Castellabate from Middle Age to the Expo, a timeless beauty

The town of Castellabate arrives at Expo and it is located in two pavilions: in the Club of “The most beautiful hamlets of Italy” and in the Eataly pavilion where visitors can try the typical products of the Cilento town

Santa Maria di Castellabate

With our Diario Salernitano we have personally discovered the timeless beauty of the medieval hamlet of Castellabate and of its breath-taking Belvedere (a panoramic viewpoint), from the wonderful Santa Maria di Castellabate and its Marine Protected Reserve.

Castellabate history and its timeless beauty

Situated on the top of Sant’Angelo Hill, Castellabate hamlet, that never loses sight of the sea, still has its medieval structure with five doorways to the city centre, its fort, the “abbot’s castle” founded in the II century AD, its walls and the sighting towers, built to protect the population from the Saracenic invasions.

This beautiful landscape has often hosted the literary festival of “Libri Meridionali”. It is a showcase for the publishing industry of the south, an initiative that keeps the cultural excitement alive and that made Castellabate one of the reference points for the publishing industry of southern Italy. Recently, the hamlet has become famous all over Italy because it has been the set of the film “Benvenuti al Sud”.

In this beautiful town past history meets the present one, between alleys and little stone houses covered by climbing bougainvillea, we arrive at the wonderful Belvedere square dedicated to San Costabile, the patron saint of the town, where there is one of the most amazing timeless panorama of the all Cilento coast.

The charm of this natural show seduced also Gioacchino Murat, who came to visit Castellabate in November 1811, when he was the King of Naples. Actually in the square there is a plate with his famous statement: “Here you won’t die”.

The charm of the seaside hamlet: Santa Maria di Castellabate

We won’t be content with just seeing the sea, we want to breath it, touch it and be proud of our Blue Flags, so we have decided to leave the medieval hamlet behind and to visit the seaside hamlet of Santa Maria di Castellabate, that since 2009 protects the Marine Protected Reserve of Santa Maria: from Punta Licosa to Agropoli, more than 700 hectares of marine area that is under a rigid regime of environmental protection and conservation of animal and vegetable species.

There we discover that in 1943, when the Second World War was ending, the beaches of Santa Maria di Castellabate welcomed the allied landing during the famous Landing at Salerno.

Between 18th and 19th century residences that go alongside the seaside boardwalk, we arrive at the typical “Travierso” marina, where there are stone arcades built in the 12th century. They overlook some places that once were used as warehouses for the fishermen’s fishing tools. This marina is well known as “Porto delle Gatte”.

Like all the small harbours, also this one has its legends and folkloric tales. Actually it is said that its name comes from the light of the candles that once illuminated the warehouses, which seen from the sea, looked like many cats’ eyes.

Today couches and bars and restaurants tables have replaced the nets and all the fishing boats tools where young people meet during the summer. But the candles still illuminate the “cats’ eyes”, preserving the charm of this small harbour.

We leave Santa Maria looking for the last time the Castellabate fort, its beach and its clean and calm sea, to meet the profile of Punta Licosa, and we go back to Salerno aware that Gioacchino Murat expressed in the best way the beauty of these places “here you won’t die”.


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