Basilicata Area Guide
Basilicata is a region in Southern Italy, bordering with Campania to the west, Apulia to the north and east, and Calabria to the south. It also has two coastlines: a 30-km stretch on the Tyrrhenian Sea between Campania and Calabria, and a longer coastline along the Gulf of Taranto between Calabria and Apulia. The region can be thought of as the "instep" of Italy, with Calabria functioning as the "toe" and Apulia the "heel". Perhaps one of the least known Italian regions, one does not simply stumble across this region accidentally, but chooses to visit it in search of a new experience, plunging into places where silence, colours, scents and flavours remove the visitor from the frenzy and stress of modern life.
Matera's Paleolithic setlements, the "Sassi," are listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List, along with Matera's numerous ‘rupestrian’ churches. Taking a walk along the lanes of the Civita, the oldest part of the town, you enter the ancient urban area formed by a dense network of caves, dug out of the rock by shepherds to shelter their family and livestock. This place is so singular that is was chosen by actor and director Mel Gibson as the setting for his movie “The Passion.” The 20 mile coast of Basilicata on the Tyrrhenian side is famous around the world for the richness and beauty of its seabed. For those who prefer not to plunge into the depths of the sea, this lovely region offers countless small beaches for relaxing under the sun and swimming in the unpolluted sea water. There are also boat tours available, to visit the many caves that form the coastline. Lastly, Maratea, a precious pearl embedded in the charming Gulf of Policastro, is also the location of the behemoth Christ the Redeemer Statue (Cristo Redentore) that rises from Mount San Biagio.
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