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Transcript of Basilicata
One more trip
The most beautiful villages of Italy
And if you think that is not enought, there are many other intersting places to visit, for example:
In the end, this is what others say of Basilicata...
One more place
One more time...
ONE MORE ITALY
The most beautiful villages in Italy is a private association that promotes some small Italian towns with a status of "strong artistic and historical interest."
Dolomiti Lucane: Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa
The Flight of the Eagle is a zip-wire adventure that offers a ‘hand gliding’ style experience over the park below. It is located in San Costantino Albanese in the Pollino National park, although not for the faint of heart, it is a family friendly experience for up to four people to enjoy together.
The three minute experience begins by being securely harnessed into the specially designed four seat glider. The glider slowly makes its ascent up a 1200m steel cable above the Pollino National Park, providing ample time to take in the magnificent views, once the glider reaches the top it makes an exhilarating free fall decent back down, reaching speeds of up to 80kmph.
THE FLIGHT OF THE EAGLE
An easy walk suitable for everyone (adults and children) in the most beautiful streams of the park.
Discover the fluvial environment of the Pollino having fun in the water with waders (suit with boots), accompanied by a guide. River swimming in the clear waters of the streams of the Park. FUN, RELAX and WELLNESS
Situated in the heart of the Ecological Thermal District stretching along Pollino-Sirino- Maratea, the unspoilt area of Basilicata where the National Park of Pollino reaches its best, Lucanian Spas can be regarded as one of the best expressions of this territory, together with the sea of Maratea, the snows of the Mount Sirino (a skiing resort) and the lake of Senise. Most probably the therapeutic virtues of these thermal waters have been clear since prehistoric times. As a matter of facts, archaeological excavations carried out in the early years of 1900 uncovered votive offerings in the caves of Calda, in the immediate vicinity of the springs. Scholars considered these offerings as holy deposits linked to the “cult of healthy waters”.
Vulture is a volcano who was active until the Pleistocene age, today its slopes are fully covered with a dense and lush vegetation benefited from the natural fertility of soils that develop from rocks volcanic.
Extensive and valuable are the chestnut woods: Brownish Melfi D.O.P. is a protected designation of delicious chestnuts that are produced in these places. In the area of Mount Vulture extends over 1,500 hectares of red grape variety Aglianico. Aglianico del Vulture is in fact considered one of the greatest red wines of Italy. The companies in the area are about forty and produce, annually, about two and a half million bottles.
Basilicata has two fantastic coastlines, The Ionian Coast to the east, with its unforgettable white sand and shallow sea making it perfect for families and the Tyrrhenian Coast to the west, with its dramatic plunging cliffs leading to a network of beautiful sandy coves, perfect for the adventurer.
Rich vegetation, characterised by beech, pine, fir and chestnut woods, create an enchanting frame to the Monticchio Lakes. They formed on the crater of the extinguished volcano.
The Lago Piccolo (Small Lake) and the Lago Grande (Big Lake) are separated by a stream.
They look like two gems that, during the day, reflect the glows of the green nature moulding and confusing themselves in it and, during the night, create a very evocative landscape.
Those who love nature will find in this wonderful scenery the right environment for their explorations and will have a taste of the lightly sparkling water that naturally springs from the streams.
In the summer you can hire pedal boats and investigate the lakes by yourselves. The stately Benedictine Abbey of San Michele overlooks the lakes, high in the forests above it is a wonderfully peaceful place.
HOME TO ITALY’S MOST BEAUTIFUL CASTLE
The medieval town of Melfi is situated in the province of Potenza, at the foot of the extinct volcano; Mount Vulture. The town itself is surrounded by a winding Norman city wall, the only one of its kind in Southern Italy.
Melfi has been inhabited since Neolithic times but begun gaining importance throughout the Middle Ages when it became the Norman Capital of Southern Italy. The spectacular scenery of this medieval village is not to be missed, with its splendid cathedral, Norman walls and rich cultural heritage.
