TravelGuide Basilicata: Guide Basilicata: Italy - Nozio 0%

Author: il CAMA

Basilicata, Italy

Basilicata is a tiny southern region, occupied for the most part by mountains that in places reached by two seas: the Tyrrhenian sea for a short section of coast line, and the Ionian sea. It is one of the poorest regions in Italy but it boast a piece of prehistory in the modern world: the "Sassi".

These are located at Matera, the second main city of Basilicata, and UNESCO has proclaimed it to be the "heritage of humanity". Matera's Sassi are one of the most peculiar, ancient and extraordinary human settlements in the world, which have drawn the attention of scholars and artists from all over the world (the Italian writer Carlo Levi spoke of them in his famous book "Christ stopped at Eboli"). In the "caves", houses have been dug out of the tufa rock and the walls constructed with the excavated material. Inhabited until recently, the "caves" are now empty and have become the object of projects of cultural and touristic revaluation and restoration.

A visit to the caves of Matera is a truly unique experience. But it is not the only reason to come to this small, secluded, and beautiful region boarded by two seas: the Tyrrhenian and the Ionian. In Basilicata there are Greek ruins (Metaponto), medieval churches and castles (Melfi, Lagopesole), beautiful beaches (Maratea), and unspoilt countryside (Basilicata shares the splendid park of Pollino with Calabria). And Matera does not only have its caves: the remarkable blend of Romanesque and Baroque styles in the Church of S. Francesco, for example, is also fascinating.

Finally, why not plan a visit to Venosa, birthplace of the great and wise Latin poet Horace? Here, among other attractions, it is possible to admire the medieval Abbey of SS. Trinità and other interesting monuments.

(Contents courtesy of ENIT, National Italian Tourist Board)


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