For other uses, see Cilento (disambiguation).
For the national park, see Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park.
UNESCO World Heritage Site
Cilento and Vallo di Diano
National Park
Name as inscribed on the World Heritage List
Type Natural
Criteria C (iii) (iv)
Reference 842
UNESCO region Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1998 (22nd Session)
National Park nearby Cannalonga

Cilento is an Italian geographical region of Campania in the central and southern part of the Province of Salerno and an important tourist area of southern Italy.


The coast (on Tyrrhenian Sea) is located between Paestum and the Gulf of Policastro, near the town of Sapri. More of touristic towns by the coast are "frazioni"; as for example Santa Maria di Castellabate, Acciaroli, Velia, Palinuro, Marina di Camerota, Scario and Policastro Bussentino.

The inner boundaries are the Alburni mountains and Vallo di Diano, sometimes considered as part of cilentan geographical region, which has in Sala Consilina its largest center. The most important towns in this area are Vallo della Lucania (in the middle), Sapri and Agropoli: this is the largest town of Cilento and the principal harbour. Most of this area is included in "Cilento and Vallo di Diano National Park". The place is well known for the Mediterranean Diet. The old Cilento is between the town of Agropoli and the river Alento. Some cities in this zone are: Rutino, Lustra and Prignano Cilento. Cilento drifts by the Latin word Cis Alentum: "On this side of the Alento".[1]

Inland Communes


Greek colony

The region is steeped in Greek mythology and legends, as in the names of some towns, which is also visible in the remains of the colonies of Velia (ancient Elea) and Paestum (ancient Poseidonia). Velia was also the seat of "Eleatics", a school of pre-Socratic philosophers as Parmenides, Zeno of Elea and Melissus of Samos).

Sixth province of Campania

In the 1990s it was proposed to make Cilento a new province of Campania.[2] This proposal has never come near to implementation; in particular there was the difficulty of choosing an administrative centre. The four candidates were Vallo della Lucania (in the most central position), Agropoli (the largest town, situated in the north), Sala Consilina (the most populous town of Vallo di Diano) and Sapri (in the centre of southern Cilento, with the most important railway station). Another more recent proposal was to move Cilento from Campania to Basilicata, as a third province[3] together with the existing provinces of Potenza and Matera.

National Park

In a great part of the territory of Cilento and Vallo di Diano there was instituted, on 1991, a national park, to protect the territory from building speculation and mass tourism. In 1998 the park became a World Heritage Site of UNESCO.


Main article: Cilentan Coast

The Cilentan Coast, or Costiera Cilentana in Italian, is a stretch of coastline situated in the gulfs of Salerno and Policastro, extending in 16 municipalities; from Capaccio-Paestum in the north-west to Sapri in the south-east.


Main article: Cilentan language

Cilento was part of ancient Lucania, and its language is influenced by Lucanian. In the north of Cilento the dialect is more influenced by Neapolitan, but in the south it has many similarities with Sicilian.

Cilento DOC

Italian wine, both red, white and rose, under the Cilento DOC appellation comes from this area. Grapes destined for DOC product must be harvested to a maximum yield of 12 tonnes/hectare with the finished red wines fermented to a minimum alcohol level of 11.5% and the whites and roses fermented to 11%.[4]

Red Cilento wines are a blend of 60-70% Aglianico, 15-20% of Piedirosso and/or Primitivo, 10-20% Barbera and up to 10% of other local red grape varieties. The whites are a blend of 60-65% Fiano, 20-30% Trebbiano, 10-15% of Greco and/or Malvasia bianca with up to 10% of other local white varieties. The roses are blends of 70-80% Sangiovese, 10-15% of Piedirosso and/or Primitivo and up to 10% of other local red grape varieties. A separate varietal Aglianico can also be produced under the Cilento DOC provided that at least 85% of the wine is Aglianico with Primitivo and/or Piedirosso permitted to fill in the remainder and that the wine is aged at least one year before it is released.[4]


See also


  1. (Italian) Cis Alentum: The origin of the name "Cilento"
  2. (Italian) Information about the new province
  3. (Italian) Article on Corriere della Sera
  4. 1 2 P. Saunders Wine Label Language pg 139 Firefly Books 2004 ISBN 1-55297-720-X


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Coordinates: 40°17′24″N 15°28′34″E / 40.290°N 15.476°E / 40.290; 15.476

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