Melfi is most famous for being the chosen headquarters of the Roman Emperor Federico II of Svevia. From here he issued the famous “Constitutiones Augustales” to regulate feudal rights; the imposing stone castle which stands on the hill was said to be his favourite residence.
Emerging from the rock face you will discover what is to be considered as one of the most beautiful castles in Italy, featuring an impressive 10 towers. The castle has been modified by its various residents over the years, and now includes the Archaeological Museum of Melfi which houses a fascinating collection of local artefacts dating back to 8th century BC including a sarcophagus of Asian origin dating back to the 2nd century BC.
The regional cuisine has been influenced by Basilicata’s colourful history and cultural roots, with ingredients originating from Northern European, Spanish, French and Arabic traditions.
The region was historically poor and isolated, and this is reflected in the delicious, rustic ingredients used in their cooking. You will find fresh fish available on the coast and flavoursome home grown vegetables which flourish in the fertile volcanic soil. These traditional, honest dishes are a delight to experience during your Italian escape.
There are still strong religious connections to food in Basilicata, on Christmas Eve nine dishes are served at the table to symbolise the popular belief that Mary knocked on nine doors while seeking shelter to give birth.
Matera is a unique and fascinating town steeped in history. Thought to be one of the world’s oldest towns dating back as far as the Palaeolithic times, Matera is now a popular tourist spot boasting hundreds of ancient caves, rock churches, delicious local cuisine and luxurious boutique hotels.
The most famous part of Matera is the Sassi district, now designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here you can see hundreds of troglodyte dwellings and churches dug out of the rock. Explore. The cave dwellings were lived in until the 1950’s and are the most extensive example of their kind in the Mediterranean.
HISTORICAL NATURAL PARK OF THE ROCK CHURCHES OF MATERA
The Historical Natural Park of the Rock Churches of Matera, known in Italian as the ‘Parco Della Murgia Materana’, is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is situated within the dramatic gorge known as the ‘Murgia Matera’, an area that extends for about 8,000 hectares between Matera and the town of Montescaglioso. The park consists of over 150 rock churches and includes the Sassi district of Matera.
Matera Cathedral dominates Matera from the top of the Sassi district and has been the main social and religious reference point of Matera for many years. It is worth visiting the Cathedral, and the stunning 13th century Byzantine fresco.
The Crypt of the Original Sin
is located just a few kilometres from Matera, along the ancient Appian way, in one of the ravines that criss-cross the plateau of the Murgia park of historical rock churches. Here you will find the “Sistine Chapel” of the rupestrian wall paintings. In a rocky hollow overlooking the limestone cliff, the masterly hand of the “painter of the flowers of Matera” has narrated scenes from the old and new testaments in a cycle of frescos dating back to the 9th century AD. Pre-booking is essential.
A Medieval Hilltop Town in Basilicata
Irsina is a medieval walled town unspoilt by tourism that boasts a variety of valuable historical and religious monuments. Located approximately 50 km from Matera, Irsina was built around the Bradano river which borders the regions of Basilicata and Puglia.
The impressive 13th century cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta is one of the most beautiful in the region. Largely rebuilt at the end of the 18th century, it houses a very fine baptismal font from 1453 and a statue of Saint Eufemia, which is thought to be the only surviving sculpture created by the important Renaissance artist, Andrea Mantagna.
The Aglianico del Vulture is a red wine made from the variety Aglianico cultivated in the Vulture area that is situated in the north-western part of the province of Potenza in the Regione Basilicata in south Italy. In the year 1971 the Aglianico del Vulture wine obtained the certification of controlled designation of origin (denominazione di orgine controllata, DOC) and in 2010 the certification as controlled designation of origin guaranteed (denominazione di origine controllata e garantita, DOCG) for the label Aglianico del Vulture Superiore. It is considered amoung the best vines produced in Italy and carring also the name Barolo of the South due to the similar way in production and taste.
Besides the DOC wines there are also others. The Aglianico dolce, a sweet desert wine with a full body and the Aglianico di Filiano, grown around the small village of Filiano at the southern border of the Vulture area.
