You will be met at the airport and then transfer by coach to Venosa (Venusia), birthplace of the Latin poet Horace, and one the best preserved historic centres in Basilicata. Get settled in your hotel and then ready for dinner.
After breakfast, you’ll visit the 11th century castle in Melfi as well as the lakes of Monticchio. An afternoon visit to Maratea on the Tyrrhenian Sea – a wonderful town which boasts many artistic and historical treasures such as Santa Maria Maggiore, the principal church of the old town, the Church of San Biagio and numerous aristocratic palaces. Stop at the famous Christ the Redeemer, one of the biggest statues in Italy. Then you’ll be on your way to your hotel where dinner awaits you.
Aliano, Stigliano, Tour of the Calanchi
After breakfast, off to visit the ‘calanchi’ or ‘badlands’ which characterize the rough terrain of south-eastern Lucania (Basilicata) surrounded by the Sauro, the Agri and the Basento valleys. Parallel or fan-shaped furrows, created by surface water erosion on clay slopes, the ‘calanchi’ are
visible in the dry landscape and were aptly described by Carlo Levi in his book “Christ Stopped at Eboli”. Brief visit to the towns of Aliano and Stigliano. Arrive at your hotel and then ready for dinner.
After breakfast, leave for the National Park of the Pollino where you’ll enjoy an excursion in one of the most beautiful parks in southern Italy with a nature trail guide and you will arrive as far as Viggianello. The park contains a great many rare tree species, especially the ‘pino loricato’ (Bosnian pine). Lunch will be in a restaurant serving local specialities. An afternoon stop in the town of Tursi to admire the Sanctuary
of Santa Maria di Anglona, one of the most important examples of Romanesque architecture in Basilicata. Back to your hotel where dinner awaits you.
Basilicata and its Countryside
Pietrapertosa, Castelmezzano (The Dolomite of Lucania
After breakfast, leave for the Lucanian Dolomite. Located in the Lucanian Apennines, to the east of the majestic Pierfaone-Volturino-Viggiano ridge, the ‘Piccole Dolomiti Lucane’ are the heart of the Regional Natural Park of the same name. They are called ‘Dolomites’ owing to their morphological resemblance to the famous mountains in north-eastern Italy. You will also visit the towns of Pietrapertosa and Castelmezzano. Back to your hotel where dinner awaits you.
Matera and Murgia Materana
After breakfast, leave for Matera, listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites and one of the most ancient cities in Italy. Matera is unique because the original town was dug into the stone and its caves were inhabited up until the late 1950s. You’ll explore the two historic quarters (Sasso Barisano and Sasso Caveoso), a cave that is a church and one that is a house as well as the Civita (the upper area of the old town that boasts many aristocratic palaces and the majestic Romanesque cathedral). In the afternoon, on to the Murgia Materana Park visit to the Crypt of the Original Sin, known as the ‘Sistine Chapel of southern Italy’ for its amazing cave art. Back to your hotel where dinner awaits you.
After breakfast, time at leisure to explore the city on your own. Transfer to airport.