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Centola - Palinuro, Province of Salerno, Campania, Italy





One of the 80 communes of the Cilento - Vallo di Diano National Park, Centola comprises a number of different boroughs, with most of the population moving in the summer to Palinuro, the largest centre and among the most renowned seaside resorts in southern Italy for its clean waters, wide beaches and astounding coastline landscapes of high cliffs and grottos.

Info

Altitude: 336 a.s.l (Centola) -- Population: ca. 4800 inhabitants -- Zip/postal code: 84051 -- Phone Area Code: 0974 -- Patron Saint: Sant'Apollonio -- Frazioni & Località: Caprioli, Foria (consisting of the 4 hamlets of Casal di Basso, Casal di Mezzo, Casalicchio and Casal di Sopra), Palinuro, San Nicola, San Severino -- How to get there: the nearest train station is Pisciotta-Palinuro; by car, motorway A3 Salerno/Reggio Calabria, exit Battipaglia then state road SS 18 towards Agropoli then at Futani state road SS 447 direction Palinuro; by sea, the nearest port is Marina di Camerota -- Official Website: http://www.comune.centola.sa.it/ -- Map: see a Map of Centola - Palinuro

What to see

Province of Salerno

History

Palinuro takes its name from Aeneas' helmsman (Palinouros in Greek); a prophecy had announced to Aeneas that before reaching their new promised land, Latium, one of the Trojans would have to die; Venus, Aeneas' mother, offers to Neptune the death of Palinurus. The Trojans were just in sight of the Italian coast, rounding present Cape Palinuro, when Hypnos (Somnus for the Romans), the mythological god of sleep, coming down from the Olympus to fulfill the prophecy, appeared to the unfortunate helmsman disguised as his friend Forbante, and lured him to sleep with sweet words promising he would maintain the helm for him - from the 5th Book of the Eneid "Iaside Palinure, ferunt ipsa aequora classem, aequatae spirant aurae, datur hora quieti. Pone caput fessosque oculos furare labori. Ipse ego paulisper pro te tua munera inibo".

As soon as Palinurus fell asleep, Hypnos threw him into the waters, where he swam for 3 days, until he was able to reach the coast of Lucania, only to be killed by the native tribes. During his descent in the Underworld, Aeneas met Palinurus, who begged him for a decent burial of his body, a promise that Aeneas would fulfill burying his friend on the promontory that now bears the helmsman's name.

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