Central Cilento: history and traditions
The central area of Cilento offers exceptional landscapes and is the perfect place to practise trekking, hiking, walking and to go horse-riding. There are interesting guided tours in the Mediterranean bush, to discover the local flora and fauna.
The territory includes Cannalonga, Casalvelino, Castelnuovo Cilento, Ceraso, Gioi Cilento, Moio della Civitella, Novi Velia, Omignano, Orria, Perito, Pollica, Salento, San Mauro Cilento, Stella Cilento, and Vallo della Lucania. A perfect mix of history, art and rural traditions full of dignity.
In Moio della Civitella and Orria there are interesting museums dedicated to rural life: the one of Orria contains some of the most important evidences about the cultivation of the white fig. Even an exhibition is dedicated to this local fruit. Orria boasts an incomparable natural location and a church dedicated to Saint Sophie, which is positioned on a rock overlooking the two deep valleys Orria and Cerreto, and has one of the tallest bell towers of Cilento. From there you will enjoy a wonderful and open panorama over the fertile plains of the ancient Gioi, Salento and Piano, and over the valleys of Casalvelino and Velia.
Terrae Piretii was the ancient name of Peritoand reminds us the activity once performed in this area, that is the production of gun powder and in town there are still the huge mortars used to produce it. In Perito there is an interesting event called \ldblquote Vasci, portuni e pertose\rdblquote: the town opens its doors and its memories to tourists and all the inhabitants and palaces are involved. There are also exhibitions, festivals, meetings, gastronomy, etc.
The next stopping place is Salento, the "town of tranquillity" so called because of its hidden places emanating a silent charm, such as the church dedicated to Saint Barbara in Neapolitan Baroque style, of the XVIII century. An interesting monument, especially its bell tower with its architectural style, unique in Cilento.The territory of Ceraso is not far from the coast and is sloping down toward the sea. It is very interesting for it small medieval hamlet, Massascusa. The houses were usually built all joined together to create a good resistance in case of earthquakes. An example is the district called " mpieri Ceraso". The church dedicated to Saint Nicholas of Bari deserves a visit for its astonishing big size.
In Gioi Cilento there is a nice event called "Per Archi e Vuttari" about ancient crafts and forgotten flavours. This is the perfect occasion to taste the famous sausage called "soppressata", dating back to 1835. Visit the monastery of Saint Francis, built in 1466: from its garden you will admire a stunning wide panorama on the Alento Valley.
Stella Cilento boasts a beautiful palace, the Palazzo Vassallo, with a stone portal and small characteristic towers, and because of its big size and strategic position the inhabitants call it the "castle".
Vallo della Lucania is the most active town of the area for its economy. It boasts an interesting Diocesan Museum with wood statues and paintings of local traditions, a place containing that sacred representing the spirit of whole Cilento. Vallo della Lucania is also the town where the bishop's see and the offices of National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano are located, as well as the Court and an important hospital, the biggest of Cilento area. In August in Vallo there is an important jazz event, called "finestra jazz", which had as guests great musicians such as Hal Singer and Benny Golson. The structure Fiere di Vallo organizes many National and International events and festivals.
After a visit to the castle called Castello Capano, built in 1290, and where according to tradition Sant'Alfonso De' Liguori stayed several times, why not taking time for a swim in the crystalline sea of Pollica? The nicest sea spots are Acciaroliand Pioppi. It seems that the famous writer Ernst Hemingway found in this area his inspiration for the famous novel 'The old man and the sea'. Acciaroli and Pioppi are famous for their crystalline water, the fine and white sand and the facilities. They have both been awarded with the Blue Flag by the Foundation for Environmental Education and with the "Cinque Vele" by Legambiente.