The color of the Aglianico wine is ruby garnet red with a try and savoury taste and 11.5-13 % Alcohol. The wine goes very well with meats, especially roasts and wild game.
History says that the grapes was brought to Italy by the greek as Hellenica. The Romans called it Ellenico and used it to improve the quality of the Falerno, a favorite wine of the poets of this time. In the 15th century under the Argons it was finally nomiated as Aglianico.
"Aglianico del Vulture" Wine
In a region so favored by nature such as Basilicata , there are thermal springs with water and sludge suitable for well-being and restore tone to any person .
The Spa of Rapolla , being in one of the most scenic areas and pristine of Basilicata , offer their visitors a stay of peace and tranquility.
Rapolla , situated on the slopes of the Vulture , an extinct volcano (1326 m) in whose crater was formed two lakes Monticchio , has medieval origins and a glorious past as a Norman fortress , as well as the surrounding area of great natural and architectural evidence fine . More recently , however, the history of its thermal discovered only in the early nineteenth century and immediately appreciated for its therapeutic properties of the waters that gush out .
Below the village of Rapolla a river invisible and silent , dark and secret paths along which is enriched with minerals and useful features for beneficial spa treatments . At the end of their journey hidden , the thermal waters flow from three sources .
The spa exploits the natural resources of the calcicbicarbonate-sulphate-salt waters from three springs in the ‘Orto del Lago’ district of Rapolla. These waters are used in balneotherapy for the treatment of dysmetabolic complaints, neurovegetative dystonia, illness of the peripheral nervous system, some neurosis, dysendocrinia, the consequences of some diseases of the joints and chronic skin complaints. Inhalation therapy is the treatment for respiratory problems, complaints of the pharinx, and larynx, of the bronchial tracts, bronchial asthma and asmatic bronchitis. Inhalations promote the fluidification and elimination of residual mucous. The mud baths are ideal for the treatment of fibrocistic complaints such as sciatica, myalgia and peri-arthritic complaints, polyarticular osteoarthritis, spondylarthrosis, Heberden's nodes, rhyzoarthrosis, uricemic rheumatism, neuralgia, radiculalgia and neuritis due to osteoarthritis, gout of the joints, dysmetabolic atropathy of rheumatism, muscular rheumatism, myositis, abdominal residue resulting from cholecystectomy.
Mud paths are also used for cosmetic and beauty treatments.
Once again a wide variety of trips and excursions are available between one treatment and another. Rapolla is situated in an area rich in history and natural beauty. And as if that were not enough, Rapolla and surroundings offer sports facilities such as tennis, swimming, horse-riding and the famous Italian 'bocce' (bowls) and the well-deserved replenishment after all this activity can be found in the very good restaurants and then for taste of the highly esteemed local wine, Aglianico del Vulture, DOC.
Rapolla SPA and Thermal waters
Il volo dell'angelo
Il Volo dell’angelo, or the Flight of the Angel, is one of Basilicata’s most exhilarating tourist attractions and is not for the faint-hearted!
The Flight of the Angel is
the world’s fastest zip wire
, and offers unparalleled views as you fly between two mountain peaks over a stunning valley. Feel an adrenaline rush unlike any other as you travel at speeds of up to 120kph at heights of up to 888m suspended on a wire between the two mountain-top towns.
The flight has two lines, the first, known as the “San Martino” line, starts from Pietrapertosa (altitude 1020m) and arrives in Castelmezzano (arrival altitude 859m) after covering 1415 meters with the top speed of 110 km / h. The “Peschiera” line starts from Castelmezzano (altitude 1019 meters) and arrives in Pietrapertosa (arrival altitude 888m), covering 1452 meters with the top speed of 120 km/h.
Tied in total safety whit a harness, attached to the steel cable, you will live the thrill of flying some minutes in a fantastic adventure, one of the best in Italy and in the world for the beauty of the landscape and the maximum height of flight.
The Lucanian Dolomites
The lunar landscape of the Lucanian Dolomites (Dolomiti Lucane) is found in the Regional Park of Gallipoli Cognato in the heart of Basilicata. This rocky chain of sandstones has a rugged, craggy appearance which likens them to the mountains of the eastern Alps.
