Discover stunning beaches, rugged granite peaks and ancient cave dwellings in Basilicata. This enchanting region shares a border with the mountainous areas of Puglia and Calabria, as well as the shimmering Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas. Parts of Basilicata are defined by rolling hills and lush valleys. Venture inland to discover dramatic mountain scenery. On the coast, you’ll find pebble beaches, honey-coloured limestone cliffs and picturesque seaside resorts.
Things to do in Basilicata
Charming towns and villages dot the Tyrrhenian coast. Base yourself in Maratea, a postcard-perfect town surrounded by beautiful beaches. Fiumicello is one of the prettiest, with sparkling water and silver-pebble sand. Enjoy the views from breezy waterfront restaurants or dine at traditional trattorias in the historic centre.
Step back in time in the hilltop city of Matera. Beneath the city are hundreds of caves and grottoes carved into the limestone cliffs. Some date back to the Palaeolithic era, making Matera one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Several caverns are reimagined as living history museums and others house centuries-old churches like St. Lucia alle Malve. Inside, you can admire beautiful frescoes painted in the 13th century. You’ll also find boutique hotels and chef-driven restaurants in the caverns of Matera.
Parco Nazionale del Pollino protects almost 2,000 square kilometres of granite peaks and pine forests. Hike to scenic viewpoints and visit Romito Cave, an ancient dwelling decorated with prehistoric rock art. The park is home to Apennine wolves, though you’re more likely to spot peregrine falcons, salamanders and deer.
Basilicata’s cuisine is heavily influenced by the sea and mountains. Spezzatino di agnello, a rich lamb stew cooked in clay pots, is a local specialty. You’ll see “lucanica” pork sausages served across the region. Enjoy creamy “cacioricotta” soft sheep’s cheese slathered on a slice of “pane di Matera” bread. Pair your meal with a glass of Aglianico, a rustic and full-bodied red wine produced in Basilicata.
Getting around Basilicata
All cities, towns and villages in Basilicata are compact and easy to get around on foot. Rental cars offer the freedom to explore Basilicata at your own pace. Trains run between Bari and Matera in 1.5 hours and Bari International Airport is a one-hour drive from Matera.