Basilicata, Italy travel guide: places to visit in Basilicata
As a result of its position in the 'instep' at the south of Italy, Basilicata actually includes two separate areas of coastline, with the Ionian Sea to the south and also a short section of the Tyrrhenian Sea to the west, and an interior covered largely with forests and hills.
Basilicata - a guide and places to visit
The Basilicata region is situated to the south of Italy, with the Ionian Sea to the south-east and the Calabria region to the south-west. The region is divided into two provinces: Potenza (west) and Matera (east).
The inland region of Basilicata is largely the southern part of the Appenines, hence a substantial part of the region is covered by hills and mountains, often covered with trees and forests and in part forming the Pollino National Park, the largest of Italy's National Parks.
While Basilicata has avoided the excesses of tourism and is one of the less visited (and least inhabited) regions of Italy, is is also one of the best regions for discovering the traditional, unspoiled side of Italy.
The region has a mixture of fascinating and often beautiful landscapes that deserves to be explored, combining stunning mountain scenery with small picturesque ports, mountain villages such as Acerenza, Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa, and sites of great historical interest.
The region has been inhabited since prehistory, a history that has left its traces in several important sites across the region.
These include the fascinating city and cave dwellings of Matera (known as Sassi, these are important enough to be included as a UNESCO World Heritage Site), the Greek ruins at Metaponto including the Temple of Hera, and the archaeological park at Grumento Nova.
South-west of here towards the coast the hill village of Rivello is in a very scenic location and has several interesting churches.
Inland and to north-east of these places are the castles at Melfi and Lagopesole and some impressive Roman ruins at Venosa, and also the roman tower and churches at Tricarico. West of Tricarico at Vaglio Basilicata there are further important archaeological site.
On the Tyrrhenian coast to the west of the Basilicata region the lovely port village at Maratea is another highlight of your visit.
You will also discover lovely beaches such as those at Policoro and Metaponto and the many small beaches on the southern coast, and around Policastro to the west.
Film enthusiasts visiting Basilicata might recognise the scenery as being the location for the film 'The Passion of Christ'.
Basilicata highlights - a photo gallery
Most Beautiful Villages - Basilicata
The following Italian towns and villages in Basilicata are listed among the 'most beautiful villages in Italy': Acerenza, Castelmezzano, Guardia Perticara, Pietrapertosa, Venosa
Orange Flag Tourism towns in Basilicata
The town of Valsinni in Basilicata is listed among the 'Orange flag towns in Italy'(a national tourist award)