The village of Cannichio
“Cannichio, land in the province of the principality of Citra, in the Diocese of Capaccio, about a mile away from Marina di Acciaroli, and about 45 miles from Salerno. It is built on a hill, where it is possible to breathe fresh air, and its territory produces everything its population needs……”
This is how the location of Cannichio is described in the third volume of the Geographic Dictionary of the Kingdom of Naples by Lorenzo Giustiniani and his Majesty Ferdinand IV king of the two Sicilies. It was in 1797, but the first news about it can be found in the diploma of 994 which is kept in the abbey of Cava, with which the princes Giovanni II and Guaimario III of Salerno donated to the monastery of Saint Magno, a church on the sea shores of Sancti Primi di Canniclo. The territory of Saint Magno was very interesting, very fertile with a large number of cultivations and with a coastline full of harbour docks. In this area there was also the church of Saint Primo where monks from Cava administered the commerce of the farming products in excess of the monastic property. During the 14th century the nucleus of Saint Primo seems to have the same destinity of many other farmhouses, stricken by a demographic recession and by the Sicilian incursions of the “war of the Vespers”, the inhabitants abandoned the port to take shelter in the hinterland giving rise to what is today’s Cannichio.
Today, the small medieval village, located on the slopes of Mount Stella, is surrounded by the dense vegetation of the Mediterranean maquis. The old village was built along the crest of a hill, the buildings placed against each other with few openings outside denote its defensive character. In the main street, called le Petenghe, there are homes of suggestive micro – architecture made of stairs, little towers, small gardens, ancient arches and hidden angles.
The heart of the village is the church of Saint Martino, a small widening of the main street that forms the churchyard, where since the medieval times, it was common to hold meetings for the inhabitants of the town, chaired by the notary according to the occasion, by the judge or by the mayor. The church together with two rural chapels, one in the north dedicated to the Madonna del Soccorso and one in the south dedicated to Saint Rocco, testify to the ancestral devotion of the people to this land.
The town of Pollica
The town of Pollica is located in the most ancient part of the Cilento. It is included in the perimeter of the National Park of the Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni, consisting of a coastal, mountain and valley environment that extends for a length of about 180,000 hectares towards the Tyrrenian sea, between the gulf of Salerno and the gulf of th Policastro. Currently it is the largest national park, from 1997 it is a biosphere reserve and from 2010 it is the first national park to become a geopark.
It is an excellent Mediterranean park thanks to the vegetation that distinguishes it from the others and to the civilizations that have come across this sea, from the Paleolithic areas of Paestum and Velia, from the medieval settlements to the Baroque masterpiece of the Certosa di Padula.
The town’s territory is divided into the main area of Pollica and a group of fractions, a parte of it situated on the coast like Pioppi and Acciaroli and a part on the slopes of Mount Stella like Cannichio, Celso and Galdo, each of which is distinguished by its natural and cultural values.
It is one of the places preferred by tourists for its temperate climate, its natural beauty , its historical, artistic and archeological heritage. In 1987 it was given the Blue Flag of Europe and in 2010 the seaside villages of Pioppi and Acciaroli were awarded with the “Five Sails” from the Blue Guide of the Legambiente and Touring club Italiano for the environmental qualities received thanks to a balanced process of development of the naturalistic resourses together with an excellent tourist service.
Promoting the culture of hospitality, preserving and developing the characteristics of the territory as well as promoting the flavours of this area, are only a few of the principles of the charter of the international cultural movement of Cittaslow whose name is representative of the relationship of Pollica with the National Coordinating Comittee.
The cittàslow is interested in promoting the values of Slow Food, founded in 1986 by Carlo Petrini to defend the calm and slow pleasure against the madness of a fast life. Slow food promotes the right to enjoy the pleasures of good food, it also defends and disseminates agricultural and culinary traditions and if food is a fondamental element to define the culture of a population, that of Pollica can claim to be a protagonist of the birth of the Mediterranean Diet, which has recently been included by UNESCO in the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.
This recognition gives this area the credit of the wonderful and balanced example of natural and cultural uncontamination that is the Mediterranean style of life, known throughout the world.