The medieval villages Pietrapertosa and Castelmezzano perched on the top of these mountains offer an ideal location for birdwatchers (the inaccessible rock face provides shelter to many birds of prey), rock climbers, trekkers and horse riders as well as mountain bike enthusiasts.
Both villages are members of the Prettiest Villages in Italy Club (I Borghi più belli d'Italia) and the ruins of the fortress walls of a Norman Castle are still visible, with stairs carved into the rock leading to the highest lookout point, dominating over the entire Basento valley.
The village is up at the end of a road full of hairpin bends, a landscape made of intended and sharp pinnacles, sloping rocks and ridges touching the sky that remind a Dolomite scenery but in the very Southern Italy.
Pietrapertosa is inside the Park of Gallipoli Cognato and Dolomites of Lucania, characterized by the fantastic shapes of sandstone.
Entering the village first you have a boulder to cross for getting to the built-up area; Pietrapertosa appears in the form of an amphitheatre, protected by rocks against which the winds of the north break.
In the village there are several chapels that bear witness to the religious sentiments of this peasant society, at the foot of the castle.
The Norman-Suevian castle, even in ruins but is absolutely worth visiting for the unique landscape of rocks, sky and rooftops that can be enjoyed from its top.
This is a very suggestive place, because full of remembrances like those of Constanza d’Altavilla, mother of Frederick II, who would had sat on the "throne of the queen”, carved into the rock.
Going on in to the silence of Pietrapertosa, you will notice many fine portals: those of the ancient mansions that renew their glories every time someone meets a typical rustication or a mask .
Perched on a wall of peaks and pinnacles amid a fantastic rocky landscape, Castelmezzano has preserved its original medieval conformation. It is in fact a cluster of concentric houses set in a terraced rocky hollow, with roofs tiled with sheets of sandstone.
A magnificent scene awaits those arriving at the village, which appears suddenly – as in a coup de théâtre – set like an amphitheater in the rocky wall, right after emerging from a tunnel dug through the rock, after passing through a spectacular gorge.
Lastly, a visit to the ruins of the Norman-Suevian fortress is a must, with its steep, narrow stairs carved into the rock that lead to the highest point, where the lookout of the military garrison watched over the Basento valley below. To climb these fifty steps with hawks circling overhead is a near-mystical experience.
The lucanian Dolomites
The other 3 prettiest villages are spread out in the region:
If you are looking for an Italian get-away with a difference, then the southern region of Basilicata offers a world of unspoilt opportunity. In a country renowned for tourism, Basilicata is refreshingly under-explored and a great contrast with the traditional tourist hubs further north. The result is a reassuring feeling that the locals are still in the majority and, that they too, eat in the restaurants you do.
Located on the Tyrrenhian Coastline to the south west of the region, Maratea is a chic coastal town, with a historic centre, elegant harbour and pebbled coves.
The landscape in Maratea is simply unique. It varies from breath-taking sea views to wooded hillsides and majestic mountains which sweep down to the blue sea. There are over 20 white sandy beaches and pebbled coves here, spread along 19 miles of stunning coastline, which is dotted with numerous sea caves, most of which can only be reached by boat. La Grotta delle Meraviglie is the only sea cave accessible on foot
Maratea’s yacht harbour is 10 minutes by road from its historic centre. Once a fishing harbour, these days it is used primarily to host yachts and other luxury boats. The port has an assortment of shops, pavement cafes and restaurants. In good weather, boats offer excursions to various caves and other parts of the coast.
THE STATUE OF CHRIST THE REDEEMER
The impressive white Statue of Christ the Redeemer dominates the skyline above the village and coast. It is worth climbing the hill above the town, Monte San Biagio, to the 22-metre-high statue which faces inland, with its arms outstretched. Admittance is free and the views will take your breath away.
