Punta Licosa is a protected marine area located in a completely wild setting. To get there you have to take a path that can be taken either from the small port of San Marco or from Ogliastro Marina. It is a walk of a few kilometers during which you can admire bays and inlets with wonderful colours.
Even more fascinating is the islet of Punta Licosa, one of the best preserved areas of the Cilento coast. The islet can only be reached by sea with organized excursions that depart from the port of San Marco.
Places of interest
Punta Licosa has many attractions:
- Chapel of Santa Maria del Soccorso: built to offer shelter to shipwrecked people on the Punta Licosa pier next to Palazzo Granito.
- Palazzo Granito: it is a hunting lodge built in the first half of the eighteenth century by Parise Granito, which, with the chapel of Santa Maria del Soccorso, overlooks the pier of Punta Licosa. It represented one of the stays of King Charles of Bourbon, a lover of hunting and fishing and a friend of the family.
- Monument to the fallen of Velella
- Torre di Licosa (ruin): it is a lookout post of Angevin origin (1277), the oldest in the defensive system of Castellabate.
- Torre Cannitiello or “Mezzatorre (ruin): a lookout post that dates back to the period 1567-1569.
- Torre del Semaforo or Torricella (ruin): a lookout post from 1570, located on the hill of Licosa. It owes its name to the fact that it used fire or smoke signals to communicate with the other towers of the coastal strip or with the Abbot’s Castle located at the top of Colle Sant’Angelo.
- Convent Sant’Antonio Abate (ruin): located in the heart of the Lycosan hill and built by the Capuchin monks in the 17th century to offer refuge to the brothers coming from the south. Also used as a traffic light station before the construction of the lighthouse on the island of Licosa.
- Commemorative plaque for the fallen of Velella: placed in 2002 on the Punta Licosa pier, made up of a circular bronze monument depicting the sinking submarine and the list of crew members.
- Coast and marine area: Licosa extends mainly along the sea with the protected marine area of Santa Maria di Castellabate and a varied, indented coast, where rocks, high cliffs, bays and natural coves alternate, characterized by the tranquility of the place, almost never crowded with bathers. The coastal area of Licosa is characterized by the presence of the “Cilento Flysch”, a rare type of rock composed of different layers (typically consisting of cyclical alternations of sandstone, clay or marl, limestone). These prehistoric rocks slowly degrade into the sea extending for more than five miles. In the depths this rocky conformation, formed by numerous cavities and fissures, is used as a refuge by various animal and vegetable organisms. Since 2005, Licosa has been included among the 11 most beautiful beaches in Italy, according to the Legambiente competition “You are the most beautiful” and has been awarded the blue flag for water quality.
- Park and natural paths: the area, the heart of the Cilento, Vallo di Diano and Alburni national park, has various green areas and natural paths, also equipped as botanical paths. The green areas of the area are the Licosa pine forest and the promontory wood, which are crossed by natural paths such as the one between “Ogliastro Marina and Pozzillo” (8.6 km) and the one between “San Marco and Licosa”
- Isola di Licosa (160 meters long and 40 meters wide): it represents the most characteristic natural site of the area, with its dangerous shoals and its clear waters, witnesses of numerous sinkings. The submerged remains of the Greek-Roman city of the same name are visible in its waters, especially those of a Roman villa and a tank for breeding moray eels (dating back to a period ranging from the 1st century BC to the 1st century AD). On the island, where the lighthouse and the ruins of the lighthouse keeper’s house stand, several finds from the Greco-Roman era have been found, such as a slab with an epigraph dedicated to Ceres, a mosaic from the Roman era and numerous Greek ceramics from the 5th century BC, preserved in the National Archaeological Museum of Paestum. The area is pervaded by the myth of sirens. It is believed that the name of Licosa derives from the siren Leucosia, who, according to authors such as Licofrone, Strabo and Pliny the Elder, lived here and was buried here after she jumped into the sea. Also Homer, in the Odyssey, mentions the island of the sirens with their bewitching song, mocked by Ulysses and his crew. But since the island of Licosa was once connected to the promontory, before the coast sank in the 4th century BC, it is believed that the island of the sirens could be the nearby “Secca di Vatolla” (from where it is possible to observe Vatolla), about six meters deep. Aristotle tells of the presence on the islet of a temple dedicated to Leucothea, identified with Leucosia. Other authors, such as Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Sextus Pompeo Festo, argue that the name Licosa is due to a cousin or niece of Aeneas buried on the islet (“Leucosia insula dicta est a consobrina Aeneae ibi sepulta”).