National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano, it cannot be said that it is among the best known but it boasts a very interesting record that meets my passions. Since February 2011 it is the first national park to have one digitized library. Yes, because since that moment the twenty thousand volumes of the library of the “Giambattista Vico” park in Vatolla are online and on multimedia support. Then there are a history, a fauna and a flora to be discovered in this corner of Italy that it preserves rare species and ancient human remains. It is certainly among those to be explored.
Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park: where it is located
The area protected by National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano it is the one between the Sele plain to the north, Basilicata to the east and south, and the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west. It was initially about 36 000 hectares, all in the province of Salerno, then they became 181,048 hectares, concentrated in the southern part of the same province as we will see later on from the map.
The National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano it affects 8 mountain communities and 80 municipalities, some are totally incorporated, others are partly protected and partly not, the official headquarters are located in Vallo della Lucania.
As well as being from 1998 Unesco World Heritage Site, thanks to the fact of carefully hosting and guarding the archaeological sites of Paestum and Velia, and the Certosa di Padula, this Park from the previous year has been a Biosphere Reserve and - another record it can boast - is the the first Italian national park to become a Geopark. It happened in 2010.
Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park: video
We figured out how to get to ours National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano and maybe some of us knowing the area are already imagining what kind of show awaits us. Here is a illustrative video full of information that can complete the idea or, for those who do not yet know what we are talking about, create one. An idea and many expectations that will not be disappointed.
Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park: flora and fauna
Having already glimpsed in the video what the National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano both as plants and as animals, we might as well not hesitate to talk about it. As far as fauna is concerned, there are over 600 reports of different species throughout the area concerned, 63 of which are of Community interest to date, some of which are further to be mentioned because of priority interest. This is the case ofHermit Osmoderma and of the Rosalia alpina, both invertebrates, and then of the known but never safe Wolf.
In the faunal heritage of National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano we find among the curiosities the Molossus of Cestoni (a bat) and the Otter, the Apennine hare and the Savi, a small rodent, in addition to the dormouse, the deer and the numerous wild boars. Eyes to the sky we can see the majestic Golden Eagle, the Biancone, the Peregrine Falcon, the Lanner, the Raven, the Eagle Owl and changing dimensions is the precious presence of the Goshawk and, near the water, the Kingfisher. We end up with the reptiles of which I would mention the Cervone, the Biacco, the Vipera and the Natrice but above all the rare Spectacled salamander, an Italian endemic species.
Turning to the flora of the National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano, from a recent census there are 25 habitats and about 1,800 plant species, one of which is of community interest: the Primula di palinuro, moreover coastal endemism. There are every reason to elect it as a symbol of the park, in fact it is. On the territory of this park, birches coexist peacefully, White fir and boxwood while in the vicinity of the cliffs we find a more characteristic vegetation, with the rare sea lily.
It is recent, in 2011, the discovery along the cliffs of Palinuro, of some specimens of Bassia saxicola, very rare. In the deciduous broadleaf woods there are mainly holm oaks but here and there also Cerri, Roverelle, Aceri, the Platanus orientalis originating from Velia, above 1,000 meters instead almost unquestionably dominates the Beech. As a very rare endemism we cannot forget the Finocchiella di Lucania but perhaps to strike and attract us will be the 254 species of wild orchids sighted in National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano.
Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park: map
Before continuing the exploration of the National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano a stop to observe the map.
Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park: history
To better understand and enjoy the variety of treasures that the National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano guards, it is good to know the history. And it is a long story because the oldest signs of human presence found on this protected land date back to the Middle Palaeolithic: 500,000,000 years BC. It is not a legend because a tangible trace has remained in the instruments scattered along the coastal caves between Palinuro and Scario or on the ancient paths in the mountain massifs and near the Vallo di Diano.
Chronologically we arrive at the Bronze Age when the present National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano it was on the main lines of transhumance and traffic which at the time were lively, from the Tyrrhenian to the Ionian and vice versa. Lively so that they have left places of worship, sacrificial altars and rock sculptures for posterity. Even in the following years Cilento has remained the protagonist and crossroads of important exchanges of different entities.
The arrival of the Greeks on the coasts is marked around the seventeenth century BC, the Focei also arrived from the sea, from Asia Minor, founding the Eleatic Philosophical School. Fast forward to the present time from the 4th century BC. Onwards we meet Lucanians, Romans and Christians of the East up to the sixth century AD. At this point it starts in the future National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano a difficult period of barbarian domination and also around 1076 with the conquest of the Normans, continues with large estates and exploitation.
Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park: marine areas
After many historical events to remember, a relaxing dip in the blue. The National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano offers the choice between two marine protected areas, both of which are deserving. But why choose? L'Marine Protected Area Costa degli Infreschi and Masseta a mare includes 2,332 hectares to which is added a hectare of coastline, is located in the province of Salerno, between Camerota and San Giovanni a Piro and is home to valuable floristic species including the rare endemism represented by the Primula palinuri.
In this stretch of coast there are numerous submerged caves, including the Alabaster Grotto and the Grotta del Molare di Scario, and also some of the most beautiful beaches in the entire country starting from Spiaggia dei Gabbiani, from the twin beaches, from the French beach, up to Punta Escoletti and the beach of Porto Infreschi.
The other Marine Protected Area is that of Santa Maria di Castellabate: 7,095 hectares of sea and a little coast, in Castellabate (SA), between the tip of Ogliastro and the bay of Sauco. Here we find seabed with coralligenous and extensive Posidonia oceanica meadows, as well as numerous animal species, some very rare. The parrot fish Mediterranean is an example, but Syriella castellabatensis (crustacean), madrepores, gorgonians, sea urchins, bryozoans and sponges.
Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park: official site
The official site of the National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Dianoit is full of information and indications both for those who want to know more from their own homes and for those who already have a suitcase full of enthusiasm and wish to organize a visit.
The National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano was born long before its website, the idea was to protect Cilento from building speculations and destructive tourism that already in 1973 threatened the beauty of the area. The Ministry of the Environment initially created two nature reserves, on Mount Cervati and on the Calore river, for a total of 36,000 hectares but with the 1991 framework law the National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano, its president was the naturalist Vincenzo La Valva.
In December 1998 it was approved Statute of the National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano and at the same time the current perimeter and zoning was defined with all its 181,048 hectares. All to be discovered.
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