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In and out of the parkCAMPANIA


In and out of the park

Article published in Speciali di Motociclismo magazine in 2005 and Motoitalia in 2007.

An itinerary that skirts the lesser-known part of the Cilento National Park, almost on the border with nearby Basilicata, along beautiful roads with little traffic with beautiful views and the sea just a short distance away.

Read the story published in the Speciali di Motociclismo magazine.

Read the story published in the Motoitalia magazine.

This is certainly one of the parts of Italy that I like most and where I always go back willingly and more frequently. It will be the fact that the paternal origins are rooted and still clearly visible, right in the heart of the Cilento national park, but also because the bike offers me beyond any reasonable doubt the possibility of exploring areas that still arouse childhood memories. lucky and happy teenage girl. Much of the itinerary was also a discovery for myself. We are in the Gulf of Policastro, crushed by the heavy fame of the nearby Palinuro to the north and Maratea just beyond the border with Basilicata.

"They were three hundred, they were young and strong and they died…." Raise your hand if you don't remember the lines of the Risorgimento poet Luigi Mercantini. "The gleaner of Sapri" represents for me and my peers one of the most famous (the gossips would add a few) school reminiscences.

But this time the direction is decided towards the interior, departure arrival from Sapri, a few kilometers and off to the right towards the interior. The road climbs towards Vibonati and crosses the boundaries of the park near Morigerati, built in a spectacular way on a rocky spur, and then leaves it almost immediately climbing towards Torre Orsaia.

The park extends in its southern part in an irregular way, making it difficult to understand why the SS18 up to Laurito is excluded. However, it is only a matter of geographical and administrative quibbles given that the panorama is equally interesting and the state road remains in good condition. In the evening I stop at the Fasani farmhouse just outside Laurito and at the table I chat with Bruno, the company's handyman: "the problem with the park is, not so much in its institution as in its size. It started by including an area that was too large and extended. Suffice it to say that in 1991 it included more than 230,000 hectares, almost half of the province of Salerno. And these things must be metabolized calmly, they must be understood otherwise they risk causing more harm than good. And in fact the Cilento reality, be it a national park or simply a service area, is slow to take off in terms of tourism. "

I recognize that he is right even if from an interested and informed eye but ultimately a stranger, I point out that the building havoc, especially on the coast, have ended and that conditions in general have improved a lot especially in the last 10 years. There is no doubt that the tourist attraction is still somewhat weak, but here other factors must intervene, which unfortunately do not belong to the individual initiatives, which to tell the truth are not lacking in the volcanic Bruno: internet, self-taxation by individual managers of commercial activities for to promote the Cilento brand nationally and abroad, addressing large companies in the field of communication. I wonder: and the bodies in charge? The Park Authority? The Campania Region?

Could this be another problem? The lack of dialogue for the achievement of a common result? I see good potential, but it would probably take more synchrony and organization, also taking inspiration from similar older and more efficient realities, even in the national field. Finally, the following morning, I would add, a beautiful sun illuminates the landscape. The road continues surrounded by greenery, drawing a path that, towards Rofrano, greatly reduces the carriageway immersed in chestnut woods. A landslide forces you to cross the small town between narrow paved alleys, but immediately after, skirting Mount Cervati, the highest in the park, the road becomes the protagonist, allowing the view to sweep up to the sea. Colors, scents, clear air, definitely June is a month that lends itself well to trips of this kind and the Swiss couple on their motorcycles think so too, whom I cross a couple of times before arriving in Sanza. Here you must be careful not to take the recent variant that leads to the sea: as soon as you leave the town, with the houses still clearly visible at the top, take the first junction on the right for Caselle in Pittari, even if the signs will point you in another direction. If you enter a tunnel you have gone a long way and you have to go back. The road is well maintained and completely, desolately free of traffic. You enter the mountain community of Bussento, an area not very busy but full of caves, grottoes and villages that are often perched on rocky spurs that dominate deep cracks. The road follows this twisted morphology, not without difficulty, often running poised on overhangs that are not very suitable for those suffering from vertigo. In the background the Gulf of Policastro begins to appear more and more often, which despite the distance appears a decidedly inviting blue. In the last curves before reaching the point of arrival, the view opens up giving a beautiful view of the whole bay. Sapri's tourist vocation is very ancient, Cicero defined it as “the little gem of the South Sea”. We are in the center of the Gulf of Policastro and the possibilities of being able to enjoy the beauties of this sea in the immediate vicinity are varied and remarkable. Why not take advantage of it?

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