Southern Cilento, from the Valley of Bussento to the territory of Lambro and Mingardo
The Southern area, called Basso Cilento, is delimited by the three rivers Bussento, Lambro, and Mingardo and includes following towns: Alfano, Ascea, Camerota, Casaletto Spartano, Caselle in Pittari, Celle di Bulgheria, Centola, Cuccaro Vetere, Futani, Ispani, Laurito, Montano Antilia, Morigerati, Pisciotta, Roccagloriosa, Rofrano, San Giovanni a Piro, San Mauro La Bruca, Santa Marina, Sapri, Torraca, Torre Orsaia, Tortorella and Vibonati. Visitors coming in this region are always enchanted by the crystalline sea, the medieval hamlets and the unspoiled nature of these places mingling art, culture, nature, history, and traditions. Tourists can choose among various opportunities to enjoy an exciting and unforgettable holiday discovering these charming spots.
Olive trees and olive oil production are an important resource in this area and the olives from Pisciotta are used to produce the Oil of Cilento having the DOP mark. Among the tasty traditional recipes, there is the "cimardola", a dish made of vegetables (tomatoes, aubergines, zucchinis and potatoes) seasoned with oil and salt. A typical product of the hilly Bussento is cow milk mozzarella seasoned with myrtle. Also chestnut trees are an important local resource and the most known sorts are 'Nserta' and 'Abate'.
In this territory history meets legends: Palinuro, the famous Cilento sea resort in the municipality of Centola, takes its name from the Enea's helmsman mentioned in Virgil's epic poem Aeneid who died in the sea of this Coast; and Camerota takes its name from Kamarotòn, both still connected to the many interesting archaeological sites, such as Molpa, Roccagloriosa (excavations of Fistelia) and Elea Velia (Ascea), where the famous Eleatic school of Philosophy flourished. In Velia you can admire the famous 'Porta Rosa', the only example of round arch of the whole Magna Graecia.
The sea spot Marina di Ascea boasts a long beach of almost 5 km and is from 50 to 80 m wide. The beach is split into two parts by a promontory: the Northern part is sandy and the Southern side is made of reefs, many small creeks and suggestive beaches with a stunning crystalline sae. A boat trip leading you to two beautiful creeks, Baia della Rondinella and Baia d'Argento, is warmly recommended.
Travelling more southwards you will get to Palinuro , one of the most famous tourists places of Southern Italy where sea and coasts are uncontaminated as well, with wonderful beaches, creeks, hidden caves attracting tourists every year, and not only in summer. The most famous caves, especially among divers, are the ones called Grotta d'Argento (Silevr Grotto) and Grotta Azzurra (Blue Grotto) whose names come from the colours created in them by the contact of sunlight with water. The must-seen attraction of Palinuro is the 'Arco Naturale': a natural rocky arch in the sea hiding a wonderful creek and a charming beach.
Marina di Camerota boasts small wonderful hidden creeks, reachable only by sea, wonderful caves, harsh rocks and unspoiled beaches, and a prosperous Mediterranean bush covering the hills mingled to shimmering olive trees, thus 'composing' a beautiful landscape.
In Montano Antilia is known for the international festival dedicated to traditional games and toys of the past, the 'Festival Internazionale del Gioco e del Giocattolo di Tradizione': a perfect occasion to visit the town and its beautiful church dedicated to San Nicola di Mira of Byzantine origin, and to taste the local dish called 'pariglia' made of rice with pepperoni, meat and peas. Alfano is surrounded by uncontaminated nature and offers the possibility to enjoy exciting excursions being the ideal spot for walking ore trekking holidays. The most important and beloved event is the festival dedicated to Our Lady of the Rosary, during which the statue of Our Lady is brought in procession by six young ladies.
In Cuccaro Vetere boasts a beautiful church dedicated to Saint Peter the Apostle, with paintings of 1700, wood statues and an organ. During the event 'Agruturist', this small centre still preserves its 1800 charms, with its alleys, inns, churches, palaces and portals lightened by small lanterns and fireworks. In Santa Marina tourists will enjoy a wonderful panorama from the church dedicated to Our Lady, 'Santa Maria della Croce'. This town also boasts the interesting Diocesan Museum of Policastro Bussentino, exposing precious works of art among which an ebony crucifix.
Tortorella is considered the town of birds because there are wonderful species, such as turtle-doves, sparrows, imperial crows, and many others. Worth to be visited are the church dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption with the XVIII-century small chapel, containing the relics of Saint Felix, the Martyr, and the beautiful chapel dedicated to Our Lady, Santa Maria dei Martiri, exposing the statue of Our Lady with a pomegranate, symbol of fertility. ù