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An itinerary for lovers of art, nature and good eating around Campania

Rich in natural and cultural treasures, Campania has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Programme, on the basis of the principle that, certain parts of special areas have a particular significance, justifying their preservation as elements of the World Heritage Programme: the historical centre of Naples (1995); Caserta Palace, the Vanvitelli Acquaduct and the San Leucio complex (1997); the Archaeological areas of Pompei, Herculaneum and Torre Annunziata (1997); the Amalfi Coast (1997) and the Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park with Paestum, Velia and the Chartreuse of Padula (1998).

The Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park, is the result of the combination of both natural and human activity, so, re-enters under the category of evolutionary landscapes, because of the variety of changes caused by historical, social, economic, artistic and spiritual events, and its actual formation is ever adapting to its natural environment.

Santa Maria di Castellabate is a picturesque, fishing village, which has conserved its characteristics, intact, notwithstanding the ever-increasing tourism. The village is set in the centre of a large bay, confined by the two promontories, Punta Licosa and Punta Tresino. There are golden, sandy beaches, interrupted by rocky areas and all bathed by a sea, so clear, that it has been awarded the "European Blue Flag" for some years. In this natural semi-circle, we can find the original, fishermen's terraced cottages and the original village, including the Palazzo Belmonte, residence of princes, past and present and the Villa Matarazzo, originally a residence of local nobility, now home to exhibitions and cultural events. Among the numerous noble mansions along the esplanade, the imposing, Aragonese tower, dominates the scene, almost hostile toward the tiny "Madonnina" opposite, protectress of fishermen, a ceramic creation from the only laboratory still able to hand craft, following the craftsmanship of ancient tradition. Numerous restaurants and pizzerias, bars and pubs, are ready to satisfy lovers of good food while offering a relaxing, family atmosphere. Between tranquillity and entertainment, all year round, Santa Maria di Castellabate, represents the ideal destination, not only for a delightful holiday, but also as an ideal starting point for excursions into the discovery of the nature, culture and history of Cilento and Campania.

The mediaeval centre of Castellabate, set on a hill, at 278m. above sea level, dominates the entire bay. The impressive castle, around which the town developed, was founded in 1123 by the Benedictine abbot, Costabile Gentilcore, from Cava dei Tirreni, as a stronghold against the devastating Saracen incursions. The original nucleus has conserved its characteristic structure so we can travel back in time, with houses terracing along the narrow alleyways, between low archways and up and down the many stairways and small flower gardens and narrow, hidden lanes to be discovered. All streets lead to the piazza, the personification of "la dolce vita": an aperitif and a chat at the bar, then to sit on the wall which encloses this village social centre, the size of a pocket-handkerchief, and so await … the sunset! which, every evening, promises a unique, unrepeatable spectacular. Definitely, not to be forgotten… the view from the Belvedere, just below the castle: enjoy the sight of the entire bay set out before you, the coloured houses of Santa Maria, set along the sand and rocks of the beaches, San Marco and its ancient, Greek-Roman port and Lago, which, between Mediterranean greenery and golden beach, closes the gulf at its extremity. ...

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How to reach us: By car: From north Roma-Caserta-Salerno follow the motorway A3 Salerno-Reggio Calabria, exit at Battipaglia, continue on the route ss18 Paestum, then exit at Agropoli-Sud direction Santa Maria di Castellabate
By plane: From Naples airport - Capodichino follow the motorway A3 Napoli - Pompei - Salerno and exit at Battipaglia, continue on the route ss18 Paestum, exit at Agropoli-Sud direction Santa Maria di Castellabate
By train: You can reach us by bus or by taxi from the railway station Agropoli-Castellabate
We remain at your complete disposal to organize your transfer service at your request.
Distance: Rome Km 320, Naples Km 120, Battipaglia Km 45, Agropoli Km 14

For individual or group excursions and tours contact our incoming travel agency NITA TRAVEL di Santa Maria di Castellabate:

Rich in natural and cultural treasures, Campania has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage Programme … excursions for lovers of art, nature and good eating around Campania.

No holiday in Campania would be complete without a trip to the evocative
Island of Capri. Departure from your hotel by coach to the harbour of Salerno. Sailing by ferry-boat to Capri. For so small an Island, about 4 miles long and 2 miles wide, Capri has had much said, sung and written about her. Tour of the island by private coach. Then you will visit the fabulous villa of Dr. Axel Munthe, a Swedish doctor who's best selling book "Story of S. Michele" tells of his time on Capri. His villa was built with the remains of Roman ruins, there is a beautiful shady garden with terrace affording splendid views of the island or you can decide to visit "Capri in Miniatura". We then go down to Capri town which is very chic with shops, hotels and restaurants lying along winding streets. The main square, Piazza Umberto I has a little white church and several open-air cafes where you can sit and watch the world drift by.
Leading off the square are medieval looking alleyways and arcades full of shops selling the handicrafts of the island, jewellery made from coral and gold , shoes and ceramics. Admire colourful gardens of Augustus overlooking the famed Faraglioni Rocks and Marina Piccola. Return by ferry-boat and transfer to your hotel.

Departure from hotel by coach to the harbour of Salerno. Sailing by ferry-boat to Capri. Free time in Capri. In the afternoon departure from Capri to Salerno by ferry-boat. Transfer to your hotel.

