Northern Cilento: Where the mountains meet the sea


    In the area including the towns of Agropoli, Auletta, Caggiano, Castellabate, Cicerale, Laureana Cilento, Lustra, Montecorice, Ogliastro Cilento, Prignano Cilento, Perdifumo, Rutino, Salvitelle, Serramezzana, Sessa Cilento, and Torchiara, raises the majestic Mount Stella with on its top, at 1131 m, the well-known Marian sanctuary Stella Maris. This area, crossed by the Alento River, is the original core of the Cilento National Park. Here the mountains meet the sea below a beautiful blue sky, creating wonderful landscapes, today a Unesco World Heritage.
    Agropoli is considered the gate to the Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park. Its crystalline sea reflects the different sensations created by the wonderful sandy beaches and the hot rocks, such as in Trentova Bay. Nowadays Agropoli is famous for the local Carnival and for many summer events. Its castle deserves a visit: it was built during the Angevin-Aragon period on a former Byzantine building of the VI century. The coast also boasts a tower of the XVI century, named Tower of Saint Francis.
    The territory of Castellabate, awarded with the Blue Flag thanks to the bay of Ogliastro Marina and the small isle of Punta Licosa, boasts long and wide golden beaches alternating with reefs and still preserves its medieval features. The Pontifical Basilica deserves a visit: it is in Romanic style and contains a polyptych by Pavanino da Palermo, a very important painter in Southern Italy in 1400.
    In the more inner towns of the Cilento National Park, visitors will discover the ancient traditions regarding the local productions and the typical dishes, which always attract tourists. The tour can start in Lustra, the 'town of the figs', with its nice hamlet Rocca Cilento and the noble palaces and the castle and continuing with Prignano Cilento, where a famous historical theatre performance takes place every year, called Opera \ldblquote ri Turchi\rdblquote , which is about the life of Saint Nicholas. This is a perfect occasion to visit the XVIII century palace Palazzo Cardone.
    The event 'The flight of the Angel' in Perdifumo is not to be missed. It is about an Angel (played by a child), the Devil and their eternal fight. Suggestive are the verses pronounced by both main characters, which are in Baroque style. Worthful to be visites is the Castle Vargas-Machucha where the philosopher Gian Battista Vico stayed for a period: in it there is a library dedicated to him and to local history.
    Cicerale is one of the biggest towns of Cilento and still preserves the picturesque hamlet of Monte Cicerale. The town is surrounded by the typical Mediterranean bush, especially in the oasis of Ceraso, in Bocca di Fava and Corbella.