Cilento & Maratea - a hidden gem
Both the Cilento and the area around Acquafredda di Maratea have kept a quiet profile overseas. Italians love this part of southern Italy; it’s calmer, the beaches are some of the cleanest in the Mediterranean and the lack of exposure means that prices are contained, our hotels in Cilento and Aquafredda may be unique but they still manage to combine an excellent price quality ratio.
This is not the area for wild discos and partying. The Cilento and south to Aquafredda di Maratea is known for the beauty of the land and that wonderful sea. Maratea holds the Blue award from Italy’s Legambiente (Environmental body) indicating the highest quality of the water as well as Cilento with its marine park.
This is then a wonderful region to come in order to witness an Italy as it used to be, with fewer tourists, outstanding nature and a feel for being just a little in uncharted territory, away from the crowds of Florence, Rome or the Amalfi Coast.
Diving, day hikes in the hills above the sea or simply relaxing on the beach are all ideal options in this paradisiacal corner of the Italian peninsular. We have put a good bit of effort into selecting hotels in Aquafredda di Maratea and Cilento that respect the nature around them whilst building on their uniqueness.
Just north of the Cilento and around the site of Paestum are many ranches that farm the buffale or water oxen whose milk is used in the production of the authentic mozzarella. (Mozzarella from cow’s milk should be called, in theory at least, Fior di latte and cannot qualify for mozzarella status). The fresh and milky cheese is wonderful and not at all similar to its poorer, exported cousin. Tossed in a salad or eaten alone with just a pinch of salt and a “filo d’olio” it makes a wonderful starter.
The cleanliness of the sea in this area is outstanding and rightly gives rise to some of the best quality and tastiest fish in Italy at prices that are far more reasonable than you would expect. You might be lucky enough to try the Secce ‘Mbuttunate a Cilento variation on the stuffed squid but what a stuffing with a mix of pecorino cheese, fresh tomatoes and shellfish.