The National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano includes a protected area of about 181000 hectares.
It was declared a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1998 (with the archaeological sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula). Since 1997 it is a Biosphere Nature Reserve and since 2010 the first Italian national park to become a Geopark (http://www.cilentoediano.it).
The Cilento National Park is characterized by the presence of numerous villages which live in symbiosis with nature and the history of the area.
Marina di Camerota, a town on the Cilentan Coast
The Cilento National Park and Marina di Camerota allow you to enjoy a holiday in an area still unspoiled, with miles of rocky coastline, picturesque white sandy coves and a multitude of colourful caves whose walls dive into the crystal clear sea.
Marina di Camerota has won prizes for the most beautiful beaches in Italy - Cala Bianca (in 2013) and the protected marine area of Baia Infreschi (in 2014), a prestigious mark of recognition by the environmental protection organisation Legambiente.
The centre of Marina di Camerota still has a multitude of alleyways and streets belonging to the old fishing village; it also has a promenade where you can take a leisurely stroll, do some shopping or taste the delicious homemade ice cream and a marina equipped to accommodate all types of boats.
So many different experiences await you – take a beautiful boat trip along the Infreschi coast or to Capo Palinuro, enjoy a relaxing sailing boat trip, snorkelling or diving, horse riding on the banks of the Mingardo river and even be an eye witness to ancient night fishing “lamparata” followed by a midnight swim and barbeque on the beach with the freshly caught fish.
For hiking enthusiasts, trekking tours will give you with the most breath-taking views over the coastline and that sense of freedom which only Cilento can.
And as if that weren’t enough, Cilento is also a land of traditions, crafts, wine and exceptional cuisine.
One of the main events is the festival of San Domenico with its traditional procession and fireworks which reflect in the sea. The ancient stone, olive wood and ceramic handicrafts with can still be admired here today.
Now all you have to do is come and experience Cilento!
Set between two rocky outcrops, this beach with its shallow water is perfect for children. The small island of Marina di Camerota can be seen from the beach, which is only a five minute walk from the historical town centre.
Also known as San Domenico beach, it is located near the old town and the harbour. With play areas equipped for younger and older children, the fine white sand meets the crystal clear sea.
Bordered by rocky cliffs covered with typical low Mediterranean vegetation, this beach is located just outside the town centre near the Palaeolithic caves. It is a mix of golden sand and gravel and drops quickly into the sea, making it less suitable for children.
The coastal stretch between Marina di Camerota and Palinuro which harbours the famous disco "The Cyclops" hosts a number of beach sections with various amenities. The sand is very fine and the beach slopes quickly into the sea.
Looking along the coast of Marina di Camerota no doubt you will notice the "telegraph towers" or "Saracens", dating back to the period of the viceroys. They formed a good lookout and communication system, located at carefully chosen strategic points along the southern Tyrrhenian coast.
The “Zancale" Tower, the largest, is the only one at a high elevation, as it was used as a link between the various coastal towers.
Marina di Camerota is known to palaeontologists for the numerous fascinating caves scattered around the area, in most of which important archaeological finds were made dating mainly to the Stone Age.
Recently, a virtual museum of the Palaeolithic Period, MUVIP, was opened. Its fascinating modern multimedia technologies allow you to explore the coastal territory during prehistoric times, virtual adventure through time and space to discover the roots of man, in a stunning landscape.
Leon of Caprera
As a small museum, one of the caves in Lentiscelle used to host the "Lion of Caprera", a schooner which crossed the Atlantic from Montevideo to Livorno in 1890-1891; the name is a tribute to Giuseppe Garibaldi whose nickname that was. One of the three crew members, Peter Troccoli (1852-1939), was a citizen of Marina di Camerota, who emigrated to Uruguay when he was young. The boat is currently being restored.
The land of myths
As with other places in Ancient Greece, the origin of the name Camerota is linked to a legend: Palinuro, the helmsman of the Aeneas, fell in love with a beautiful girl named Kamaratòn whilst sailing along the Cilentan coast.
But the girl did not return his love and Palinuro, in despair, threw himself into the floods to follow her and drowned. Venus, the goddess of love, incensed by the cruelty of Kamaratòn, turned her into a rock (the very rock the current village of Camerota, regional capital, was built on), condemning her to look down eternally at her rejected lover.
Many of the Greek and Roman myths are set on the Cilentan coast. One of the most famous is the “Island of the Sirens” in Homer’s Odyssey. According to Homer, the enchanting songs and music of those dangerous creatures lured passing sailors and caused them to shipwreck on the rocky coast of their island off Punta Licosa.