The beaches around Maratea include many secluded coves accessible by car or the local bus. Winding roads with hairpin bends offer spectacular coastal and mountain views and they pass ruined towers which once guarded the shore. Some of the beaches are Catrocucco, Fiumicello and Macarro (a black sand beach). Other good options for swimming include the beaches at Acquafredda (10 km north) and Marina di Maratea (5 km south) which can be accessed from the coastal road. The Centro Sub Maratea, based in Santa Caterina, offers diving courses and excursions. During the holiday season it is also possible to hire boats or go on a sailing or fishing trip.
Maratea is known as the ‘Cannes’ of Southern Italy, with chic residences and a stunning harbour, it is a popular hidden retreat for the rich and famous. Like Cannes, Maratea hosts a prestigious International Film Festival in August every year with many renowned directors and actors converging on the town in a celebration of film.
The town of Maratea is situated on a hilltop, overlooking idyllic waters. It has charming unspoilt scenery both inland and along the coast, with colourful houses nestled among the trees it really is an undiscovered delight of Southern Italy. The town contains an impressive 44 churches and a white Statue of Christ, ‘Il Redentore’ dominates the skyline above the village and coast. The climb up to the statue is a challenging one, but the panoramic view from the top is well worth the hike and is a vital part of your Basilicata holiday itinerary.
The historic centre of Maratea is built upon the slopes of Monte San Biagio and was recently carefully restored. There are two main piazzas; the charming Piazza Buragli and the Piazza Vitolo which are connected by a narrow street as well as a maze of winding streets and alleyways. Small shops sell a variety of regional speciality foods and crafts including colourful ceramics. The centre is small and an hour or two’s stroll should be enough to do it justice.
In the exclusive area of Marinagri (part of Policoro beach), about 300 acres , along a stretch of three kilometers of pristine beach, next to touristic port, there is Marina of Policoro (is not yet complete) a village made up of a series of small islands and peninsulas on which there are 210 residential units and a 4-star hotel with about 260 beds , that reproduce the themes of spontaneous architecture. Squares, streets , bridges, walkways that meander in a discreet and intimate space where coexist , receptor systems , services and community facilities . In Marina di Policoro you can take advantage of a large number of services: yacht club , 3 bars , 3 restaurants , large shopping areas , convention center and a golf course with 18 holes, expected in an area of 75 acres at the mouth of the river Agri. The botanical garden , the dolphins natural , bird park and lakes for sport fishing complement the area of Marinagri and are a great opportunity for lovers of
Policoro is a picturesque beach resort situated on the Ionian coast, just down from Metaponto. Set in a beautiful location, Policoro is the heart of tourism in the area and is a perfect resort for families due to its fantastic beaches with shallow waters and clean sands as well as many nearby attractions.
The waters around Policoro are so clean that rare breed turtle such as the loggerhead and Dermoncheilde nest on the beaches. The local Turtle Sanctuary monitors this and provides the opportunity to learn more about them.
Policoro offers a variety of popular leisure activities for visitors including exploring the pine forest, trekking, mountain bike, horse riding, archery, sailing, diving and canoeing. A vibrant street market is held on the 27th of every month in Policoro in the main square from 8am.
Film director Francis Ford Coppola, famous for the classic movie trilogy ‘The Godfather’ has his family roots in Bernalda and has recently restored the Palazzo Margherita. This stunning palace was originally built in 1892 and has now been converted into both a family home and luxurious boutique hotel, perfect for a romantic getaway.
The seaside town of Metaponto is located on the Ionian coast, situated on a plain between the rivers of Bradano and Basento. Metaponto offers beautiful, clean beaches and an azure sea making it perfect for family holidays. The variety of restaurants, cafes and hotels make Metaponto popular with tourists during the summer months.
As well as the beautiful coastline, it is possible to visit Greek columns and amphitheatres surrounded by lush vineyards.
Founded by the Greeks in the seventh century BC, Metaponto formed part of the ancient civilisation of Magna Graecia, which once stretched across the bottom of Italy’s boot. The town has a rich archaeological history and has many attractions for tourists including the Archaeological Park where you can see impressive remains of the Palatine tables where knights gathered before heading off to the Crusades. The countryside surrounding the town contains many archaeological sites, and there is another archaeological park further north that has four temples dedicated to the Greek gods Hera and Athena.
