Castellabate is a scattered Italian municipality with municipal headquarters in the Santa Maria hamlet. The country, whose population amounts to 8.359 inhabitants, is located on the Cilento coast (province of Salerno) in Campania and its territory falls completely within the national park of Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni, declared in 1998 a World Heritage Site by ‘UNESCO. Its marine environments constitute the marine protected area of Santa Maria di Castellabate.
It is included in the list of “the most beautiful villages in Italy” and is awarded several awards such as the 2012 Blue Flag of the Fee, the Green Flag 2012, the “4 sails” in the 2012 Blue Guide, Gioiello d’Italia 2012 and “La more beautiful are you “of Legambiente, as well as promoter of initiatives like those of” City of bio “.
The municipality of Castellabate extends mainly on the Tyrrhenian coast, in the southern end of the Gulf of Salerno, between the tip of the Saùco near Tresino to the north, and the river Rio Arena (in Ogliastro Marina) to the south. It borders with Agropoli (to the north), Laureana Cilento (to the north-east), Perdifumo (to the east) and Montecorice (to the south). It is about 65 km from its provincial capital (Salerno) and 130 from the regional capital (Naples).
The sea and the coast of Castellabate have been under marine biological protection since 1972 to preserve its natural and environmental heritage, representing one of the first examples of marine park in Italy. In 2009 the marine protected area Santa Maria di Castellabate was established, which embraces the area between the bay of Saùco (or Vallone) and the tip of Ogliastro. The area is divided into zones subject to different environmental protection regime, taking into account the environmental characteristics and the present socio-economic situation. The zone of integral reserve also forbids bathing and concerns the coast between Punta Tresino and Vallone Maroccia. Zone B (part of the sea surrounding the zone A and the one between Punta Torricella and Punta Ogliastro) of the general reserve allows bathing and navigation at speed no more than five knots within 300 meters from the coast. Partial reserve zone C with limited limitations includes the remaining stretch of sea within the protected marine area.
The territory has some unusual animal and plant species and therefore subject to particular forms of protection and conservation. In the seabed we find the coralligenous and extensive meadows of posidonia oceanica, in which live numerous species of fish and crustaceans, some rare as that of the Mediterranean parrotfish (Sparisoma cretense) and the siriella (Syriella castellabatensis, a crustacean discovered in 1975 in sea of Licosa and studied by the zoological station Anton Dohrn), but also sea urchins, madrepores, gorgonians, bryozoans and sponges. There is also the presence of colonies of castanets (Pinna nobilis), a protected bivalve mollusc, included in the red list of the European Habitat Directive. In 2006, in the Arena bay of Ogliastro Marina, there was an unusual event for these areas: the deposition of eggs of the sea turtle Caretta caretta.
The territory of Castellabate, especially in the coastal area of Licosa and Ogliastro Marina, is characterized by the presence of the “Flysch del Cilento”, a rare type of rock composed of different stratifications (typically consisting of cyclical alternations of sandstone, clay or marl limestone). It was formed in prehistoric times thanks to the erosion of the mountains in formation, which emerged from the sea, and whose debris ended up in the vicinity of the sea basins. These rocks, immersed in the Mediterranean scrub, slowly degrade in the sea, extending for more than five miles. In the depths this rocky conformation, formed by numerous cavities and cracks, is used as a shelter by various animal and plant organisms.
Other stretches of coastline are affected by erosion, mainly due to climatic factors, which gave rise to fossil beaches (such as that of San Marco) or disaggregative actions of the rocks, as in the case of the coast that goes from Punta Pagliarola to Punta Tresino. In this section the coast is particularly bumpy, formed by large blocks and marked numerous fractures called diaclases. The erosive phenomenon is also witnessed by the characteristic rocks that have been formed and polished over time: like the rock of the “Tartaruga” and that of “the Princess Saracen”, which recalls the face of a woman intent on admiring the sea. This rock, according to a local legend, is the Saracen princess Ermigarda, who threw herself into the sea to join her beloved fisherman Octavio, swallowed by the waves. Neptune for pity turned them into rocks.
Another phenomenon that shapes the shape of the sandstone rocks of the coast is that of the aloclasm, due to the sea salt, which with its expansive action creates a series of very special alveolar sculptures.
The area, given its geographical position on the Tyrrhenian coast, is characterized by a Mediterranean climate, with hot summers, mild winters and many sunny days. The average temperatures of the coldest month, January, range from a minimum of 4 ° C to a maximum of 12 ° C, while in July and August it goes from 18 ° C to 29 ° C. The temperate climate is also favored by the protection of the Campania Apennines that shelters the area from cold winds in winter. Precipitation, which is very poor in the summer months, reaches its peak in December, when it rains an average of one day every two months. In 1811 from the Belvedere of San Costabile: «Here we do not die!», King Gioacchino Murat pronounced, referring to the salubrious climate of Castellabate.
sources: go to website