Basilicata is a region of forests and mountains in southern Italy. Its capital Potenza,

Matera BW 2016-10-15 14-04-19 stitch.jpg
Basilicata is a region of forests and mountains in southern Italy.
Photo Matera  By Berthold Werner, CC BY-SA 3.0, Link
Basilicata is embedded between Calabria and Apulia, in the south of Italy. One does not stumble across this region accidentally but chooses to visit it in search of a new experience, plunging into places where silence, colors, scents and flavors remove the visitor from the frenzy and stress of modern life and offer unique sensations. The woods and forests that cover the mountains are dotted with small and charming villages, some even at an altitude of 1000 mt, where pure air, genuine flavors and the beauties of nature are combined with historical vestiges satisfying every curiosity. Beautiful - yet less traversed than other regions - is the area of the Monticchio Lakes, one of the most spectacular locations in Basilicata. Lake Grande and Lake Piccolo are two splendid stretches of water that fill the two craters of Mount Vulture, now extinct, and are surrounded by thick and lush vegetation. Even though it is a mainly internal region, Basilicata touches two seas: the Ionian and Tyrrhenian. The Ionic coast, with the two famous sea resorts of Metaponto and Policoro, offers wide beaches, either sandy or pebbly, and partially surrounded by pinewoods and rows of eucalyptus that give off a lovely scent. The Gulf of Policastro, on the Tyrrhenian side, has higher and more indented coasts, where steep promontories alternate with small beaches washed by a crystal-clear sea. Matera's Paleolithic setlements, the "Sassi," are inscribed 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. It is an ancient architectural work with no design, which gave rise to a real monumental work, attracting millions of visitors from all over the world. This place is so singular that is was chosen by the famous actor and director Mel Gibson as the setting for his movie “The Passion.” The 20 mi-coast of Basilicata on the Tyrrhenian side is famous around the world for the richness and beauty of its seabeds. For those who prefer not to plunge into the depths of the sea, this splendid land offers countless small beaches for relaxing under the sun and swimming in the unpolluted sea water. A different way to enjoy and get to know the sea is a boat tour 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. The provinces of the region are Potenza (regional capital) and Matera. For the most part, Basilicata is occupied by mountains, covered with wonderful woods and splendid forests, a spectacular landscape where one can regenerate, have fun and eat good food all through the year. In winter, when a white blanket covers the highest peaks, one can practice a wide range sports - which are not excluded to one season. During the summer, the mountains are a perfect place for those who love walking, climbing, cycling or just reading a good book. Riding a grass scooter, snow tubing, or attempting a drive in a devalkart (a type of go-kart on grass): these are all original and enjoyable ways to spend your holidays in the beautiful nature of this region. There are wonderful places to explore riding a horse or a mountain bike, or to simply take a walk along one of the many paths that climb up the mountains and lead to breathtakingly-beautiful views. Limpid and pure, roaring and swift, calm and warm: this is the sea that touches Basilicata. Streams and brooks flow down from the mountains, lakes are surrounded by lush vegetation, and the water basks in its thousands of blue shades. Vacationers can practice rafting or canyoning, canoeing or sailing, scuba diving or sport fishing. For those who love shopping and nightlife, Maratea is perfect and rich in options: a glance at the shop windows of the old town, dinner in one of the typical restaurants of the port, dessert in one of the bars of the piazza, and finally a visit to one of the many clubs to dance the night away. by

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