Basilicata coast to coast

filled by Giulia & Romeo

If you live in Italy and you have not been in Basilicata you have to wonder why not.
How did we asked Romeo and I in august , entering in this region still untouched and true: true the landscapes, the green hills, in the shades of the sea and in the faces of people.
A coast to coast travel is what we recommend, after being fascinated by the eponymous film directed and starring by Rocco Papaleo. But, let's face it: it’s curious, invites us to travel, but still does not make total Justice of the beauty of the region, which will surprise you seamless, with no gray areas between a destination to the other. You will travel always surrounded by nature and under the stars, because the light pollution here, like every other kind of pollution, has not yet arrived.
Green, so green on the Tyrrhenian coast to arrive in Maratea and here you will be surprised that there could be a beach, that there could be a sea, because the hilly landscape looks more like a mountain holiday resort than a sea. On the road you will find banquet vendors that offer strawberries and blackberries and yet you wonder where you are. But suddenly, beyond the bend, the sea of Maratea will surprise you with its beaches almost hidden, such as the Black Beach, where swimming you can reach a cave 45 meters long and with a few seconds of apnea you can break through .
Then you will descend from the road to the cave of Wonders, a karst cave discovered accidentally during road work. You will scend the hill of San Biagio, where was located the original settlement of the city, where there is now a basilica shrine dedicated to the patron and a lookout point on which stands the famous Christ the Redeemer, a statue of 21 meters, which dominates the surrounding landscape . At cocktail hour you will come down to the village and you will sit in the square in Maratea to enjoy a nice glass of Alianico, the wine of this place, while the bells strike the hours.
There are other beaches to explore, in Acquafredda for example, which is located in a ravine under a mountain of green pines. In the village, at the lookout, there is the elegant Villa Nitti, overlooking the sea. Here the exploration of caves, like the cave of the Dream, the Bat, Zu Monaco and the Dragon is always to be taken with extreme caution with the help of a guide.
And in the evening, in the villages you can ask what is being planned and the people will answer, "here there's always a party."
We have seen two very beautiful party, one in Trecchina, a beautiful medieval village on the hill , with the opportunity to have dinner with local products.
Torches at the windows, period costumes, an atmosphere really impressive.
And on August 15th we went to Rivello for the procession of Our Lady of the Assumption, which was brought from the village below the church located at the top. Rivello is located in a splendid panoramic position, on the crest of a hill, from where you can admire the valley of Walnut and the Massif Sirino. It has a picturesque urban structure, with the Church of St. Nicholas, which dominates the western area, a main elongated along the ridge, transverse lanes on both sides of houses and variously painted and decorated.

Before moving from the Tyrrhenian to the Ionian a place not to be missed is Matera.
If you have been to Israel you'll wonder why you're not coming here first: the churches will immerge you in a spiritual atmosphere hard to find even in Palestine. Here the marketing and trade have not yet arrived and the guides will explain that all these small churches, there are at least 150, present in the “ Sassi” and under the Gravina I , were created largely by the monks who came from the East in the period in which there existed iconoclasm, namely the prohibition of worshiping sacred images.
The core of the Sassi, a UNESCO World Heritage, is located on a rocky outcrop and is largely carved into the stone. An amazing complex of caves, natural caves and dug by man, large and small structures built in the local calcarenitic rock. A unique city. The Sassi are two: the Caveoso one , which extends to the south and the Sasso Barisano that extends northward to Bari
In the evening Matera lights up like a crib and you can dine or have a drink in the numerous cafes hidden in the Sassi. You have try the bread from Matera, as well as the cavatelli with sausage and cardoncelli with mushrooms. As snacks for the happy hour are typical dried and fried peppers , crispy like potato chips. (To sleep we recommend the B & B At the Malve in Caveoso, with beautiful fresh and a great breakfast.)
On the way to the Ionio sea you will do many suggestive pictures.
At Craco, for example, the abandoned village which stands on a hill, where on the road you’ll take delicious figs directly from plants.
Or at Tursi, perched at the top of a hill , characterized by the Arab quarter Rabatana ...
Or at Aliano, immersed in the badlands, the country where he lived in exile Carlo Levi inflicted by the Fascist regime, the author of Christ Stopped at Eboli, with which became known all over the world the reality of farming in this region a time out by time and history, so that the locals used to say they were not Christians as Chrsto had stopped a little 'further and a little' out of their region, precisely at Eboli.
For a dip in the sea you can choose among the many resorts overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea, from Metaponto (famous for its archaeological remains) to Scanzano Ionico, Policoro, Nova Siri… We were in Nova Siri's Ionian Sea at the beach, a sea of orange umbrellas silhouetted against the blue sea and sky, a quiet and nice beach. And for the evening, a party really original is the one that takes place in Colobraro every Friday, from last year. To dispel an ancient belief that seen for many years hover the evil eye on this little town on the top of a hill about 40 minutes drive from Nova Siri, since last year the mayor with a stroke of genius decided to turn the rumor in a festive occasion. Dance and theater recitations animate this incredible medieval town suspended in the clouds and stars and so feared by Lucan it can not be if you do not even mention the term "the country."
If you are still undecided about where to go this summer we would not hesitate for you. Basilicata as we saw last week is a goal : before tourism t discover it and take it by storm is a destination not to be missed. Map in hand and a lot of curiosity ... to discover many other places that due to time constraints we could not reach. As the Dolomites Lucane, for example, and Pietrapertosa and Castelmezzano, which can even reach with a particular "flight" ...