History

The Parco Nazionale del Cilento, Vallo di Diano e Alburni has been inhabited since prehistoric times, and its isolation has attracted waves of refuge-seeking settlers over the ages. The Greeks fled here when the Romans overran the towns of Paestum and Velia. Then early inhabitants of the coastal cities headed inland to escape piracy and pillaging. Benedictine monks later joined the cultural medley, seeking secluded places of worship. Next were the wealthy feudal lords who set up house (or rather castle) here, from where they could impose their power.

Centuries later, the park was controlled by the feared briganti (bandits), which meant it was a no-go area for Grand Tour visitors. This kept the park out of the tourism loop for decades and helps explain why it remains so pristine today.

The Cilento area was made a national park in 1991 and a Unesco World Heritage Site in 1998.