The Via Silente is a 600-km route, the first example in Italy of a cycle route that runs entirely through a protected area. It is in fact developed within the boundaries of the Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni National Park, which since 1991 has protected much of the territory known as Cilento as a whole. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Cilento extends in the southern part of the Campania region, south of Salerno, and goes to its furthest part to mark the border with Basilicata.
Morphologically, the area is between hilly and mountainous with the main peaks sometimes only circumped by the Silent Way, but in as many as two cases reached by it.
So it is in the case of Mount Cervati, 1898 m a.s.l. with the summit reachable from the town of Sanza, in the ninth stage of the route. And so it is for Mount Gelbison, also known as Monte Sacro whose summit, 1705 m a.s.l., is reached starting from Novi Velia, in the fourteenth and penultimate stage of the Silent Way. These are, without a doubt, the two toughest challenges for those who decide to travel the CicloVia but the effort and courage will be repaid by the extraordinary landscapes offered by these two imposing mountains. The Cervati, a massif of calcareous nature, is in some places shaped by the slow action of the waters due to the dissolution of calcium carbonate and in others by the force of the perennially flooding torrents. The result of all this work is evident in dolines, sinkholes, caves rich in stalactites and stalagmites, tunnels, large gorges and the resulting landscape is always changing. Making it even more spectacular is a species-rich vegetation that ranges from Macchia Mediterranea to mixed forest, from chestnut groves to centuries-old beech forests and high pastures with rock outcrops. Of a different geological nature is Mount Gelbison, consisting of sedimentary rocks of different origin and composition known, as a whole, as the “Flysch of Cilento.” Reaching the top of this mountain one finds oneself in front of the very ancient sanctuary of Basilian origin dedicated to the Madonna of the Mount of Novi Velia, but above all one enjoys a privileged view of a good part of that Via Silente that one has decided to undertake despite the harshness of the Cilento landscape.
But a few kilometers from the top of these mountains here is the wonderful Cilento coastline, which from Sapri to Agropoli changes its appearance countless times, in a succession of fine sandy beaches, cliffs, inlets and headlands.
The Via Silente laps the coast in several parts, in the stretch from Pollica to Castellabate via Pioppi, Acciaroli and Agnone as in the one that reaches the Gulf of Policastro starting from the small and very pretty village of Morigerati. But visitors will be left speechless when they follow the Via and find themselves facing the marvelous inlet of Baia degli Infreschi, listed among the most beautiful beaches in Italy. It is on the headlands surrounding this beach that the Primula Palinuri, an endemic and symbol of the Cilento National Park, grows.
Surrounding all this nature are numerous small villages perched on the hills, overlooking the sea, hidden among the valleys to make this Via Silente even richer and more exciting. The traveler will experience encounters with a simple and proud people who are still inextricably linked to this extraordinary land and its traditions.