Basilicata Map and Travel Essentials
How to Enjoy Italy's Basilicata Region on Your Vacation
Basilicata is a little touristed region in southern Italy. A mountainous region with a jagged, rocky coastline on the Tyrrenian coast and another on the Ionian Sea, Basilicata, like neighboring Calabria, has been home to many cultures; you'll see evidence of Greek colonization at Metaponto and Policoro, and Norman castles inland.
Basilica Map Showing Cities to Visit in Basilicata
Map of Basilicata © 2007 by James Martin, Europe for Visitors
Basilicata is formed into two provinces, Potenza and Matera, their capital cities marked on the map in capital letters.
Basilicata Cities to Visit
The most fascinating city in Basilicata has to be Matera, with its cave houses called "sassi" and over 100 rock churches--the interesting urban area has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Matera has been the background for many films, including Pasolini's The Gospel According to St. Matthew and Gibson's recent The Passion of the Christ (2004). If you are planning a summer trip to Matera, don't miss its most famous festival, the Festa della Madonna Bruna on July 2nd. More: Matera Italy, the Sassi and the Festa della Madonna Bruna.
Melfi was a Roman, then a Longobard city which later became a Norman city. There is a Norman castle to visit, a baroque palace called the Palazzo del Vescovado and simularly baroque Duomo. Inside the Castle is the Museo Nazionale Archeologico Melfese, which contains many important collections of materials from the surrounding area. More on Melfi from Italian Visits.
Venosa was once a Roman town called Venusia. The poet Harace hails from Venosa. Venosa has a 15th century Aragonese castle, a Baroque Church of the Purgatory, and the Palaeolithic period is represented by the Archaeological Area of Notarchirico, in which a Homo Erectus femur fragment was found.
Rionero in Vulture has been in existence since at least 290 bc, and was seized by the Normans around 1041. The towns in the Vulture area sit in the shadow of Monte Vulture, an extinct volcano which provides the fertile soil in the area. Aglianico del Vulture is a famous DOC wine from the area. History of Rionero in Vulture
Montescaglioso was the center of the Norman Kingdom of Sicily. Famous is Montescaglioso's 11-15th century Abbey of St. Michele Arcangelo and the Baroque parish church of Saints Pietro e Paolo. In august the Festa San Rocco is a colorful local festival with religious parade and fireworks worth visiting.
Metaponto is a famous Greek settlement on the Ionian coast formerly called Metapontum. Archaeology buffs should visit the Museo Archeologico Nazionale and the ruins. Metaponto also has a fine, white sand beach.
Policoro offers the Lido di Policoro, a famous beach, and the ruins of the Greek settlement of Heraclea on the outskirts of town.
Stigliano is a place to start your exploration of Basilicata mountains.
Aliano was the town 90 km from Matera where Carlo Levi was exiled. You can visit his house and see the stunning landscape he wrote about in Christ stopped at Eboli. Aliano isn't a tourist town; there are no services.
Maratea, built on the slopes of Monte San Biagio has a wonderful historic center, beaches and port. Marina di Maratea is where to go to toast on the Tyrrenian coast.
The Parco Nazionale del Pollino was founded in November of 1993 around Monte Pollino, 2248 meters high. The park extends into Calabria and contains 24 Basilicata towns and four nature reserves.