Palinuro, with a wonderful blue sea and the natural caves
Among Centola hamlets there is the famous Palinuro. Palinuro is very appreciated by tourists, thanks to its wonderful position, among olive trees on the hills and the wonderful sea. The sea is really uncontaminated, there are wonderful creeks, long and wide beeches, beautiful caves (Azzurra, del Ribalto, Calafetente, del Buon Dormire, delle Ossa) with stalagmites and remains of prehistoric animals. Palinuro was the name of the helmsman of Aeneas who, according to tradition, fell in the sea, and when he reached the beach, he was killed by the inhabitants.
Grotta Azzurra is called Azzurra (blue) because sunlight creates on the water wonderful blue shades thanks to a siphon (20 m deep) that makes sunlight pass. It is attainable only by sea.
Grotta d’argento is called “d’argento” (silver) because of the colour of the water on the calcareous walls. Grotta del Sangue has water with red “blood” reflexes on it; Grotta Calafetente, the name comes from the sulphurous exhalations. The cave has the shape of an amphitheatre. Along the entrance tunnel there are some kinds of corals, never living in this part of Mediterranean Sea. In some parts of the caves there are toxic gases; Grotta dei Monaci, it is called “dei Monaci” (of friars) because there are some stalagmites having the shape and the colour (brown) of monks in prayer.
The territory of Palinuro has a wild beauty: a huge rock arch goes into the sea, thus protecting a creek that is considered a natural repair for sailors. Maybe in the past it was used by Argonauts, Phoenicians, Greeks. In this place there were many ancient communities, as the tombs of V century b.C. and the archaeological finds testify: all these objects show the beauty and the prosperity of this area.
Palinuro hamlet is the most important tourist town of Cilentana coast: accommodation facilities are nice and comfortable, the climate is mild, the coast is charming, the sea is wonderful, and the caves are really picturesque.
The story of Palinuro is linked to that of Molpa, two monuments testify this fact: the ruins of the castle and the church of San Giuliano, built in 1100.
The origin of the town is told by a legend, written by Virgil in the Aeneid: Palinuro, the helmsman of Aeneas, was going along the coasts of Cilento, he fell asleep when the God of Sleep descended from Olympus taking the appearance of Forbante. The sea was calm and the god convinced him to rest. But Palinuro didn’t trust him and the god as a revenge made him fall asleep. He took his body and threw it into the sea. For three nights Palinuro travelled in the sea, clung to a rope linked to the ship. The fourth day he arrived on a beach but he was killed by the inhabitants of that place (the Greek town of Elea, the Latin Velia).
The summer event Notte del Mito is a very nice event, it is dedicated to the legend of Palinuro.
Palinuro has a wonderful vegetation made of Mediterranean bush, with brooms and heather, and the famous Primula Palinuri, a typical flower, that grows only in this area. The town gives also its scientific name to the lobster (Palinurus vulgaris).
Palazzo Rinaldi, with a bell tower of 893, is very interesting. In 1814 the king of Naples stayed there (he was brother in law of Napoleon); Gioacchino Murat came in this area to control the defensive towers and make them stronger.
The Antiqurium is really rich, there are the findings of a necropolis of VI century b.C.