The Municipality of Agropoli is considered the entry gate of National Park of Cilento and Vallo di Diano, located on a promontory in the southern part of Gulf of Salerno, and reachable by car, bus and train on the lines betwenn Naples and Reggio Calabria, and by sea with the “Metro del Mare”, a ferry boat line connecting Salerno with the main harbors of Amalfi Coast and Cilento.
Sea, history, gastronomy, nature and hospitality are elements which make of Agropoli an important touristic destination in the area; and among the numerous accomodation options, like hotels, b&b, hotel-apartments, there is also a good presence of campings, mostly close to the uncontaminated beaches which make this area worth a visit; the most famous beach area is Trentova Bay, which is awarded every year with EU Blue Flag, among other recognitions.
From Agropoli towards north, there is a long flat beach which reaches Paestum, while towards south, then towards the heart of Cilento, the coastline is characterised by a series of coves.
Agropoli is not only natural beauties, but also history; the town is infact dominated by a beautiful medieval village facing the coastline and the harbor, where numerous small bars and local-cuisine restaurant make the visit even more pleasant.
The access to the historical center of Agropoli is possible through a characteristic climb called “degli Scaloni (steps)”, due to its long series of large and low steps; on top of this stairway there is a monumental gate, very well conserved, while on the peak of the promontory there is the Castle of Agropoli, built during the Angio’ and Aragona families dominations, with its triangular shape base, three towers and a large and deep trench. The internal area of the Castle is now used as open-air theatre for summer festivals, concerts, art displays and other shows.
Monuments and Locations to visit
The inhabitated area is dominated by the historical center, which includes the ancient walls and the gate, built in the 17th century.
The monumental gate has two entrances: on the right-side of the main one, there is a smaller opened at the beginning of 20th century, and in between there is a small embrasure, used for surveillance purposes.
The gate counts five merlons, two of which support stone-made balls, alternated with concrete-made ones and an iron cross indicating the year 1909, remembering the “sacred missions”; above the main gate there is the marble-made emblem of the Dukes Delli Monti Sanfelice, last feudal owners of the city, which was earlier located at the entrance of the Castle, and only recently moved to the city’s gate.
The entrance gate to the historical center
The big marble emblem sees on top of it a ruined crown, and is finished in the lower part by a figurehead; the main and central part is made in the shape of a shield, and is splitted in two parts representing six gooses in groups of three, which was the ancient emblem of Sanfelice family, and a cross, emblem of Delli Monti family.
The gate is part of the wall perimeter, built using local stone and divided into two “arms” hinged on the Castle, and finishing at the overhanging of “the cliff”, a natural defense against invaders.
The Stairway (Scaloni): the ancient village of Agropoli can be reached walking through the characteristic stairway of the Scaloni, for centuries the only way towards the village, and today one of the few remaining examples of this type surviving to the times of veicular needs; for the small residential population of the village, there is a narrow aspalth-paved road on the back-side.
The protection wall of the stairway is decorated with merlons with spheric edge, recalling the ones located at the gate, and an iron cross indicating the year 1909, remembering the sacred missions.
Around the walls of the Castle there is a large and deep trench, now visible only from the village-side, while on the seaside it is almost all collapsed during the past decades due to agricule works and various natural reasons.
The Castle had its last restyling under the Aragona domination (15th Century AD), which enlarged the original map to the one visitable today; the internal area, today used as venue for cultural and musical events, is naturally made with the pre-existent rocks, and not artificial as it was normally in this type of castles.
On the northern side of the Castle there is the so-called “Sala dei Francesi” (French’s Room), called this way as it was the transit point for the french troops during Napoleon’s period.
The Castle is strongly linked to two people in particular: Luisa Sanfelice, minor character of the Neapolitan Revolution of 1799, whom inspired Alexandre Dumas’ “La San Felice” roman, and the French writer Marguerite Yourcenar, whom mentioned the Castle in her write “Anna, soror”.
Agropoli – The Lighthouse
The Lighthouse Punta Fortino: built in 1929 in Venetian style, it’s visible from the seaside promenade and is located on the edge of the historical center, which is also the farest point of the cliff.
