found in the modern town of Paestum, which is part of the council of Capaccio in the Province of Salerno, Italy.
What to see:
- The Temple of Hera;
- The Temple of Neptune;
- The Temple of Athena or Cerere;
- Roman Amphitheatre;
- Archeological Museum;
- Tomb of the Diver;
The village situated on a rocky ridge overlooking the “Piana del Sele“, is just a few km away from Paestum. The name Trentinara probably derives from the “3 denari (3 coins)” pay with which the Roman soldiers were paid to guard a very important aqueduct still situated on Mount Vesole.
Trentinara was an important strategic point used by Roman garrisons to control the entire Coast of Paestum.
What to see:
- The Cilento Terrace;
- The “Love Path” and the “Chained Stone”;
- Saint Nicolas Church;
- Cilento in Volo “Zipline”;
Velia was an ancient city of the “Magna Grecia” founded by the Greeks around 538–535 BC.
The city is known for being the home of the famous Greek Eleatic School philosophers Parmenides and Zeno.
The Ruins of the city walls are still visible, with traces of a gate and several towers.
One of the most attractive elements of the town is the famous “Porta Rosa”, the oldest example of a Greek arch, a true jewel of the architecture of the times.
The ancient acropolis of Elea (Velia), today stands an interesting medieval fortification, and during the summer period, hosts some very suggestive open-air theatrical performances.
What to See:
- Porta Rosa;