Acciaroli, the pearl of Cilento

Today, with our Diario Salernitano, we are going to Acciaroli, a small jewel on the sea between the National Park of Cilento and the Diano Valley that is only half an hour far from Salerno.

Acciaroli Sea

We decide to drive through the coastal road because we can’t do without the view of the seaside and once arrived in Paestum we are fascinated by the timeless charm of its Greek Temples. In Agropoli the road climbs up through the green hills of Cilento, rich in olive trees and fields where time seems like has never passed, and then it goes down to almost touching the sea and the brighten sun follows us in every bends.

It is only when we have left Ogliastro and Punta Licosa behind us that on the horizon we can see the profile of Acciaroli, the so-called “Pearl of Cilento”.

The most beautiful beaches

The first thing that welcomes us is its large beach of thin and gold sand, which has had a blue flag for ages, and that protects the white lily, a particular class of lily flower. This one is a symbol of purity and fragility and it grows only on the cleanest beaches or where the touch of the man on nature has been minimal.

In 2014, this beach has been chosen by the sea turtles “Caretta Caretta” as the perfect place to lay their eggs. Last September they offered us an unforgettable natural show.

After we have stepped our feet into the sand and the salt wind coming from the wood bathing establishment has lightly brushed us, we move to the centre of the village along the small streets and the stone houses from whose windows we can get a glimpse of the sea and hear the noise of dishes and families spending their time together.

Once arrived at the church on the port, it is possible to admire one the many Norman Towers, now totally restored, that between the XVI and the XVII century used to protect the coast from the barbarian invasions.

From there starts the long pier as to the impressive “Madonnina” who protects the typical Marina where there are the fishermen coloured houses and the little bars and restaurants that during the night liven up the landscape.

From the other side, a smaller pier marks the boundaries of the second beach in the centre of Acciaroli, which winds up to the Caleo going under a natural rock arch where it completely changes its morphology: no more thin and gold sand but pebbles.

Anchovies, olive oil and white figs

In Acciaroli was born the Mediterranean diet, so you really must taste the typical local products: the “acqua sale” (a typical dish prepared with stale bread, salt, extra virgin olive oil, tomatoes and oregano) seasoned with Menaica anchovies (which are a slow food presidium) and the olive oil that is a pride of this area, and to finish we indulge ourselves in the sweetness and the quality of the white figs of Cilento, delicious also in their dried version. This is a good reason to go back there in winter.

Walking through the internal streets of Acciaroli we can breathe a familiar and friendly air like if we were in a place far back in the past. Little houses, roofs of brown shingles smoothed by the sun and the salt air, balconies full of flowers, here and there fishing nets gathered in the corners of the streets that tell people stories. Among them, today, there are also our stories.


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