Informations for your holidays in Basilicata
Perched on the instep of Italy’s boot, just west of Puglia, is the beautiful region of Basilicata, a masterpiece of Preolithic cave dwellings, stunningfrescos, forests, medieval hilltop towns and tranquil beaches. Basilicata's dramatic history is influenced by Greek, French, Spanish and Arabian invaders who left their footprint on its Byzantine rock churches, fortified towns and castles. Today they continue to influence Basilicata’s colourful festivals, traditions and exquisite cuisine.
The woods and forests that cover the mountains are dotted with small and charming villages, some even at an altitude of 1000 mt, where pure air, genuine flavors and the beauties of nature are combined with historical vestiges satisfying every curiosity.
Beautiful - yet less traversed than other regions - is the area of the Monticchio Lakes, one of the most spectacular locations in Basilicata. Lake Grande and Lake Piccolo are two splendid stretches of water that fill the two craters of Mount Vulture, now extinct, and are surrounded by thick and lush vegetation.
Even though it is a mainly internal region, Basilicata touches two seas: the Ionian and Tyrrhenian.
The Ionic coast, with the two famous sea resorts of Metaponto and Policoro, offers wide beaches, either sandy or pebbly, and partially surrounded by pinewoods and rows of eucalyptus that give off a lovely scent.
The Gulf of Policastro, on the Tyrrhenian side, has higher and more indented coasts, where steep promontories alternate with small beaches washed by a crystal-clear sea.
The provinces of the region are Potenza (regional capital) and Matera. Matera's Paleolithic setlements, the "Sassi," are inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, along with Matera's numerous rupestrian churches. Taking a walk along the lanes of the Civita, the oldest part of the town, you enter the ancient urban area formed by a dense network of caves, dug out of the rock by shepherds to shelter their family and livestock. It is an ancient architectural work with no design, which gave rise to a real monumental work, attracting millions of visitors from all over the world. This place is so singular that is was chosen by the famous actor and director Mel Gibson as the setting for his movie "The Passion".