Contursi Terme and the Tanagro estuary
Spirituality and prodigious waters
Contursi Terme stands on a hilltop with a beautiful view over the Sele valley. Its tiny alleys, streets and squares are full of colourful houses with their traditional stone portals. There are also elegant buildings owned by the most influential families in the history of Contursi Terme, as well as several religious buildings, testifying to the strong religious spirit of the village. Among these is the Church of the Santissimo Bambino Gesù (Holy Infant Jesus), which houses a 15th-century wooden statue of the Infant Jesus. The statue is linked to many miraculous events and is worshipped by the residents.
Why it is special
In Contursi Terme, however, architecture and spirituality are not the only attractions. Also nature and water have a very strong relevance in the life of the village. The many springs that concentrate in this area, in fact, have been known since the dawn of time as the most prodigious ones and have given rise to today's spas that offer the opportunity to relax or simply enjoy a nice holiday.
Not to be missed
Contursi Terme is crossed by no less than two rivers, the Tanagro and the Sele. The most beautiful view is from the top of the village. From there we can see the Tanagro flowing into the Sele and continuing down to the sea, after having travelled through its valley and the Vallo di Diano, and having received the waters of many other streams along its path. For those who want to experience the river a little more closely, there is a walk that leads from the village to the banks of the Sele, immersed in lush vegetation. Along the way there are fifteen thermal springs with well-known curative properties.
A bit of history
The area of Contursi has been inhabited since the dawn of time, but it was only at the fall of the Roman Empire that a real urban centre arose. In fact, history reveals that the people who lived on the hill took refuge inland, where they built their fortified town and even a castle to avoid frequent attacks and destruction by barbarians and Saracens. From the 14th century onwards, the village was destroyed and rebuilt many times by various conquerors who wanted to gain control of this strategic point overlooking two rivers.
Good to know
The Sele is the natural habitat of a wide variety of aquatic and land animals, thanks to the healthy and clean conditions of its waters. The Mediterranean brown trout is one of the current environmental indicators of healthiness. Moreover, ichthyological surveys have shown the persistence of a residual population of native Mediterranean trout, believed to have disappeared. With the aim of ensuring the survival and replenishment of the native trout some artificial reproduction programs have been recently launched.
Credit to: Gianfranco Vitolo