Basilicata - Travel Guide and Tourism Information for Abruzzo, Italy

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Basilicata, Italy

Provinces: Potenza, Matera

This mountainous region has two coastlines, one in the center of the Gulf of Taranto in the Ionian Sea, and a tiny one on the Tyrrhenian Sea, with the famous sea resort of Maratea. The bare mountain landscapes slope down to the Ionian Sea.

A mainly mountainous region between Apulia and Calabria, heavily forested in the north around Monte Vulture, a large extinct volcano. Many rivers flow down from the southern Appennines into the Gulf of Taranto, irrigating the fertile coastal plain behind Metaponto the birthplace of Pythagoras. One of the most important towns of the Magna Graecia – don’t miss the archaeological site with the Tavole Palatine temple.


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

Caves and underground architectures are connected by steps carved out of the cliffs and are enclosed by dry-stone walls bounding small vegetable gardens. In the area of Matera there is a great number of small churches, some of which are difficult to reach. They were dug right into the tuff or built into natural caves.

Many of the cave churches are decorated with Byzantine decorations and frescoes. Some of these rock churches are of noteworthy interest (S. Maria della Valle, also called La vaglia, S. Maria delle Virtů, S. Maria de Armenis).

In others remnants of frescos of the 12th - 16th centuries have been preserved (Crypt of the Original Sin, S. Lucia alle Malve, S. Nicola dei Greci, S. Giovanni in Monterrone, Madonna delle Tre Porte). One typically furnished sasso is at Sasso Caveoso; the grottoes like this one were inhabitated up to 1952.

The superb cathedral, built with the white stone of the nearby Vaglia quarreys, and looming, with its radiance, over the entire city, eloquently expresses the simplicity and beauty of the Romanesque style.

The striking churches of Santa Lucia, San Francesco di Assisi, Materdomini, del Purgatorio were built during the Renaissance and, later, during the Baroque period.


Is an ideal seaside town for your holiday; with its crystal clear water, unspoiled beaches and many caves and grottoes for diving. In the medieval town visit the 17th century convent of S.Francesco and get an unforgettable panorama if you take a stroll up to the hill where the huge statue of Christ, symbol of Maratea, is situated.

In Melfi visit the 11th-century castle and the Cathedral with its beautiful baroque facade.


The most important sight here, off the main Piazza Prefettura (also known as Piazza Pagano), is the church of San Francesco, which contains a Byzantine-style icon of the Madonna del Terremoto and an elaborate sixteenth-century tomb.

Basilicata, Italy - Travel Guide and Tourism Information
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