Sapri is an elegant seaside town located on the border between Campania and Basilicata and set against a backdrop of green hills and majestic mountains overlooking the beautiful Gulf of Policastro. It has been a popular holiday resort since roman times, when Cicero called it "a small gem of the southern sea". It is just as popular today with its long, wide promenade packed with bustling bars and restaurants leading to a wide, sandy beach and the crystal clear water of the Gulf. The town itself is full of charm and character with narrow streets leading to an open and attractive town square.
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Lungomare (seafront) - Photo: Ferdinando Chiodo
Sapri also played an important part in the history of Italy. In 1857 Carlo Pisacane landed at Sapri with 300 men in an attempt to defeat the Bourbons. The event was written about in a famous poem by Luigi Mercantini in which their fate is described: "They were three hundred, they were young, strong and dead!"
Although unsuccessful, the event fueled anti-bourbon feeling, leading to the formation of Garibaldi's army and the eventual unification of Italy. The story is commemorated with a bronze statue of the 'Spigolatrice of Sapri' lying on a rock out at sea as if awaiting the arrival of the three hundred. Every August the town holds a re-enactment of the battle.
Spigolatrice di Sapri - Photo: Riccardo Pesce
The nearby resort of Villamare is worth a visit as are the neighbouring resorts of Policastro and Scario. Boat hire and trips along the coast are available from the port at Sapri and there is a ferry that departs daily for the Amalfi coast and Naples. With easy access to the principal roads of the area, Sapri is the perfect base for exploring the nearby Cilento National Park or travelling inland to enjoy the spectacular scenery of Monte Sirino. The charming town and lovely beaches of Maratea are only a few miles to the south.
Population density: 493.9 per square km
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