Pompei holds an intense fascination for visitors today. Following the eruption of the Volcano Mount Vesuvius in the year of 79 AD, Pompei lay buried an forgotten for hundreds of years. The town is high on the list of the World and the excavations begun in the 18th Century are still being carried out today. Our guide will take you slowly through some of the ancient streets of Pompei where you can see Baths, Forums and Villas built by prosperous Roman in the years 80 BC. Marvel at the fabulously preserved Frescos which adorned the walls and floors of the Villas.
Mount Vesuvius dominates the Bay of Naples. It is the only active volcano on the mainland of Europe. The slopes were once covered with vineyards and woods and provided an innocent looking backdrop for the bustling towns of Pompei and Herculaneum below. The coach will take you within 1.000 metres of the top of Vesuvius and from here you can walk to the very top and admire the splendid panoramic view across the bay. From the blackened crater rises a single plume of smoke, a reminder that the volcano is only sleeping for no.
Departure from your hotel by coach to Pompei. Guided visit to the excavations. Free time and lunch. In the afternoon excursion to Vesuvius by bus up to 1.000 feet and by foot to the crater. Guided visit of the volcano. Return to your hotel.

The "Amalfi Drive" is said to be the most spectacular in Europe, the winding cliff top road offers breathtaking panoramic views at every turn. Each spot is a world of it own, a fantastic world that which dazzles the imagination and inspires unforgettable impressions. We make a stop just above Positano, splendid jewel of this coastline. Then on the Amalfi, which gives it the name to the whole coast on which it lies. Once a thriving Marine Republic, powerful and prosperous and now a thriving holiday resort. The unmistakeable cluster of white tightly packed houses rising up the hillside is dominated by the beautiful Cathedral. Housed in the magnificent Cathedral are remains of the Patron Saint of Amalfi and also Scotland - Saint Andrew. From Amalfi we visit Ravello which nestles eleven hundred feet above the sea in the mountainside. We visit the Villa Rufolo which gave the musician Richard Wagner the inspiration to create some of his most famous works. As a result of this, the gardens of the villa are the venue for the Wagner Festival which take place each summer.

Being fascinated by the grandeur of San Lorenzo, of the Basilian monks of the Abbey of Montevergine, Tommaso Sanseverino II, bought the area of Padula, in the Vallo di Diano, in 1296. Later, in 1306, this nucleus was donated to the Carthusian monks, a religious order founded in 1084, by San Brunone in Chartreuse, France. The construction of the Certosa di Padula, dedicated to San Lorenzo, built in 1306 in the Carthusian province, "Sancti Brunonis", was instigated and funded by Tommaso Sanseverino, Count of Marsico and Lord of Vallo di Diano. Today, after a long programme of restoration, the "Certosa" is resplendent in its restored, antique beauty.
A short distance away, the well-knownCaves of Pertosa provide a very memorable visit, including a short, boat crossing over a small lake, formed by an underground river, after which, it is possible to continue, on foot, along the few hundred metres of various caverns.
Departure from your hotel by coach to Padula. Arrival and visit of the famous "Certosa". In the afternoon departure to Pertosa. Visit of the Grotto with guide. Return to the hotel.

A one-day visit should definitely be dedicated to the Castelcività Caves and the Oasi del WWF di Felitto, where the more courageous can canoe along the River Calore. So the Cilentan hinterland is a continual alternation between hill and mountain, interspersed with hidden villages, still tranquilly, untouched in their time-bubble.
A suggestive itinerary inside Cilento, alternative to the usual touristic routes with the visit of these wonderful grottos situated on the slopes of the Alburni mountains and on the river Calore. A view of unforgettable beauty.<

The Cilentan coast is made up of golden, sandy beaches, sheer cliffs facing the sea, half hidden, silent bays and fishing villages alternating with tiny ports. The long list of coastal villages requires a long visit: Acciaroli, where, stopping off on his south bound voyage, Ernest Hemingway fell so deeply in love with the place that he was inspired to write his most famous book; Pioppi, with its marine museum and 17th century, Palazzo Vinciprova; the marinas of Casalvelino and Ascea, characterized by long, uncontaminated beaches; Pisciotta, an original village, set among the mountains, on a hillside, at 170m above sea level. Palinuro, with its Blue Grotto, homonym with that of Capri … all these places have the same, clear, blue, Mediterranean sea!
Departure from the hotel by bus. Arrival in Palinuro. Embarkation and visit of the grottos. Free time for shopping at Palinuro. Return to the hotel.<

Uncontaminated nature and untamed scenery, majestic mountains alternating with gentle valleys and deep gorges and evocative, picturesque villages characterize the hinterland of Cilento. Here, a secret chemistry combines nature, history, culture, tradition and Cilentan cuisine to welcome and astound visitors.
A tour through ancient villages full of history and traditions. Visit of ancient und modern oil-mills and explanation of the cycle of olive-oil Extravergine. Lunch based on typical products: olive-oil, wine, fusilli …

Visit to the Leucosia Syren. Departure by boat from the harbour of San Marco to Punta Licosa-Ogliastro-Acciaroli. Lunch on board. Stops for sea bathing.

On request we organize naturalistic and cultural excursions inside the National Park of Cilento, on foot, by bike, by riding …

NITA Travel Incoming - Corso Matarazzo, 3 - 84048 Santa Maria di Castellabate (Sa)
tel. +39 0974 960224 fax +39 0974 961200

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