Photo of Pietrapertosa

Visit Pietrapertosa

Pietrapertosa is a village in the region of Basilicata in Southern Italy. It is situated in a mountainous area that is part of the regional park of Gallipoli Cognato Piccole Dolomiti Lucane.

Pietrapertosa is classified as one of Italy's "most beautiful villages".

Explore Pietrapertosa

Italy This Way review: Pietrapertosa village clings to the edge of the rocky slopes of the Lucanian Dolomites. The position of the village in this stunning location and the way it is built amongst the rocks makes the village very attractive to explore.

Pietrapertosa, located on the slope of Monte Impiso, is spread out along the main road that leads to the foot of the chateau perched above the village.


The houses are built amongst the rocks and the rock forms the rear wall of the houses in some cases.

The main church in the village is the Church of San Giacomo Maggiore (Mother church). It was built in the 15th century and its Romanesque structure is very well preserved. It has a large imposing bell tower and inside are some beautiful frescoes.

Another church, located near the entrance to the village, is the Church of San Cataldo and which is thought to date back to the 12th century. It is one of the oldest in the country.

Pietrapertosa castle is located at the highest part of the Basento Valley on top of a rocky cliff at the top of which is a large rock arch which in former times was used as a look-out.

Fortifications here date back to Roman times and because the Basento Valley was an important route between the Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas the fortifications were developed in Norman times. The castle continued to have a defensive role for centuries until it was finally abandoned in the 17th century and fell to ruin.

It is a steep climb to the castle but worth it for the tremendous 360° views over the valley.

At the foot of the castle is the oldest part of Pietrapertosa and this part of the village is called the Arabata after the Arabs who dominated the region at one time. The streets in Arabata are a maize of narrow streets with steep steps and lined with small houses. Cars cannot enter this part of the village.


There is a zip wire between Pietrapertosa and the neighbouring village of Castelmezzano. In fact there are two so that you can do the return zip journey. They start and finish at different points of the villages (as they both need to be downhill).

The "Volo dell'Angello" or "Flight of the Angel" zip wire is amongst the highest and fastest zip wires in the world. You can achieve a speed of up to 120 km/hour.

At Castelmezzano a shuttle bus will take you most of the way to the zip wire but there is still a 20 minute walk to the setting-off point. In Pietrapertosa the start point is a short walk from the village but if you arrive here on the Castelmezzano zip wire a shuttle bus will take you to the village.

The Castelmezzano wire is 1452 meters long. The Pietrapertosa wire is shorter with a steeper drop. In the summer the "Flight of the Angels" zip wire is open every day.

For the less adventurous there is a 2km walk between the two villages but there is a steep downhill to the floor of the valley and then a steep climb back up the other side so be equipped with stout shoes and water.

Because it is a "most beautiful village" and has the zipwire attraction Pietrapertosa is quite a busy village with a number of restaurants and bed and breakfasts should you choose to spend a bit of time here.


Attractions nearby

The neighbouring village of Castelmezzano is also classified as one of "the most beautiful villages of Italy".

Tricarico is worth a visit for its palazzos and churches.

You can find more local travel ideas in and the Basilicata guide.

See also: 

Photos of Pietrapertosa

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Map of Pietrapertosa and places to visit


Pietrapertosa places to visit



Largely unknown to tourism, Tricarico contains a good number of fascinating palazzos and churches

Tricarico guide
Vaglio Basilicata

Vaglio Basilicata

The medieval centre of Vaglio Basilicata is best known for its interesting churches and picturesque paved centre

Vaglio Basilicata guide
Grumento Nova

Grumento Nova

The principal sites of interest in Grumento Nova are the Archaeological Park and Museum of Grumentum and the castle of the Sanseverino

Grumento Nova guide


Matera is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its fascinating troglodyte centre in the Sassi-di-Matera area.

Matera guide


Altamura is a historical town with a fine cathedral and reputedly the best bread in Italy.

Altamura guide


Rivello is a charming medieval village with a good number of notable monuments

Rivello guide

...or see all our recommended places to visit in Basilicata