Agropoli – Saint Mark Tower
The presence of fortified watching towers along the coastline of Agropoli, as well as on the whole coastline of the Southern Mediterranean area, is linked to the constant threat of pirates raids; following the order from the Spanish Viceroy Pedro de Toledo in 1564 to build an “uninterrupted chain” of coastal watch-towers, numerous towers start being built between Agropoli (the northernmost town in Cilento) and Sapri (the southernmost town in Cilento), in the most strategic points, and most of them still visible today from the sea. Among the others, San Marco Tower and later San Francis Tower, on the coastline of Agropoli, were reinforced and upgraded.
Agropoli – San Francis Tower and namesake rock
Located beside the Franciscan convent built in 1230AD, this square-shaped tower was built in a very strategic position, between Saint Mark tower and the Castle on the north, and with the Trentova tower and Tresino bay (today in the territory of Castellabate) on the south; today there are only ruins visible.
built in 1880AD, following the input of Engineer Vincenzo Del Mercato, who wanted to create a production point for bricks; after long researches, it was built in Campamento area, which was close to river Testene, as well as rich of deposit of clay.
Church of St.Peter and St.Paul:
of unclear origin, this church was mentioned in a letter of Pope Gregorio Magnus of 593AD, while during the 16th century was visited by numerous bishops or their representants. Today the Church of SS. Peter and Paul is made of a single aisle, choir, pulpit, confessional, three belltowers and three entrances, as well as a precious collection of marble statues portraying the Holy Virgin, St.Lucia and St.Rosa, and sacred paintings.
Church of Holy Mary of Costantinopoli:
built, according to the legend, after the finding of a statue of the Virgin that some Turkish raiders tried unsuccessfully to take away.
This church was first documented in 1583, while in the documents regarding the Pope visit of 1612, it is mentioned as of “recent construction”, with the presence of a confessional and a site for burying of sailors.
Sacristy and a painting have been documented in 1742AD, and specifically reported as funded by local sailors, while in 1875 also the altar and presbytery, made with marble, have been documented.
In 1913 it was banned, together with numerous others, for having hosted soldiers during heavy rains.
Agropoli – Monument to the fallen
The first monument to the fallen in war in Agropoli was built in 1924, after strong requests of the local population, which fully funded the creation and installation of the same; during the WW2, the monument was moved from its location, and replaced in 1985 with an “updated” version.
Agropoli – Monument to fallen of the seas
The statue dedicated to all fallen of the seas was inaugurated on December 9th 1973; it is made of a big anchor on a marble base, reporting the name of the people dead in the seas during WW1 and WW2.
Agropoli – Statue of St. Francis
The statue of St.Francis, located on the hill of St.Mark, was built in 1982, made of Carrara marble and 6m tall.
Agropoli – The Coastline
The coastline is 3km long, and includes the Trentova Bay, famous for its panoramic views and its narrow path connecting it to the mainland, the rock of St.Francis, and a series of small coves reaching the area of Punta Tresino in Castellabate.
Trentova Bay takes its name from the namesake rock, which itself got its name from the legend that saw thirty (trenta in italian) eggs of marine turtle found under the rock.
Agropoli – St.Francis Bay
Beside Trentova Bay there is a smaller bay dedicated to St.Francis, due to the proximity with the namesake monastery and the rock visible from the beach with a cross on its top. It extend itself through a beach crossed by numerous water streams reaching the archeological site of Paestum.
Frittelle con le acciughe
Impepata di cozze
Il principale asse stradale di accesso al territorio comunale è la Strada Provinciale 430/a con uscite agli svincoli di Agropoli Nord e Agropoli Sud.
La Strada statale 18 Tirrena Inferiore lambisce il territorio attraversando la frazione nord-orientale di Mattine.
Le strade regionali e provinciali per i collegamenti con i comuni limitrofi sono:
Strada Regionale 267/a;
Strada Regionale 267/b, che collega Agropoli con Castellabate;
Strada Provinciale 45 Agropoli-S. Cosma-Innesto SS 18.
Strada Provinciale 184 Agropoli-Trentova.
Strada Provinciale 278 Agropoli-Licinella.
Agropoli – Stazione Ferroviaria Agropoli – Castellabate
La stazione Ferroviaria di “Agropoli-Castellabate”, sulla ferrovia Salerno – Reggio Calabria, è servita da un discreto numero di treni, tra cui Intercity e Intercity Notte che percorrono la direttrice Torino/Milano – Reggio Calabria. I treni regionali fanno parte della linea ferroviaria Napoli/Salerno – Sapri/Paola/Cosenza.
Agropoli – Il Metrò del Mare al Porto
Porto Turistico di IV classe
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