Holidays in Basilicata, Italy

Located in the south of Italy, in what could be described as the instep of the boot, Basilicata is a dry and arid region that nevertheless has two coastlines. One part borders the Ionian Sea in the Gulf of Taranto, while there is a tiny stretch on the Tyrrhenian Sea, which is home to one of the biggest resorts in the area, Maratea. Basilicata is most famous for its ancient ruins and archaeological finds and, unsurprisingly, many of the best attractions in the region are museums and outdoor interactive parks dedicated to some of the amazing finds that have been made nearby.

Matera

Matera is one of the main towns in Holiday home in Italy and is home to some amazing rock structures, which were built into the nearby cliffs and ravines. The Sassi are the caves that were first home to prehistoric man and later to monks. More spectacular is the collection of 150 rock churches that have been built on mountainsides in ravines, some in areas that are now very difficult to reach! There are tours of the best and most accessible churches in the summer months. There are also a number of museums in Matera, dedicated to medieval art, peasant culture, contemporary sculpture and archaeology.

Archaeological sites

Two of the most impressive archaeological sites are the Greek ruins in Metapanto and the Roman artefacts in Venosa. The Greek relics in Metapanto include the remaining columns of a the Palatine Table or temple, while in Venosa there are a number of Roman buildings that can still be visited. Highlights include the amphitheatre, which is located within the town’s archaeological park, and the baths, which though ruined are still fairly complete. There are also the ruins of a typical Roman house, and the artefacts found nearby can be seen in the National Archaeological Museum in the town.

Maratea

If the kids, or even the adults, have had enough of trailing round ruins in the hot, Italian sun, then everyone will appreciate a break at the seaside resort of Maratea. There are plenty of places to stay and eat, as well as pleasant sandy beaches, though these do get very busy on summer weekends. Maratea itself has a pleasant old town, and if you can manage it, the climb to the top of the San Biagio Mountain is worth it for the view over the coast. There is a chapel and a sculpture of San Biagio himself on top of the mountain, which are both part of an important and lively festival held in the town during May.


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