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Holiday in Cilento Region

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Hello all,

My husband and I are hoping to holiday in Cilento next year. I have been searching the web for inspiration but most of the articles are from some years ago -I have found these two helpful threads:
http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/cilento-where-to-stay.cfm
http://www.fodors.com/community/europe/cilento-where-to-base-on-a-week-long-trip.cfm

I was hoping that you may be kind enough to share your experiences of this region with us. Any travellers tales, tips or insights would be welcome, and several specific questions I have are:

Location: We are hoping to base ourselves on the coast, as near to the sea as possible. We would prefer somewhere quiet with a little eatery or two, the lapping of the waves and a sandy beach. I am stuck between one of the 'bigger' towns such as Santa Maria, San Marco, Acciaroli or one of the tiny villages such as Marina di Pisciotta. Also not sure whether to choose the northern part as mentioned above or somewhere more southern, like Scario. What are there different 'atmospheres' in the north/south Cilento and the different towns?

Accommodation: I am stuck between going for a hotel, and possibly paying up to £1500 for a week (I don't need - or want - an upmarket hotel, but don't want a rubbish one either! This seems to be the going rate for a nice beach side hotel) or whether to take a risk and go Air B&B (a lot cheaper and maybe we would get a more authentic experience - but I'm very worried about Air B&B host cancelling on us...) Also I am reading about Agrotourismo? but not sure what this means and they don't seem to be right on the coast...so, where do people stay and where can you recommend?

Day trips: I had intended to visit Naples, seems as though we would be flying in there but now I am thinking forget Naples, come straight to Cilento and definitely a trip to Pasteum. What other trips/activities do people recommend? As we are there for a week, we would like maybe 2 days out exploring and 4 or 5 days just chilling and enjoying the coast and beaches.

Car hire: How easy is it to hire a car from Naples and drive down? We have never driven in Italy before, it looks quite crazy!

Thanks so much, I look forward to planning my wonderful holiday with your help and getting to know you all. A bit about me: married with teenage stepchildren and cats, and a houseful of books. Vegetarian. I love Rome and have been 3 times, best food I've ever eaten. I went to Paris in February and adored that, too, especially Notre Dame and Shakespeare and Co, but the food was no good for a veggie, I lived 4 days of cheese and pastries and came back 6 pounds heavier. My heart is with Italy. I would actually like to learn more Italian and am thinking of taking a course.

J xxx

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