Far from being a popular destination, the Cilento Coast hides some gems and it is the perfect destination either if you are travelling with kids or if you wish to have a relaxing stay at a seaside location and think you may enjoy some art and gastronomic excursions as well.

Let start our journey along the Cilento Coast.

Beach and sunrise holidays on the Cilento Coast.

Just a few of the many beaches where to relax, work on your tan and splash in crystalline clean waters

  • Beach of Trentova at Agropoli (Salerno): one of the best beaches of the coast.
    Its water is blue and green and its sand is soft and white.
    Waters may be a little chilly in Spring and become warmer during the summer season
    Mind: on weekend days locals search relief from high temperatures fleeing to this beach.
  • Punta Licosia at Castellabate (Salerno): home to the siren Leucosia
    The name of the beach, Licosia, comes from Leucosia, the name of a siren.
    The story tells she threw herself into the sea because of her impossible love with a young local. The marine divinities turned her body into a rock, the one emerging from the waves not far from the beach.
  • Marina di Ascea at Ascea (Salerno): a touch of wild Mediterranean
    Surrounded by secular olive trees the beach of Marina di Ascea offers a unique combination of blue waves, salt breeze, Mediterranean light and the silver green of the vegetation.
    It is the ideal place to relax and meditate on the beauty of this corner of Italy.
Beach Infreschi, Cilento Coast, South Italy
Baia degli Infreschi in the Cilento Coast credit to Gianfrancolo Vitolo via Flickr

Art and history in the old Magna Grecia territory.

The ancient Greeks founded most of the villages and cities of the area around 500 BC.
The Romans conquered the florid economic centres some centuries later.
The signs and remains of both civilizations can still be seen and admired.

  • Paestum (Salerno): the old city of Poseidon.
    The Greeks had called this city Poseidon after the name of the God of the Sea.
    The Romans who conquered the city 300 years later called it Paestum and Paestum is still the name of this important archeological site
    A visit to Paestum is a journey into the impressive temple architecture of the Greeks and the Romans.
    Do not miss to walk by the Temple of Hera, the most antique of the site, and the Temple of Neptune, the largest one.
  • Velia (Salerno): visit the theatre in the Acropolis.
    Visit the downtown and reach the Acropolis the oldest centre of the village of Velia, once known as Elea.
    If you can, stay for a theatre performance in the Greek theater at night.
    The program includes works by antique Greek authors such as Aristophane and Titus Maccio Plautus.
  • Certosa of Padula: UNESCO site.
    Its cloister measures 12,000 square meters and it is the largest cloister in the world.
    Worth mentioning the tiled floor of the library, the 84 marble columns surrounding the cloister, the large kitchen where an omelette of 1,000 eggs was prepared for king Charles V in visit to the area and its marble spiral staircase.
Temple of Hera at Paestum, in the Cilento area
Temple of Hera at Paestum, in the Cilento area credits to Laura.foto via Flickr

Marine caves and little bays: the pearls of the Cilento Coast

Less famous than the caves of Capri, this portion of coast has some little hidden grottos and bays that will make you scream with delight

  • Blue Grotto- the most famous grotto of the area. It name comes from the incredible blue of the water due to the effect of the sun reflecting on the sea floor and illuminating its surface in a shade close to turquoise.
  • The Grotto of Blood – less known than the previous one, the name comes again from the incredible effect of the sun reflection on the grotto walls and from there onto the sea surface.
  • Baia Infreschi, Marina di Camerota (Salerno)- winner for two years in a row of the contest “The best Italian beach” for Lega Ambiente, the national independent association for the protection of the environment, this bay has the shape of an arch and its surrounded by a wild vegetation.
    It can only be reached by boat.
    Many fishermen offer a boat service leaving from the port of Palinuro to the Baia Infreschi and you will be boarding and travelling on the gozzo, the local boat.
  • Cala Bianca, Marina di Camerota (Salerno)
    A tiny corner of white soft sand, a crown of dark green vegetation all around, here it is the jewel of the Palinuro area.
    You can only reach it by boat and most hotels and resorts of the area offer daily excursions to Cala Bianca.
The Azure Grotto on the Cilento Coast
The Azure Grotto on the Cilento Coast, ph. by giulio nepi, via flickr

On holiday with the kids in Cilento

Concerned about what to do with your kids while there?
See our tips:

  • Museo Paleontologico at Magliano Vetere (Salerno)- a little far from the coast but the diorama showing the baby dinosaurus and the possibility to look at the fossils through a microscope lens will take your kids’ breath away.
  • Museo Naturalistico at Corleto Monforte (Salerno) – the staff will provide kids a form at the entry and invite them to spot the animals in the museum itinerary and jot down a few notes on the form.
    An easy way to engage kids and parents in a treasure hunt with a little didactic purposes as well.
  • Oasi Diga Alento: in the heart of the Parco del Cilento, this natural reserve is perfect for a pic nic, birdwatching or just have long walks or a horseback ride.
Alento river natural park, Cilento, Italy
Alento river natural Oasi, Cilento Park

Food maniacs in Cilento

  • White figs: the peculiar climatic conditions are at the base of the special taste of the white fig.
    The dried figs are sold in long sticks called “mustacciole”.
    A real treat? Try the ones filled with nuts, noisettes or even poached in rum.
  • Anchovy: the typical fish of the Italian seas, you can find anchovy all over the Italian coast cuisine. Boring? On the contrary: each little town and village of Italy has found its own unique way to prepare this little fish.
    If you are travelling to Cilento, try the “alici ‘mbuttanate” meaning filled with eggs, cheese and fried in olive oil, of course.
  • Scialatelli alla cilentana. The scialatielli are long spaghetti typical of this area.
    Try the ones with anchovy, onions and dried tomatoes. Delicious!
Scialatelli pasta
Scialatielli pasta and anchovy butter credit to M. Palmieri via Flikr

Where to stay?

At Residence Ancora in Acciaroli (Salerno) because of:

  •  its dreamy mosaic tiled pool
  • you can walking everywhere barefoot as Jackie O’ used to

Or at Borgo Riccio in Torchiara because of:

  • the beautiful house is  surrounded by the greenery and olive groves
  • the panoramic view of the rooms
  • the pool, the Jacuzzi…


Cover image: Cilento sea, ph. by Irene Grassi, via flickr

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Author: Cristiana Pedrali

"Loving your job is the closest you can get to happiness on earth” (Rita Levi Montalcini) and “when real people fall down in real life they get back on their feet and carry on walking” (Carrie Bradshaw, Sex and the City): these are my two mantras. I’m a bit like this: I go through being serious to playful to help me manage a thousand different interests and commitments, keeping a smile through it all. I work in the tourism industry and on the web and every so often I look for some breathing space through reading and travel!
More posts by Cristiana Pedrali →

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