While good food is one of the main attractions of the area, the picturesque scenery is perhaps the star. The pristine seawith its crystal clear water, the lush coast full of Mediterranean scrub, and the wealth of biodiversity, due to the multiplicity of microclimates and microhabitats, create breathtaking natural splendor. The emblem of the Parco del Cilento, the Primula Palinuri Petagna, is a very rare example of paleoendemism, therefore deserving its protected status.
Those unique features have compelled Legambiente, an Italian environmental organization, to award “Five Sails” to the municipality of Camerota, in addition to its victory, for two years running, of the competition for the the most beautiful beach.
“The most beautiful is you“ Legambiente – Cala Bianca for 2013 and Cala degli Infreschi for 2014
The Cilento region is also a sought-after location to set film productions. The British producer Robert S. Baker shot ‘The Treasure of Monte Cristo’, in the area between Agropoli, Paestum, Trentinara and Palinuro. The film featured actor Rory Calhoun, known to the public for such successful films as ‘How to Marry a Millionaire’, ‘ River of No Return’, plenty of westerns and ancient epics, and the serial ‘Capitol’. No other location could have been better for ‘Jason and the Argonauts’, ‘Hercules at the Conquest of Atlantis’, and ‘Clash of the Titans’, as the region’s coastline is the seat of many myths.
Francesco Rosi chose the Certosa di Padula for the neapolitan fairy tail ‘C’era una volta’ (Once upon a time), featuring the extraordinary Sofia Loren and the unforgettable Omar Sharif in the role of the Spanish prince. In 1990 the Taviani brothers chose Certosa di Padula for their wonderful movie ‘Night Sun’, based on the Tolstoy novel. Nanni Loy visited Cilento by train for the movie ‘ Cafè express’, with Nino Manfredi as main character.
The Lentiscelle beach, in Marina di Camerota, saw the landing of Orso Maria Guerrini, playing ‘Gioacchino Murat‘: the director, Silverio Blasi, made Marina di Camerota his set, with many local extras in the cast. Still,Cilento is known for ‘Il pesce pettine’, with Stefania Sandrelli, ‘Benvenuti nel Cilento’, with Ivano Marescotti and Andrea Mingardi. Warner Bros chose Marina di Camerota for ‘Wonder Woman’, with a total of about 1000 people in the cast, including main performers Gal Gadot, Chris Pine, and Robin Wright.
Mario Martone deals with the theme of Risorgimento in ‘Noi credevamo (We Believed)’, shot between the Cilentano hinterland and Camerota alta. The great success of ‘Benvenuti al sud’, shot in Castellabate, recallswhat Gioacchino Murat had to say about Cilento: ‘Here, you will not die!’ Cilento always leaves its visitors hoping to return. . It happened in the past when the Cilento attracted poets, writers and painters, who came to Italy for the Grand Tour. Many of them went beyond to Elea-Velia, the homeland of philosophy.
A very young Renato Guttuso exhibited an oil painting entitled ‘Palinuro’ at the Quadriennale di Roma (1932). It was a symbolic and metaphysical, depicting the helmsman laid on the beach by the sea, his lifeless body embracing his rudder. Ungaretti wrote about a ‘Promised Land’and composed the ‘Recitative of Palinuro’, as well as the poetic prose ‘The Miraculous Fishing’, which evokes the precious restitution made by the sea with the beautiful head of Apollo, in a fisherman’s net, (now in the Provincial Archaeological Museum of Salerno).
While looking for his origins, Uruguayan university professor, publisher, essayist, poet, and writer Josè Pedro Diaz had his own homecoming. Originally from Marina di Camerota, on the maternal sidehis tribute to the country of his ancestors is admirably described in his biography, but also in his travelogue , ‘The Fires of SanTelmo.Reading ‘The Fires of SanTelmo’, inspired the desire to experienceMarina di Camerota in Professor Gabriel Saad, professor emeritus of the Sorbonne, writer, poet, art critic, and at times our cherished guest.
Camerota’s sea also inspired the Neapolitan composer Gaetano Lama, who composed the song ‘Silenzio cantatore’ here, embellished by the words of the poet, writer and playwright, Libero Bovio.
Nobel Laureate Ernest Hemingway was so enchanted by the small village of Acciaroli during the 5th Army’s march under General Clark that he later returned. For a few years, he lived in a small house facing the sea, writing in the shade of a palm tree. When ‘The Old Man and The Sea’ was published, a fisherman from Acciaroli named Antonio ‘u viecchio’ recognized himself in the story.
Norman Douglas wrote in ‘Summer Islands’ “There must be a current in the Mediterranean sea that goes in the direction of Campania … many centuries ago, in mythological times, the remains of the mermaid Partenope traveled floating to Naples, where they found eternal rest … later on, in the age of the heroes, the corpse of Palinuro, helmsman of Aeneas, came too…. ”
In a legend by Berardino Rota, a fifteenth-century Neapolitan poet, the goddess Venus turned the nymph Camerota (or Kamaroton) turned into a rock for refusing the love of Palinuro, Aeneas’ helmsman in the Aenid. Palinuro gave his name to the promontory that runs along the bay, and Camerota is named after the nymph who spurned him.
The daring traveler Franz Ludwig Catel drew a magnificent etching depicting Palinuro’s cenotaph, his empty tomb, and in the background the view of the promontory (1812)…