Discovering Magna Graecia between Pomarico and Pisticci %%sep%% Blog

Experience, Places to see

Discovering Magna Graecia between Pomarico and Pisticci

Discovering Magna Graecia between Pomarico and Pisticci


Starting from Borgo San Gaetano, the first stop is the characteristic village of Pomarico Vecchio where, at 415 meters above sea level, stands a real archaeological site of about three hectares.

It is a settlement that can be dated back in time from the sixth century B.C. and until the third century B.C. from which archaeological excavations and investigations carried out from 1989 to 1996 have brought to light traces of large buildings and many archaeological finds: archaic ceramic amphorae, tableware, fireware and pottery, as well as jewelry, coins and metal artifacts. It is therefore evident the remarkable historical importance of this magical place in the hinterland of Matera.

Some archaeologists have found three different layers of ash, at different depths, so it is deductible that Pomarico was burned several times during its history.

What to see in Pomarico:

- The ruins of the castle
- The seventeenth century Palazzo Donnaperna or Marchesale
- The church of San Michele Arcangelo, with its splendid contemporary paintings

Pisticci: between history and Amaro Lucano

From here, then, we proceed to Pisticci, a small Lucanian town in the province of Matera, with spectacular small white houses with red roofs, terraced on several levels in the Dirupo district, inserted with right as one of the "100 Wonders of Italy to safeguard".

The surroundings are characterised by the splendid lunar landscape of the Calanchi, almost an open-air archaeological museum; these formations are due to the combined action of the sun and water on clayey hillsides.

Among the historical itineraries, the story of the famous lucanian digestive "Amaro Lucano", narrated by the Essenza Lucana museum of Pisticci Scalo, also stands out. Visiting the museum you are immersed into a multisensory journey between past and present, discovering ancient traditions and modern technologies, absorbed in the colours and scents of the history of the sweet bitter liqueur.

The village of Pisticci

A walk in the centre is a must: a visit to the Church of St. Peter and Paul in Romanesque Renaissance style certainly deserves your attention. Built in the middle of the sixteenth century, inside it houses chapels with altars and paintings really remarkable.

Equally interesting are the Chiesetta dell'Annunziata, the ancient town gate and the Castle of San Basilio. The latter, built as a fortified farm around the VII century, later, during the Norman feud, took the shape of a castle characterized by a central tower and a central courtyard surrounded by some buildings.

The heart of the village is Piazza Umberto I, where you can find palaces of great historical relevance, the Parish Church of Sant'Antonio da Padova, the Palazzo De Franchi, built in the second half of the 16th century, the Palazzocchio, so called because of its dominant position, seat of an archive of the 16th century, and the Palazzo Giannantonio, of the end of the 17th century, today municipality headquarter, which stands out for its monumental portal and internal courtyard. Nearby, a short walk from Piazza Sant'Antonio Abate, stands the wonderful "Terrazzo del melograno", a charming little square on two levels, characterized by arches and magnificent murals representing pomegranate flowers and fruits. An ideal place for a romantic break!

From this terrace it is also possible to enjoy a wonderful panoramic view, embracing from the valley of Cavone to the Ionian Sea and the marina of Pisticci, up to the Pollino. Also interesting is the Church of San Rocco, the Abbey of Santa Maria del Casale on Mount Corno, in Romanesque style.

On the highest and oldest part of Pisticci stands the "Terravecchia" district, where you can admire the Norman castle, of which only the square tower, the old town gate, the mother church and some noble palaces remain.
Among the archaeological beauties to visit, there is the site of the Incoronata, with the ruins of a 9th century B.C. village and a later Greek one built over the previous one. While the various objects found in the surrounding area are on display in the National Archaeological Museum of Metaponto.

Hiking in the nature of Pisticci

In this locality rich of many small landscape goodies, there is the possibility of taking walks and horse riding excursions organized by the CORTEQUESTRE SAN BASILIO riding school.

These activities are suitable for everyone, of variable duration, with a minimum of 1 hour, and in which you can visit closely the enthralling nature of the Mediterranean maquis and the Lucanian countryside, until you reach a beautiful beach where the walk ends, which is particularly suggestive in the evening to enjoy the splendid sunset over the sea.

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, Places to see


Metaponto, a diamond between two rivers.

Metaponto is a fraction of the town of Bernalda.
Its name comes from the Latin Metapontum, as city "between two rivers", the Bradano and the Basento, in the heart of Magna Grecia.

Between sea, nature and archaeology stands what is considered one of the most popular destinations of Basilicata, both for the crystal clear water of the Ionian Sea, and for the archaeological and naturalistic routes it offers.


Metaponto is also proud of a long and ancient history that is worth discovering.
Not far from the town, in fact, there is the archaeological area that, together with the National Archaeological Museum, is one of the most popular sites for tourists.

The archaeological area of Metaponto is an open-air museum.
It is a must for all lovers of history and archaeology because it is the best place to understand the historical evolution of the area in the Bronze Age until the advent of Roman domination.

Founded in the mid-seventh century b.C. by Greeks from Achaia, Metapontum became one of the most important colonies of Magna Graecia.

In the Park and in the Archaeological Museum of Metapontum are imprinted traces of a glorious past: this is the case of the mathematician Pythagoras, who founded his school in Metapontum and perhaps died there.

The richness of the Greek colony, whose symbols are the monumental Tavole Palatine (twelve Doric columns, ruins of the Temple of Hera) is based on the extension and fertility of the territory bounded by the rivers Bradano and Basento.

The antiquarium, the theater, the Roman castro, the agora and the necropolis, together with the temples of Apollo Licio, Demeter and Aphrodite, enrich the route full of charm and history.

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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