Enjoy the calm beaches of Metaponto and Policoro on the Ionian coast, with its clean water, white sand and shallow seas. The gently sloping shoreline makes this area ideal for families with young children.
Pollino National Park is Italy’s largest national park, covering 1960 square kilometres and bridging the regions of Basilicata and Calabria.
It was established in 1992 and includes both natural and archaeological places of interest. The remarkable scenery ranges from snow-capped peaks to ancient forest. The highest peak is Monte Pollino (2248m), where a climb to the summit will be rewarded with views of both the Tyrrhenian and Ionian coasts.
The park also protects a number of rare species including the Apennine wolf, wild cats and otters. There are a number of ways to enjoy Pollino National Park: on foot, by bicycle, on horseback, or for those brave enough, by white water rafting. The park is an ideal location for hiking and offers a mix of stunning views combined with interesting flora and fauna. It is particularly beautiful in the spring but activities like rafting are popular all year round.
Pollino National Park is a home to many rare plant and animal species which can easily be found in the park. There is the Bosnian Pine, or "pino loricato" which is a symbol of Pollino National Park, present just in this Park in all Italy.
The Civita district, which is the oldest and highest group of buildings, dominates and divides the two Sassi areas, Sasso Barisano and Sasso Caveoso. The Sassi district is now undergoing stylish renovations. In the newer area, the Cathedral dominates Matera from high up and has been the main social and religious reference point of the Sassi and the entire town for many years. It is worth visiting the Cathedral, and the stunning 13th Century Byzantine fresco.
Over the past 10 years the Sassi has undergone extensive re-development and now hosts some incredible and luxurious cave hotels, private homes and restaurants, lovingly restored to enhance their original features. Explore this complex network of caves, churches, streets, stairways, archways and terraces on foot to experience the best of the city and don’t forget to check out the stunning Cave Hotels for a unique way to discover Basilicata.
Matera is elected European Capital of Culture 2019
Through the massive gateway is the new town, with all the amenities for convenient living, from banks to supermarkets, post office and bars. A wider variety of shops can be found just 40 kilometres away in Matera.
Irsina is divided between its old town that sits snugly within its medieval stone walls, and the new town which sits outside. To enter the old town you pass through an impressive gateway that leads to the main piazza, which has a double row of olive trees leading off to Cathedral. Its narrow, winding streets lie behind ancient walls, which hold clues to Irsina’s varied past, displaying a myriad of architectural styles and art.
is traditionally an agricultural and rural region. Basilicata is a fascinating area steeped in history and natural beauty. With stunning countryside, historical and atmospheric towns and villages, sandy beaches and excellent local cuisine; visitors will leave with the desire to return.
The bread of Matera
(Protected Geographical Indication) is one of the few having this appellation in Italy and is the only one in the Region of Basilicata. It has its origins in Matera, Miglionico and in Irsina and has obtained the temporary protection IGP. It can consequently be produced throughout the Province.
The bread of Matera can be defined as an archaeological product of Mediterranean alimentary tradition. Its excellent and unforgettable flavour, scent, brown colour of crust and pale yellow of crumb allowed this regional product in the earth of Southern Italy to emerge in comparison with the big and diversified production of Italian breads.
Walking through the historic center one is struck by the unreal presence of rock incorporated in the buildings, the countless steep stairs that intertwine and invite you to climb to the peaks above and enjoy the fabulous scenery of the “Lucanian Dolomites,” whose rugged, craggy appearance likens them to the mountains of the eastern Alps (although here they are of a different rock type, a compact sandstone).
The rock is always there: porticos cut into it connect narrow streets and tiny squares, once a place for meeting and socializing.
Perched on a cliff of tuff more than 800 meters above sea level, it is truly the caelsae nidum Acherontiae, the “eagle’s nest of Acerenza” described by the Latin poet Horace, born in nearby Venosa.
