Our previous discoveries in Italy (Cinque Terre and Amalfi Coast)had two common characteristics: they contain both a National Park and are part of the UNESCO World Heritage. It was therefore obvious that this would be one of the criteria in the selection of our next trip to Italy. The choice of the “Parco Nazionale del Cilento e Vallo di Diano” was therefore obvious.
The National Park begins where the classic tour of Italy leads back to the north, just south of Paestum, with its Greek temples, the last known attraction in the south of Italy. Vallo di Diano (Valdiano short) is a bit inland. The broad valley runs from north to south through the cities Caggiano, Polla, Padula and Montesano (section of the A3 motorway). The National Park of Cilento is between Vallo di Diano and the coast.
The coast is less spectacular than what we saw in the Cinque Terre and Amalfi, but the everchanging vistas, beautiful beaches and picturesque villages give the area a unique character.
The interior is surprisingly green. We imagined ourselves at times in the Ardennes, although everything was slightly higher, slightly wider panoramic. Historic villages are secluded on the ridges, narrow valleys cross the deciduous forests and pine forests.
The big advantage is the peace of Cilento. It does not swarm here with tourists. Especially outside the summer months it is quiet. We were there mid-September and for the Italians the summer season was clearly at its end.
The hiking is still in its infancy in Cilento. There are many paths, but without a map you don't get anywhere. Here and there you will find some circuit signs, but the associated walks are not marked. The local residents find it apparently is not really nice, because the walks on the card are sometimes referred to as private property or even closed with barriers. Those who are not discouraged, however, will be amply rewarded for the effort.
Five days were too short to fully explore Cilento. We therefore cannot complete the record. We limit us consciously to what we have seen ourselves. If this is not the case, we mention that explicitly. However we think we can give you some tips to get more from your visit to Cilento.
Success with your further preparation of your walking trip !
Els & Frank
You listened to Piera Lombardi, a south-italian singer who finds her inspiration in Southern Italy and brings a combination of folk and rock. With het version of 'La Cilentana' she became 'ambassadrice" of Cilento.