The history of the Vallo di Diano Park
The Cilento lands are of karstic nature and the wealth of caves has undoubtedly favored the ancient human settlements. Even today their presence is tangible with the traces of "instruments" found in the coastal caves between Scario and Palinuro and in the inland ones along the routes on the ridges of the Vallo di Diano mountains. Along these ancient paths the contacts and relations between the populations of the sea and those of the Apennines probably began. In the Bronze Age the Cilento was the protagonist of the exchanges between Asia and Africa, between Nuragic and Aegean cultures, when there was the start of the multifaceted culture of the Mediterranean. The first Greek peoples arrived in the Cilento and colonial cities such as Pixunte or the ancient Poseidonia, today Paestum, were born. From the sea also came the Focei, a people of Asia Minor, who founded Elea, today Velia, the Philosophical School of Parmenides and the first School of Medicine. The conquest by the Normans then transformed the land into large estates and exploitations. They began the story of heroes of a people tired of violence and harassment. And after yet another martyr, the populations of the Vallo di Diano conquered the coveted freedom again.
The geology of the Parco del Vallo di Diano
The Cilento has hilly morphologies with green-ash olive trees but also rugged morphologies carved by streams, with forests of oaks and chestnut trees, villages perched or lying on the sea. In the Vallo di Diano Park there is a dual geology: that of the so-called "Flysch of Cilento", in the Alento basin and in the western mountains like the Centaurino, and the limestone rocks of the inner and southern mountains of the Park. On the high coasts the Flysch shows a dense stratification that takes on particular colors and shapes like those of the terrace of Punta Licosa. Its landscapes have gentle morphologies with a greater presence of Mediterranean scrub. Moving further in, there are only calcareous rocks, on the Cervati and Alburni massifs. The landscape is shaped by karstic forms and intense tectonics. The gorges carved by the streams give a barren appearance with poor soil: only where the soil and the waters allow it there are Mediterranean forests, beech forests or lavender meadows. There are the typical shapes of karst rocks such as caves, caves and tunnels, especially in the Alburni Mountains where there is the Pertosa cave.
The flora of the Vallo di Diano Park
The flora of the Vallo di Diano Park is made up of 1800 species of wild plants. Almost 10% has phytogeographic importance because it is endemic or rare. The most important is the so-called Primula di Palinuro which is also a symbol of the Park, an ancient and localized species. In the Park there are characteristic entities of arid environments. In evolutionary dynamics plants have taken the ecological niches that were available and also those created by man. The species gradually evolved into specialized plants and in perfect balance with the environment. On the beaches there is still the sea Lily, while on the cliffs live phytocoenoses with specialized halophytes (Limonium remotispiculum). On the coastal cliffs we find the famous Primula di Palinuro, the Centaurea, the Neapolitan Campanula and other species that create a wonderful landscape. In the arid zone there is the Ginestra of Cilento, the Red Juniper and strips of holm oak and Pino d'Aleppo woods. In the coastal area, olive groves are widespread which integrate perfectly into the nature of Cilento. At higher altitudes we find the Oaks together with Maples, Olmi, Tigli, Frassini and Castagni. And on the majestic Beech woods.
Vallo di Diano Park: The fauna of the Vallo di Diano Park
The fauna is very diversified due to the wide variety of environments in the area. On the peaks there is the golden eagle and its preys, the Coturnice and the Apennine hare. There are also the peregrine falcon, the lanner, the raven and the coral chough. Among the pastures you can see the small Savi vole, a herbivorous rodent prey to the Fox, the Martora or the Wolf. In the same meadows lives the Common Wall Lizard and the Luscengola which resembles a small snake but with small limbs. In the forests there are the Nuthatch, the Black Woodpecker and the Bullfinch, while it is interesting to see the Astore, a bird of prey that is disappearing. On the trees live the Ghiro and the Quercino, while in the burrows live the reddish Arvicola or the wild Mouse, the favorite prey of the Wild Cat. On the bark lives a rare insect, the Rosalia alpina beetle. The fauna in the water courses is rich in otters. In the areas near the springs, the spectacled salamander and the common one live. Where the water is clear, trout and dipper abound, while on the shores there are small waders like the Corriere piccolo.