The layout of the town is that of the typical medieval walled village. To those arriving from Puglie, Acerenza shows its northeastern side in all its imposing compactness, highlighting the rear complex of the Cathedral, harmonizing with the urban fabric and with the uniform building materials (local sandstone) and color of the façades and roofs. The imposing 11th-century Cathedral, in a Romanesque-Cluniacensian style, towers above the rest of the village skyline.
Leaving the cathedral, after admiring the 16th-century former court building, which stands out for its beautiful Mediterranean romanella, one may stroll through the tiny streets of the historic center and linger before the impressive 18th-century aristocratic residences, with their stone doorways, embellished with simple sculptures or the coats of arms of venerable Acerenza families.
Facing Largo Gianturco is the old Curia building, which occupies part of the old Lombard-Norman-Suevian castle, partially rebuilt in the 1950s. Near the San Canio gate is the 18th-century Palazzo Gala, with a romanella cornice and portals in carved stone. Opposite stands the noble San Vincenzo chapel, also from the 18th century, with a stucco-decorated cross vault.
Called "the village of stone houses"; Guardia must be walked through slowly, catching the benevolent looks of women from the doors of their houses, it is not rhetorical to think that when Francesco Rosi came to shoot the sequences of "Christ stopped at Eboli," he felt that it had a village atmosphere that has been lost elsewhere. A perfect neorealist setting, where the linen hanging between alleys is less careless than the housing materials that have been ruined in a lot of other old towns.
Stone proudly resists in Guardia Perticara. The Gorgoglione stone gives life and importance to its portals, stairs, arches and galleries and marries well with the wrought iron balconies and definitely with the fresh air that carries the smell of woods in the streets without encountering any resistance.
The stone carved by craftsmen and the red brick vaults let visitors know that this village is seriously involved in regaining its identity. This can be seen thanks to its many renovations and, finally, by the new cast iron lighting that revives of the old toponyms and signs. There is still a lot to do but in the meantime slovenliness has been banned.
It´s beautiful going up the stairs that climb to the castle, where it dominates the entire valley of Sauro (700 m height), walking along charming streets, where houses made in stone still have the traditional old bent tiles, the ancient windows frames and the architectural details of a masterly secular building technique.
It is easy to get lost in this stony greyness which is like the emblem of a life that needs to be redeemed, that wants to open new pages in the landscape of the South, finding sense in a community destroyed by emigration and now ready to regain their village.
This village inspires confidence because it´s beautiful, humble and simple.
The true symbol of Venosa is the Unfinished Church of the Trinity, an evocative symphony in stone, which seduces the observer by its very incompleteness. In 1915 Norman Douglas wrote in his travel diary Old Calabria: “The city’s greatest architectural beauty is the Benedictine Abbey of the Trinity, now in ruins... The ruin is a place of rare enchantment: it is not easy to find relics of Roman, Jewish and Norman life crammed into such a small area, held together by the massive but beautiful architecture of the Benedictines while at the same time permeated by a Mephistophelian spirit of modern indifference”.
In the Archaeological Park one can visit the Roman baths, remains of private Roman houses (domus) and the amphitheatre. Archaeological excavations have also brought to light a patrician house of the 1st century AD, called “the House of Horace,” Jewish catacombs containing a series of hypogei discovered in 1853 (the presence of a large Jewish community is attested to by numerous epigraphic and artistic remains), as well as a Palaeolithic site dating to a time period 600,000-300,000 years ago.
Little of the Longobard castle remains, while the massive structure of the Aragonese castle, still watches over the daily life of this ancient village. On the western tower the del Balzo coat of arms can be seen, depicting a blazing sun. This rugged castle, with its four cylindrical towers, was later transformed into a elegant residence by the Gesualdo family,
Abounding in artistic fountains, among the most beautiful are the Angevin (1228), that of Messer Oto (1313) and the 15th-century San Marco fountain.
Venosa also boasts examples of splendid civic architecture. The most remarkable include the 18th-century Palazzo Calvino, with its elegant façade, the Palazzo del Balì, begun in the 14th century, seat of the religious order of the Knights of Malta, Palazzo Dardes and Palazzo Lauridia, both 18th-century constructions, and the imposing Palazzo Rapolla, which dates to the second half of the 17th century.
