Metaponto: Testimony of Ancient Greece| Borgo San Gaetano

Experience, Places to see


Metaponto. A magnificent testimony
of the Magna-Graecia civilization


The archaeological area of Metaponto is an open-air museum that is a must-see for all lovers of history and archeology, since it represents the best place to understand the historical evolution of the area, from the Bronze Age to the advent of the Romans.

Founded in the mid-7th century B.C. by Greeks from the Acaia, Metaponto became one of the most important colonies of the Magna Graecia. Located "between two rivers" - the Bradano and the Basento - it is a hamlet in the municipality of Bernalda, in the province of Matera. In the park and the Archaeological Museum of Metaponto, traces have remained of a glorious past made up of heroes and gods, warriors and philosophers, like the mathematician Pythagoras who in founded his school and died in Metaponto.

The imposing Palatine Tables are a symbol of the ancient Greek city, as are the twelve Doric columns, remnants of the temple of Hera. The Antiquarium, the theater, the Roman castro, the city agora, and the necropolis, along with the temples of Apollo Licio, Demeter, and Aphrodite, enrich this itinerary that is already full of charm and history.

Following in the footsteps of Pythagoras

Walking through the nature areas of Metaponto transmits knowledge and emotions just as it once did through the tales of the philosopher, Pythagoras, who loved to teach his disciples while walking in the woods of that area, an area that has remained unchanged for centuries and that today has many stories to tell.

Metaponto is open to visitors through guided tours for all ages, with professional tour guides and also young volunteers, "Cicero’s Apprentices", from the tourism course at the IIS Bernalda institute.

Experience, Places to see


Craco, Ghost town


In the 1960s, the historical center of Craco, in the province of Matera, was part of a migration that made it a tried and true ghost town. Abandoned after a disastrous landslide, which was followed by more landslides, Craco has us experience the same emotion that directors probably did when they chose it as a movie set.

A wonder for thousands of tourists who come upon a town that has no intention of dying, as it was for those directors. Francesco Rosi shot several of his scenes from his “Christ Stopped at Eboli” in Craco, but the town also fascinated Mel Gibson, who chose it as the location of the final scene of "The Passion". Craco was also in the movie, "Basilicata Coast to Coast<2 by Rocco Papaleo.

Experience, Places to see


Laterza, travel through its flavors


Among the gorges near the Gulf of Taranto, the one in Laterza is the most suggestive. The "Canyon of Europe" extends across 12 kms and, at in some points, it is also 500 meters wide. This is where the ancient origin of the city is revealed, with its cave churches and evidence left by man from prehistoric times.

From the Byzantine frescoes in the crypts, to the 15th century ones in the Cathedral, from the Marquis Palace to the decorations and the high-reliefs of the Cantina Spagnola, history in Laterza has developed layer upon layer, leaving behind precious tales, including those of its gastronomic tradition.

Walking through the town, you will the smell the aroma of bread and focaccia freshly baked by local bakers according to a very ancient recipe. The typical bread from Laterza is made using durum wheat semolina flour, water, salt, and yeast starter. After baking in dome refractory furnaces, with direct heating, an unparalleled product is achieved, an ivory white bread with a thick brown crust of about 3 mm. 

Experience, Places to see


City of the Trulli


Alberobello is a town known worldwide for its Trulli, typical cone-shaped structures made of local stone that are included in the list of UNESCO World Heritage sites since 1996.

Walking along the alleyways of the oldest part of the town, the Rione Aia Piccola, you can discover a world from times past. Life still flows slowly inside the Trulli and, in these, lofts have been turned into bedrooms.

Instead, the Rione Monti is the largest agglomeration of typical dwellings (about a thousand) worth visiting, where you can find souvenirs and admire panoramic terraces. Farther along, but still within walking distance, is the majestic Trullo Sovrano - Sovreign Trullo. Located behind the semi-Basilica of Saints Medici Cosma and Damiano, it represents the most advanced and refined example of a two-story Trullo.

Experience, Places to see


Guardian of the thousand-year-old treasures of humanity


The city is the keeper of an important treasure: the skeleton of the Man of Altamura, discovered in 1993 in the Cave of Lamalunga. A discovery that allowed to achieve a more thorough knowledge of European Neanderthals that, up until then, was rather fragmentary.

However, the city of Altamura also offers tourist attractions that should be experienced. The first among all is the production of its PDO bread, famous for its "high" shape ("alta" in Italian).

Instead, monuments that should be visited include the Cathedral, the most important building in the city, built upon commission of Frederick II of Swabia.

At about 6 kms from the city, you can see a break in the horizon. It is the famous Pulo of Altamura, the most imposing karst phenomenon of the Alta Murgia that reaches 92 meters in depth.
Dug out by two courses of water, along with its vertical walls, rich in caves inhabited by man for at least 5,000 years, the Pulo presents itself as a natural amphitheater to be admired in silence.

Experience, Hightlight, Places to see


Matera, City of Stones


There is a place where you can walk through a complex and fascinating urban ecosystem of cave dwellings carved into stone. The suggestive city of Matera, better known as the Città dei Sassi - City of Stones - or also the “Underground City”, is famous all over the world for its archaic structures that constitute one of the oldest existing inhabited centers, as well as the first site in southern Italy to be included in the list of World Heritage sites by UNESCO.

However, Matera is also included in the best international guides as a cultural destination, especially after it became popular because of several successful film productions. Numerous events and periodic exhibitions, in addition to itineraries that evoke the life of past times within the Sassi, represent constant attractions in a suggestive scenario that has given the capital city of the Basilicata region the title of European Capital of Culture 2019.


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