24 March 2009

Costa di Cilento

Southern charm and hospitality

We have spent the last two months in the area called La Costa di Cilento which designates a rough area bordered on the north by Agropoli, the south by Sapri and inland to encompass the hills and mountains that rise from the sea as far as the border with Basilicata. Included in this protected area, known for its historical as well as naturalistic treasures, is the Parco Nazionale del Cilento e Vallo di Diano.

The coastal area is spotted by charming seaside villages that bulge with tourists in the summer months and small mountain towns that enjoy cool breezes when the beaches begin to swelter. Along the curvy cliff top roads, between the coastal towns, there is some rather dramatic coastline.

There was a lot of rain when we first arrived but when clear days arrived we took advantage to explore as much of the area as possible. We were rewarded with our ventures by scenic drives above the rocky coast, hill towns crowned by medieval castles, Greek and Roman era ruins, unique structures like stone windmills and narrow medieval bridges.

The locals appear to be more accustomed to stranieri than in Ascoli Piceno but are still as friendly, though not as inquisitive as to why we are here. Seafood and pizza are the two most popular foods given the seaside location and proximity to Napoli, the birthplace of pizza. We have enjoyed the local wines, many based on ancient Greek varietals, the mozzarella di bufalo and the caffé.

The locals tell us the fall months are the best time to enjoy the Cilento area considering the weather and drop in crowds, this area attracts many visitors from Naples as well as other countries. In a few weeks the local businesses will begin to gear up for the summer season, including a water taxi service that visits most of the coastal towns from Sapri to Napoli.

If you are looking for an area to visit in Italy then La Costa di Cilento is certainly one to consider.


Rosa said...

One day I'll make the effort to get there. Looks too lovely to miss. I've heard only good things about the area too. Thanks for sharing!

Niki said...

Beautiful pictures. :-)

Bryan said...

The Cilento is one of those areas that gets passed over since there is so much around Napoli and the Amalfi. A great place for a slower pace and some great photo ops!

Laura said...

Ciao Bryan! Beautiful beautiful photos. I hope to make it down to the Cilento area this year. Maybe during those nice Fall months! It sounds and looks just lovely. Grazie!

Bryan said...

Laura - Soon you will be able to take the Metro del Mare from Amalfi so there is no reason not to explore the area!