Il Cilento

A little of the history of Cilento and the myth of Palinurus: the name, Cilento, derives from the Latin “Cis Alentum”, that is “on this side of the river Alento.” The story begins with two Greek cities; Poseidonia-Paestum, founded by colonists from Sybaris in the 7th century B.C., and Elea-Velia founded in the 6th century B.C., by Greeks from Phocaea. Both cities soon came into conflict with the native Lucanians who conquered Poseidonia in the 5th century B.C. In 273 B.C., Poseidonia became a Roman colony while Elea-Velia, although allied to Rome, maintained its autonomy for some considerable time. This period of peace most probably contributed to the birth of the Eleatic school of philosphy, whose chief exponents were two eminent citizens of Veliea, Parmenides and Zeno.
In truth, Cilento is mainly Palinuro as is amply demonstrated by the many prehistoric caves, and areas inhabited since the Palaeolithic. Much later, in Neolithic times, the original italian population established links with the Aeolian Islands for trading in obsidian, a black, glassy, vulcanic material, which was used for making tools.