Options & Booking
Basilicata, Italy in a Nutshell

Basilicata, Italy: Your Guide to Ancient Cave Dwellings, Dramatic Landscapes, and Undiscovered Treasures

Imagem de Sassi di Matera, Basilicata


A Brief History and Tourist Overview of Basilicata

Basilicata, a region in southern Italy, is a hidden gem known for its ancient history, dramatic landscapes, and unique cultural traditions. It was once home to the Lucanians, an ancient Italic people, and later ruled by the Romans, Byzantines, and Normans. Today, Basilicata is a region off the beaten path, offering a glimpse into authentic Italian life, ancient cave dwellings, stunning mountain scenery, and delicious cuisine.

Reasons to Choose Basilicata for Your Next Vacation

  • Sassi di Matera: Explore the Sassi, ancient cave dwellings that have been inhabited since the Paleolithic era, now a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Dramatic Landscapes:Discover the rugged beauty of the Lucanian Dolomites, the Pollino National Park, and the volcanic Mount Vulture.
    Imagem de Pollino National Park
  • Charming Towns and Villages: Wander through the historic centers of Matera, Potenza, Melfi, and other charming towns, with their medieval castles, baroque churches, and picturesque squares.
  • Unique Cuisine: Savor Lucanian specialties like peperoni cruschi (crispy peppers), pasta with wild boar ragu, and local cheeses like Pecorino di Filiano.
  • Off-the-Beaten-Path: Experience the authentic Italy in Basilicata, away from the tourist crowds, and discover hidden gems.

1. Transportation Options

  • Airports: Bari Karol Wojtyła Airport (BRI) is the closest major international airport to Basilicata.
  • Trains: Trenitalia operates regional and intercity trains connecting major cities and towns in Basilicata.
  • Buses: A reliable and affordable way to travel between cities, towns, and villages, operated by various companies.
  • Car Rental: The best option for exploring the region at your own pace, especially the smaller towns and countryside.

2. Main Cities, Regions, and Accommodation

  • Matera: A UNESCO World Heritage site, known for its Sassi, ancient cave dwellings carved into the rock.
    • Luxury: Sextantio Le Grotte della Civita, Palazzo Gattini Luxury Hotel
    • Mid-Range: Locanda di San Martino Hotel & Thermae Romanae, Corte San Pietro
    • Budget: L'Ostello dei Sassi, B&B Il Rione
  • Potenza: The capital city, with a modern feel, a historic center, and a lively atmosphere.
    • Luxury: Grande Albergo Potenza, Hotel Pretoria
    • Mid-Range: Hotel San Michele, B&B Ai Quattro Venti
    • Budget: Ostello Bello Basilicata, Hotel Giubileo
  • Melfi: A historic town with a Norman castle, a cathedral, and a museum dedicated to the region's history.
    • Mid-Range: Hotel Melfi, La Locanda del Cavaliere
    • Budget: B&B Al Duomo, Hotel San Giorgio

3. Top Tourist Attractions

  • Sassi di Matera: Explore the ancient cave dwellings, churches, and museums of this UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Castel del Monte: A mysterious octagonal castle built by Emperor Frederick II, a UNESCO World Heritage site.
  • Pollino National Park: Hike through this breathtaking park, home to mountains, forests, and diverse wildlife.
  • Vulture Melfese: A volcanic area with vineyards, castles, and charming villages.
  • Metaponto:An archaeological site with the remains of a Greek temple and theater.
    Imagem de Metaponto
  • Maratea:A coastal town known as the "Pearl of the Tyrrhenian Sea," with beautiful beaches and a statue of Christ the Redeemer.
    Imagem de Maratea

4. Sample Itineraries

  • 3 Days: Matera (3 days)
  • 5 Days: Matera (2 days) + Melfi and Vulture Melfese (1 day) + Pollino National Park (2 days)
  • 7 Days: Matera (2 days) + Melfi and Vulture Melfese (1 day) + Pollino National Park (2 days) + Maratea (2 days)
  • 10 Days: Matera (2 days) + Melfi and Vulture Melfese (1 day) + Pollino National Park (2 days) + Maratea (2 days) + Metaponto and the Ionian Coast (3 days)

5. Best Times to Visit

  • Spring (April-June) and Autumn (September-October): Pleasant temperatures, blooming wildflowers in spring, and colorful foliage in autumn.
  • Summer (July-August): Warm weather, ideal for beach holidays and outdoor activities, but also the busiest time.

6. Holidays in Basilicata

    • New Year's Day (January 1)
    • Epiphany (January 6)
    • Liberation Day (April 25)
    • Labour Day (May 1)
    • Republic Day (June 2)
    • Ferragosto (August 15)
    • All Saints' Day (November 1)
    • Immaculate Conception (December 8)
    • Christmas Day (December 25)
  • St. Stephen's Day (December 26)

7. Useful Tips

  • Learn a few Italian phrases: While English is spoken in tourist areas, knowing some basic Italian will be appreciated.
  • Try the local cuisine: Basilicata offers a unique culinary tradition with dishes like peperoni cruschi, pasta with wild boar ragu, and local cheeses.
  • Rent a car: This is the best way to explore the region at your own pace.
  • Respect the siesta: Many shops and businesses close in the afternoon for siesta.
  • Visit during festivals: Experience the vibrant Basilicata culture through its many festivals, such as the Sassi Film Festival in Matera.