basilicata ok 3


Basilicata or Lucania? It’s the same. At least since  1175, when  the word “Basilicata” appeared on a document for the first time. It is unique in Italy with  “the choice of its name” and it shows off a number of landscapes that suddenly change in a few kilometres to justify the definition of “mountainous land of the two seas”, the Tyrrhenian and the Ionian. There are plenty of keys to the understanding of this region and many international directors haven’t missed the chance to use this natural reservoir: the sceneries of Basilicata have been the background of about forty movies since 1949 among which The Passion, starring Mel Gibson that was shot in Matera.

A surprising land to be discovered along a number of routes that include Matera and its Stones under the aegis of Unisco since 1993, the fertile Vùlture with Frederic II of Svevia’s castles and the Lucanian Dolomites, the small villages sheltered on the hills, the memories from Magna Greece of Metaponto and the transparent sea of Maratea and then the parks.
The County town is Potenza, with its medieval city but Matera is the most famous town, known for its stones - a unique urban plan – that covers a surface of thirty-six hectares: a spectacular landscape made of narrow streets, wide stares, very narrow alleys that reach the houses, the ones on top of the others so that the terraces and roofs very often coincide. All around tuff quarries sparkling in the sun, clefts, caves, palaces and churches that are excavated in the rock. A unique world that offers priceless views of Sasso Caveoso and Sasso Barisano separated by the spur on the top of which there is the cathedral built in 1230. Matera also attracts for its Roman churches dating back to the XIIIth century and the baroque ones dating back to the second half of the XVIth century.

After visiting Matera you shouldn’t miss the Northern spire of the region, crowned by the extinct crater of Vùlture whose forests are covered in castles where the personality of Frederic II is still in the air and the Pollino National Park on the border with Calabria and the Lucanian Dolomites also deserve a visit. The Tyrrhenian coast stretches along thirty kilometres looking out on the wide Policastro gulf, embellished with olive trees and a luxuriant Mediterranean vegetation. In this part of the region Maratea stands out – with its statue of Christ the Redeemer, 21 metres high on the top of Monte San Biagio - the most famous sea resort in the region with its sea bed full of fish. Along the ionic coast you can discover the Magna Greece: a few minutes from the coast and its golden sand there is Metaponto, one of the most important archaeological sites in Italy.

Luciana Francesca Rebonato

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