Francis Ford Coppola Boutique Hotel
The Italy’s largest national park
Pollino National Park
Immersed in the verdant scenery at an altitude of about 660 m, stretch the two lakes Monticchio typical volcanic lakes occupying the main crater of the volcano existed during its final stages of activity.
On the slopes there are several establishments for bottling mineral water and numerous towns, including: Melfi, Rapolla, Barile, Rionero in Vulture and Atella.
The result of an ancient volcano...
Unique and original forms of rock-cut architecture capable of suggesting scenarios and fairy-tale atmosphere.
Made of stone and arranged on different levels, they form a harmonious composition capable of providing a glance that arouses interest and curiosity 'especially to those who observe them for the first time.
These caves were built around 1300, inside them are equipped with tanks cut into the tufa rock, for processing and fermentation of grapes (wine presses).
The town of Craco is Located In The Hills Above The Lucananian Appennines, halfway between the mountains and the sea. If you are travelling between Matera and the Pollino National Park, MAKE CRACO A STOP ON YOUR ITINERARY. Due to recurring earthquakes and landslides in the mid-twentieth century, the town’s 1,800 Inhabitants Were Forced To Abandon their homes, leaving Craco completely uninhabited. Hardly touched since then, the town is known to locals as ‘THE GHOST TOWN’, where time stood still.
The Atmosphere In The Narrow Streets Is Eerie, and in addition there is a warning for falling debris, however, around the town impressive ravines can be admired. You are NOT PERMITTED TO WALK THROUGH THE RUINS UNACCOMPANIED. The view of the town on approach is quite spectacular and it is possible to Walk Up To The Castle’s Tower At The Summit To Admire An Amazing Panorama.
Making various ‘top 10 ghost towns’, Craco has made a name for itself as a must see location. Because of its unique landscape CRACO HAS BEEN USED AS THE BACKDROP FOR A NUMBER OF MOVIES including Mel Gibson’s ‘The Passion of the Christ’.
Skiing is becoming increasingly popular in this region, Basilicata has three different ski resorts which offer high quality slopes and facilities for all ages.
The resort of La Sellata-Pierfaone situated in the town of Abriola, is the most popular resort due to its stunning location, breath-taking views and its well-equipped skiing centres. The resort has ten slopes which offer 8km of runs at an altitude ranging between 1350 and 1740 metres,
Area Sirino is located in Lagonegro in the north of the region. The mountain of Sirino-Papa Massif is the second highest peak in the Southern Apennines, standing at 2005m altitude and Mount Sirino at an altitude of 1900m.
For beginners there is a well-equipped ski school. There is also an abundance of good restaurants and nice hotels in the surrounding towns which attract tourists to this resort.
The resort of Volturino-Viggiano is situated 88km from Potenza in Val d’Agri and is nestled between the mountains Vulturino and Viggiano. Volturino-Viggiano is a well appreciated ski resort with seven runs in total, at an altitude ranging between 1400 and 1865 metres.
POLLINO NATIONAL PARK
The Pollino National Park in winter is a perfect cross-country area. Experienced guides can find the best places to see, and after you can enjoy the many delicious local dishes.
The ‘calanchi’ characterise the rough landscape of south-eastern Basilicata, surrounded by the Sauro, the Agri and the Basento valleys. In this part of the region, it is possible to notice parallel or fan-shaped furrows, created by surface water erosion on clayey slopes, called ‘calanchi’ and perfectly described in Christ stopped at Eboli by Carlo Levi.
The land in this area is bare and rich in white clay, steep and characterised by precipices and valleys excavated by water erosion. A regional park is being established to protect and preserve the natural and landscape characteristics of the area.
It will include the towns of Aliano, Stigliano and Gorgoglione in the Matera area and the towns of Armento, Corleto Perticara, Gallicchio, Guardia Perticara, Missanello and S. Martino d'Agri in the Potenza area.
"Palmenti" of Pietragalla
Craco, the ghost city
Ski in Basilicata
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and hope to see you soon in
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