The charming places to see in the surroundings of Matera in Basilicata are little gems to be discovered. Here are our suggestions:
- Ionian Coast and MAGNA GREECE (45 minutes/1 hour by car): stretches of fine golden sand are combined with a crystalline sea that was crossed a time from the ancient ships of the Greeks and Romans. Metaponto, the heart of Magna Grecia where Pythagoras lived and died , preserves the remains of its National Archaeological Museum and the ruins of the houses and temples, like the Palatine Tables, the remains of the temple of Hera. The area of Ancient Greece also pervades the nearby Policoro, the ancient Heraclea, with the acropolis of the city inside the archaeological site, the sacred spaces that refer to the cult of Dionysus and Demeter and the exhibits kept in the Museo Archeologico Nazionale della Siritide.
- DOLOMITI LUCANE (1 hour by car): Situated in the Apennines the Lucan Dolomites form the heart of the homonymous Regional Natural Park (which extends to the forests of Gallipoli Cognato). The small dolomites are called the the most famous trivenete mountains for the morphological similarity. The birth of the mountain range, overlooking the central part of the Basento valley, dates back to 15 million years ago. The beautiful towns of Pietrapertosa and Castelmezzano offer the experience of the ANGEL FLIGHT (a steel cable suspended between the peaks of Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa allows you to try out for a few minutes the thrill of the flight: a unique adventure in Italy but also in the World for the beauty of the landscape and for the maximum overflight height). Pietrapertosa is the highest town in Basilicata and is part of the Club’s most beautiful little towns in Italy, which includes nearly 200 locations along the entire peninsula, and in which there is also Castelmezzano.
- THE VULTURE (1 hour and a half by car): The Vulture is an extinct volcano that has given life to a rich environmental heritage, where the places of natural type are related to the presence of forests, springs (water Lilia, Gaudianello and Sveva), sub-mountain streams and vineyards (which produce the wine Aglianico del Vulture). The most charming places of this aerea are: Venosa, Melfi and the Monticchio lakes. Venosa is one of the 200 “most beautiful villages in Italy”: birthplace of the great Horace, one of the greatest poets of the Roman era and the cradle of an artistic heritage of priceless beauty, such as the Abbey of the Holy Trinity, the Roman Archeological Park, the Castle of Pirro del Balso, now the seat of the National Archaeological Museum, the Paleolithic site of Notarchirico and the Jewish Catacombs. Melfi, a city dear to the Normans and to Frederick II (in Melfi he issued the “Constitutiones Augustales”, the largest legislative work of the Middle Ages), was built around the imposing castle which now houses the National Archaeological Museum (with ancient objects from the VII c. BC to the XVII century: the most important is the Sarcophagus of Rapolla, a magnificent funerary monument from the Roman period). Finally the Monticchio Lakes, located at the south western aquifer of Mount Vulture, occupy the craters of the old volcano. Just above the lakes, there is the Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo that was built in the VIII century A.D., around a cave inhabited by Byzantine monks.