As an experienced guide of the Cilento National Parc I suggest you the following half day or full day tours:
The rural area in the Southern part of the Gulf of Salerno is a National Parc since 1991 and was declared World Heritage of UNESCO in 1998 and also belongs to the Man and Biosphere Programme MAB of UNESCO. In addition the coast line of Cilento belongs to the most beautiful and cleanest landscapes in Italy. Its marinas and beaches each year are awarded with the international eco-label "Blue Flag".
An area with a very old, eventful history, many people have permanently shaped it. Outstanding were doubtless Greeks, Lucanians and Romans who left us a very eloquent heritage in Velia and Paestum. The Charterhouse of Padula is an example of grandiose Baroque religious architecture. All three of them are today World Cultural Heritage of UNESCO.
The archaeological excavations and the National Museum of Paestum are among the most interesting in Italy. The majestic and very well preserved three Greek Doric temples can be recognized from far as well as the huge city walls. Between the remains of old walls, roads, buildings and columns emerge olive trees, pines and pomegranate trees... ruins and nature merge in perfect harmony.
In the Museum you can admire sculptures, terracotta statuettes and painted vases, votive offerings, a world-wide unique collection of sculpted methopes with mythological themes and other great architectural temple elements. But also an impressive number of wonderfully painted tombs and especially the world famous Greek Diver’s Tomb from V century b.C.
The Charterhouse of San Lorenzo is one of the biggest cloisters of the Carthusian order founded by Saint Bruno in XI century A.D. Like all other charterhouses it is build according to the Grande Chartreuse nearby Grenoble (France). Through the courtyard of the lower house you gain access to the upper house and to the grandiose and highly with frescoes decorated main church. The choir stalls are richly carved out of walnut root with incredible detailed wooden inlays with images from saints and still life.
These Carthusians were immensely rich and in the centuries there were always working the best painters, sculptors, stucco workers and craftsmen of their time who all left a unique collection of excellent works of art in Baroque style. The immense, grandiose cloister is one of the biggest in the world. The helical stair leading to the library in the House of the Prior is a masterpiece of its kind. What is absolutely overwhelming in this unique place is the immense quietness and the grandeur of the entire site.
In powerful and rich Elea-Velia the Greek philosopher Parmenides founded the famous Eleatic School of Philosophy. It was also famous for the renowned medical tradition that attracted many distinctive Romans. The excavations lead from the harbour district passing by an important Roman bath to an antique healing temple (asclepieion) to the very panoramic acropolis surmounted by a medieval circular tower.
From here you enjoy a fantastic view over the sea and the ruins and old olive groves. Already the Romans highly estimated the mild climate and the superb landscape. The excavations are highly interesting but only poorly known thus making a visit a real pleasure. To be seen: mighty city walls, edifices, paved streets, baths, a perfectly preserved Greek gate with a round arch, a Greek theatre and great panoramas.
In the tiny, quiet fishermen's village of Pioppi the American scientist Ancel Keys already in the sixties scientifically studied the lifestyle and diet of the old peasants of Cilento and coined for the first time the idea of „Mediterranean Diet“. In 2010 followed its inscription on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity
Cilento today is an area with exquisite food and rural products with deep rooted oldest traditions. The olive tree and DOP Cilento olive oil, the fig tree and the DOP White Figs of Cilento, the grapes and DOP Cilento wines are only the most famous examples.
A national park of 181.000 hectares of hills and mountains with more than 80 communes and even more villages that have kept a typical medieval character. And magnificent, very varied coasts with fine sandy beaches, wild crags or soft slopes. Cilento has so many facets that one single stay will not be enough to discover them all. It is my ambition to show as many as possible of them to you!
Some good reasons for you: