— Tiziana Rinaldi Castro, Director of Literary Programs
As you come into the Parco Nazionale del Cilento, Vallo di Diano e Alburni, you will wonder how such a magnificent landscape has escaped you until now. Its ancient towns perched on tops of steep hills will charm you, its rich olive groves in the shadow of ridges sweetened by chestnuts and elms will move you, its rivers and bubbling streams following sinuous paths through thick woods of pine trees, beeches, and firs, all the way to the rocks overhanging beaches lapped by the Tyrrhenian sea will enchant you.
Our land is hidden behind the mountains, our history chiseled in the stones our roads are made of, buried beneath the waves of the deep sea. It speaks volumes to the archeologist, the historian, the art critic, the cartographer, but keeps silent to most travelers about its secrets. The song of tender and harsh beauty it whispers as you journey through it, is unforgettable, however, and you will pause.
You will ask yourself whose people does the land belong to, but it is a backward question: it is the land that molds its people and ends up recalling them. And so be it, we are mountain people, famously stubborn, and following in the path of a past as impervious and secluded as the peaks surrounding the valley, in which century after century, our borghi were built, struggled, thrived, were tried by famine, wars, earthquakes, volcanoes eruptions, and blessed by harvests, vintages, holy apparitions, and the passage of great men and women, who either quietly or rambunctiously, made our history.
We have been farmers and shepherds, artisans and people of letters and the cloth, we have fought with pitchforks and rifles to defend what was ours, an idea, or our freedom. We have endured both domination and migrations- in and out- and known long journeys, solitude and seclusions, to search for the beyond; we have traveled afar. It has been a difficult, beautiful, long journey, spanning 4000 years.
Through the ages we have changed names a few times, we have been the Samnites, the Lucanians; a colony of Magna Grecia; we have fought for the Romans, we have tried to resist the Normans and the Prussians, then the Austrians, the French, the Spaniards, the French once again.
The encounter of the other with this land has been frequently a fatal affair: from coast to coast, since the times of God-like Odysseus and semi-God Aeneas, emperors and philosophers, sailors and kings, poets and bandits, monks and political prisoners have all been struck, arriving here. And whether by force or in peace, in the end they have called our land home and longed to return once gone.
You too will be struck when you come, you will be moved, and you’ll consider returning.
And as you spend time here, you’ll be surprised at your ability to slow down. Even, as you smile at our stillness while we sit in the square on any afternoon, you will reconsider the expression “passing the time” as you sit in the square too; and though we are not as ceremonious as our seaside cities neighbors, you shall be pleased at our genuine pleasure to host you.
The rest is weaved in sounds, scents, and the miraculous light of the Mediterranean. Awaiting you here to craft the words to tell it in your voice.
The odyssey and our home
Dates: Monday, July 15th, 2019 - Wednesday, 24th, 2019
(10 Days / 9 Nights)
Cost: $4,500 per person (double occupancy)
Single Occupancy Supplement - $500
Deposit: $1,500 due by May 30, 2019
Cancellation Policy: $1,500 deposit is non-refundable, except in the event that the Gathering is cancelled by the Host.
*Your place is confirmed once the deposit is received.*
For further information and to review our cancellation policy, please review the Payment and Cancellation section on our FAQs page.
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