Caselle in Pittari
Caselle in Pittari is a cozy hill town in the heart of the Cilento National Park. It is dominated by its medieval tower. The town is a delightful cluster of stone buildings that occupy the crest and spill down the hillside. Its aerie position offers great views of the surrounding hills and the soaring peak of Mt. Cervati, the highest mountain in Campania at 1898 meters above sea level. Down below bubbles the Bussento River, which slices through the valleys of the Cilento.
In recent years Caselle in Pittari has undergone extensive restoration and has become a lovely little village to relax, discovering the Cilento National Park, and enjoy the good, genuine food and local Aglianico wine. Its a pretty place to wander the streets and absorb the Old World atmosphere and clean air of the mountains. On Mount Pittari, for which the town is named, you'll find the Sanctuary of San Michele Arcangelo, set in a grotto in the mountain. The towns main church of Santa Maria dell'Assunta is a rustic stone-hewn gem in the middle of the village.
Caselle in Pittari hosts an unusual event called the Palio del Grano, a homage to a by-gone era to remember and recreate the traditions of rural life. It starts at sunrise in the piazza with contenders of various contradas (districts) dressed in old-time rural garb, and they parade out to the fields below, just like their ancestors did as a daily way of life to work the fields. The competition involves harvesting a swath of field that measures 5 meters by 100 meters in teams of 20 people armed with sickles. They have to reap according certain specifications, and the first time to complete the task wins the Palio.
The Palio is followed by a peasant lunch for all - participants and spectators alike - of bread, cheese, salami, sausage, fresh tomatoes, salad and wine, all served right there in the freshly harvested field. Accompanying the Palio is a bread baking workshop and a tarantella competition (a traditional southern Italian dance).
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