The park extends from the Tyrrhenian coast to the foot of the Campania-Lucan Apennines, including the tops of the sapwood, the deer and the Gelbison, as well as the coastal buttresses of M. Bulgheria and M. Stella, showing more than any other a strong peculiarity, Deriving from the extreme breadth and heterogeneity of the territory covered by it. Consequently, the ecological characteristics of the territory are strongly characterized by the same heterogeneity, with the presence of practically unaltered environments alternating with the strongly modified areas of urban centres and valleys densely Populated.
The Cilento, land of gentle hilly morphology, covered with expanses of verdecenere olive trees that are reflected in the blue of the Tyrrhenian Sea and at the same time, earth with very rugged morphology deeply engraved by lively streams, raie with a lunar aspect, woods of Chestnuts and holm oaks, countries clinging to the rocks or lying on the banks. Few imagine that to determine this fresco, made of shapes and colors suggestive apparently in strong contrast, both the geological nature of the rocks that make up the Cilento: that of the "Flysch of Cilento", which has its maximum diffusion in Correspondence of the watershed of the river Aleno and of the main mountains of western Cilento, such as Mount Centauri (1433 m), and that of the "limestone rocks" that constitute the mountain complexes interior (sapwood-deer) and southern (Monte Bulgheria, Monte Avijit) of the National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano.
On the High coast, the Flysch is characterized by the dense stratification of the rocks that sometimes take on particular shapes and colors, as can be seen in the locality Ripe Rosse or in the marine terrace of Punta Licosa.
The resulting landscapes are recognizable by the often sweet morphology and the greater presence of the Mediterranean maquis.
Leaving the Northwest coast, territory of the Flysch, and venturing towards the interior of the National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano, the landscape changes: we are in the "kingdom" of the limestone rocks, in the presence of the massive carbonates of the sapwood and the Stags. The landscape, shaped by karst shapes, by the harshness of certain slopes marked by intense tectonics; From the large ravines dug by streams perpetually in full, it presents with a lunar aspect made bleak by the "poverty" of the land, even if, where the conditions of the soil and the waters allow it, it becomes rich of Mediterranean forests and beech or of meadows to Lavender. Characteristic of the geology of these rocks are the karst forms, due to the dissolution of the calcium carbonate which produces "erosion" and deposition with formations, inter alia, of stalactites and stalagmites.
The resulting forms can be superficial (epigean) like the furrows of the roadways, the Dolines, and the Ighiottitoi or Deep (underground), such as caves, tunnels and cavities, present in the territory of the park, many of which are still unexplored. The karst phenomenon is particularly pushed in the Sapwood mountains with the magnificent testimonies of the cave of Castelcivita long almost 5 km; Of the Catosa cave accessible for a stretch with rafts; And the Auso Cave at S. Angelo in Fasanella.
Karst forms of particular recall are then those that the river Bussento has produced in the section of squares in Morigerati, with its long underground course and still the deep gorges produced by the river Mingardo in the stretch of crossing of Mount Bulgheria. Deep cuts, which affect the "soft" white limestone, are those produced by the Sammaro torrent, the Heat river and the Bussentino; Their impetuous waters are often the architects of Cascades and rapids of rare natural spectacle.
The karst nature of the Cilentan lands and the consequent richness of caves has doubtless favoured the presence of the man who in them has taken refuge, has found shelter, has consumed his meals. The earliest signs of Anthropic presence date back to the Middle Palaeolithic (500,000 thousand BC) and its traces continue through the Neolithic and until the age of metals. The presence of primitive man is still tangible through the presence of his "tools" scattered both along the coastal caves between Palinuro and Scario, and in the internal ones located along the ancient ridge paths of the mountain massifs (caves of Castelcivita), both in the Vallo di Diano (Caves of the angel, shearing).
And it is through these ancient paths that probably began the great adventure of the first communities that, without solutions of continuity and for thousands of years, established contacts and interwoven exchanges and relations with the peoples of the sea and with those of the Apennines. The testimonies, in the commonality of forms of local objects with those of the ancient cultures of Lipari, of the board, of Serra di Alto, are in the funerary kits of the local culture of Gaudo.
In the entire territorial organization appears already defined: The guidelines of the transhumance and the traffic, along the ridge paths, from the Tyrrhenian to the Ionian and vice versa, where arise places of worship, sacrificial altars and sculptures As the anther of the Sapwood Mountains. And it is the ancient Cilento, the protagonist of the mediation between Asia and Africa, between the nuragic and the Aegean cultures, between the Nordic world "Villanoviano" and the Enotri, the Lucani. And it is the advent of modern man, the beginning of the great Adventure of civilization, the start of the multifaceted culture of the Mediterranean.
And perhaps on the ancient routes of obsidian, or in search of copper, the first Greeks landed on the coasts of Cilento (around the seventeenth century B.C.) where later (late VII-VI century B.C.) were born the colonial cities: Pixunte, Molpa and the ancient Poseidon (La Romana Paestum), founded by the many people who came here, with the Apennine peoples, not from the sea but through the well-known, safer and quicker paths of the ridge. While the sea brought the mouths, originating in Asia minor, founders of Elea (now Velia), the city of Porta Rosa, Parmenides and its philosophical school Eleatica, one of the most important and famous of the classical world, and of the first medical school.
Then, starting from the fourth century B.C., Lucani, Romans and Christians of the East interwoven trades and covenants, started conflicts and wars, occupied and refounded cities, transforming the Cilento into a crucible, where people and cultures merge and mingle. With the fall of the Western Empire around the sixth century A.D. It started, also for the Cilento, the long period of the barbaric dominations: The Visigoths of Alaric, the Gothic War between Totia and Belisarius, the spread of Basilian monasticism, the feudal imposition of the Lombards, the continual attacks and raids of the Saracens. And once again there was the encounter between different civilizations, were born abbeys and monasteries in which the Greek and Latin rite, leaving us splendid jewels like the abbey of flap with the chapel of S. Philadelphus the frescoes of the chapel Basilian A Lentiscosa.
And then, in 1076, the conquest of the Normans, which transformed the Cilento into the land of barons, estates and exploitations. For the years to come the Sanseverino, the Swabians, the Angevin, fought, conspired, and their tyranny often triggered riots; The entire territory was dismembered among unscrupulous nobles who, between the sixteenth and the seventeenth century, wrote one of the saddest and most cruel pages of this land, contributing also to the birth of brigandage. And here the story becomes legend, Ballad of Heroes, Epic of a people proud and tired of continuous violence and harassment. And finally, after the sacrifice of the umpteenth martyr in the land Cilento near Sanza (Stone of Pisacane), the people of Cilento and Vallo di Diano reconquered the longed justice and freedom.
• Park Size: 181,048 hectares
• Province involved: Salerno
How to arrive
The A3 Salerno-Reggio Calabria motorway runs along the perimeter of the park on the northern and eastern sides. The most convenient outputs are:
For the coastal strip from Agropoli to Palinuro; Countryside, Saidy and Petina for the Sapwood Mountains;
Council Chamber and the area of the deer;
Still for the coastal strip from Policastro to Marina di Camerota.
The highway 18 Tirrena, in a way of transformation in expressway, goes from Agropoli to Policastro passing through Vallo della Lucania;
The 166 state of the sapwood cuts the park from San Rufus to Capaccio-old in the latitude;
The 267 of Cilento follows the coast from Agropoli to Velia to engage then on the 447 of Palinuro.
You can use the Naples-Salerno-Reggio Calabria line that serves the entire coastal area of the park,
While the Lagonegro is lapping the northern slopes of the sapwood.