Centola is at the mouth of two important rivers: Lambro and Mingardo, 130 m above the sea-level. Among Centola hamlets there is the famous Palinuro. Palinuro is very appreciated by tourists, thanks to its wonderful position, among olive trees on the hills and the wonderful sea. Palinuro was the name of the helmsman of Aeneas who, according to tradition, fell in the sea, and when he reached the beach, he was killed by the inhabitants.
The sea is really uncontaminated, there are wonderful creeks, long and wide beeches, beautiful caves (Azzurra, del Ribalto, Calafetente, del Buon Dormire, delle Ossa) with stalagmites and remains of prehistoric animals.
San Nicola di Mira church is a very interesting church, it is in Baroque style and was inaugurated in 1617. Inside there is a silver cross of 1458 and beautiful XVII century stuccoes.
Sausage festival is very nice (August).
Monuments and natural beauties...
- Capuchin Monastery. There is a Baroque altar made of walnut, wood statues made between 1500 and 1800 and paintings of 1500/1600
Palazzo Lupo (built at the end of XIII century) and Rinaldi, with a bell tower of 893. In 1814 the king of Naples stayed there (he was brother in law of Napoleon); Gioacchino Murat came to this area to control the defensive towers and make them stronger
Grotta Azzurra, a cave. It is attainable only by sea. The cave is blue thanks to a siphon (20 m deep) that makes sunlight pass
Sulphurous cave Calafetente. The name comes from the sulphurous exhalations. The cave has the shape of an amphitheatre. Along the entrance tunnel there are some kinds of corals, never living in this part of Mediterranean Sea. In some parts of the caves there are toxic gases
Natural arch, at the mouth of Mingardo River in a beautiful creek, between two beaches
Grotta d’argento, a cave. It is called “d’argento” (silver) because of the colour of the water
Grotta dei Monaci, a cave. It is called “dei Monaci” (of friars) because there are some stalagmites having the shape and the colour (brown) of monks in prayer
Grotta delle Ossa or Preistorica. Inside there are the bones of prehistoric animals
Grotte del Ribalto and del Buon Dormire, two caves
Scoglio del Coniglio, a cliff
Towers on the coast built between 1550 and 1600
Molpa Castle, with sighting towers, a courtyard surrounded by walls, stone portal
Ruins of San Giuliano Church of 1100
San Nicola di Mira church is a very interesting church, it is in Baroque style and was inaugurated in 1617. Inside there is a silver cross of 1458 and beautiful XVII century stuccoes
Palinuro archaeological site where there were many objects from Palaeolithic and Neolithic age until Hellenistic Age. The most part of these objects are still in the ground
Middle Ages village in San Severino hamlet. Going up Mingardo River (that created many charming gorges), visitors arrive to the ancient part of the town, abandoned because of a landslip
Santa Maria degli Angeli Church
After the fall of Western Roman Empire (476 d.C.), Ostrogoths occupied the town called Molpa. The Eastern emperor Giustiniano wanted to send away this barbaric population, so he sent in Italy the general Belisario. He arrived in 547 to turn out Ostrogoths but he sacked the town and burnt it, destroying everything and making the inhabitants escape. One hundred inhabitants arrived to the hills and settled at the feet of Fontanelle mountain, in a safe place, called Vallone. The place was called Centula, because the founders were one hundred (cento).
Centola was dominated by Longobards, Normans, Svevians, Angevins, Aragons, Bourbon family.
During Longobard period Centola developed.
Around 1250, during Svevian period, Centola became a Universitas, that is a Municipality.
In 1828 the inhabitants of Centola took part to the rebellion of Cilento of 27th /28th June 1828.
The rebels went to Palinuro because they knew they would have found 1500 guns, 12 cannons and munitions. But Bourbons had been alerted about their arrival and the rebels didn't find anything in the arsenal. The rebels read “Il Proclama di Palinuro”, a manifesto in which they asked for a constitution that would give freedom and social justice to everyone.
The rebellion didn’t succeed, it was violently repressed by Marshal Del Carretto, sent by King Francesco I.