Basilicata Travel Guide

Provinces: Potenza, Matera

This region of Italy is a mountainous region and contains two coastlines, one located in the center of the Gulf of Taranto, in the Ionian Sea, and a small coast on the Tyrrhenian Sea. The exposed mountains angle down to the Ionian Sea.

This region is located between Apulia and Calabria, deeply forested in the north around Monte Vulture, an extinct volcano. Several rivers flow from the southern Appennines into the Gulf of Taranto. These rivers help to irrigate the very fertile plains along the coast.

Matera, Italy

The city of Matera “Sassi” is carved out of the rock, formed by one of the most suggestive city environments, it is now a UNESCO-listed World Heritage Site.

You will find many caves and underground areas connected by steps carved out of the cliffs and they are enclosed by dry, stone walls enclosing little vegetable gardens. In the area of Matera, there is a large number of little churches, some of which are very, very hard to get to. These churches were dug right into the ground or built within the area’s natural caves.

Several of the churches built in the caves are decorated with Byzantine decorations and frescoes. Some of these churches are of significant interest.

The splendid cathedral, built with white stone of the nearby Vaglia quarries, looks over the city, powerfully expressing the difficulty and the beauty of the Romanesque style.

Maratea, Italy – Travel and Tourism

Maratea, Italy is a great little seaside town for any Italian holiday. It has crystal clear water, great beaches and several caves and grottoes for the diving enthusiast. In the medieval town try and visit the 17th-century convent of S.Francesco and you will achieve a great panorama if you walk up the hill to the huge Christ statue, a symbol of Maratea itself. While in the region and in Melfi try and find time to see the 11th-century castle and the Cathedral with its splendid baroque facade.

Potenza, Italy – Travel and Tourism

Potenza, Italy is located approximately 820 meters above sea level. It is situated on the hills overlooking the valley of the Basento River. This will be the highest town of any significance in this Region or province, maybe second only to Enna, Sicily.

The history of Potenza and the region traces the origins to the 2nd century BC. The Roman Empire started the colony of Piceni, then during what is known as the Imperial period, it really became a valuable area.