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Basilicata - Things to Do - Tourism

Though still not very well-known, Basilicata is without doubt a region with considerable tourist potential, for it offers a great variety of scenery on relatively small territory. The Ionian coast and the Tyrrhenian are quite different, each with its own clearly marked individual character.

The Ionian littoral is characterized by a wide sandy shore, stretching from the Apulian to the Calabrian borders and studded with small seaside resorts, like Lido di Metaponto, (with its archeological remains), Marina di Pisticci, Lido di Scanzano, Lido di Policoro; the latter, short but equally important, is a jagged rocky coastline behind which luxuriant mediterranean vegetation flourishes where Maratea, with its charming outlying hamlets, is one of the most beautiful resorts of the south Tyrrhenian Sea.

The mountain scenery is arid and craggy, but fascinating as are the `Lucanian Dolomites', or wooded and wild, as in the Pollino area, with a wealth of natural attractions, or complete with a number of lovely little lakes.

Not to be forgotten are the typical inland villages perched on the hills, where time seems to have passed them by; there ancestral traditions and life styles still exist, together with many noteworthy artistic buildings.

In the Province of Matera, for example lies Montescaglioso, with its imposing medieval Abbey of S. Angelo; Miglionico, dominated by a Castle of Norman origin; Irsina, with the fine crypt of the Monastery of S. Francesco (12th century) decorated with excellent frescoes; Tricarico, of medieval appearance, with many religious buildings; Pisticci, with its characteristic rows of white houses; Tursi, in a panoramic position over the Sinni River valley, and the nearby solitary church of S. Maria d'Anglona.

In the Province of Potenza, a visit must be paid to Rivello, with its stepped urban structure, dominating the Noce River valley; Lagonegro, lying in a depression at the foot of Mount Sirino; Castel Lagopesole, at the foot of the imposing mansion built by Frederick II; Rapolla, with S. Lucia Church of Norman origin; Melfi, an interesting little town dominated by the Norman castle; Venosa, with the famous Abbey of the Trinit; Acerenza with its thirteenth-century cathedral.

Of great interest, are the archaeological remains of Eraclea and Metaponto, on the Ionian coast, of Grumentum, on the shores of the Pietra del Pertusillo artificial lake and the ruins of the acropolis at Mount La Croccia (4th century BC.) near Oliveto Lucano.

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