Dramatically beautiful Basilicata is a region of rugged mountain ranges and towns perched above deep-green forests, dizzying gorges and sparkling sea. And it’s the location of one of Italy’s most extraordinary towns: Unesco-listed Matera, whose houses are built into and above natural caves at the edge of a gorge.
Basilicata holidays can be about beaches, too, as the region has some ridiculously charming coastline close to the town of Maratea, edged by a twisting road with views to rival those on the Amalfi Coast. The beaches here are black sand, lapped by a dark-blue Tyrrhenian Sea, and the towns sit on wooded hills, with buildings the colours of pale sherbet. Near Metaponto there are more lovely beaches, as well as spectacular ancient ruins. To discover a part of Italy that feels like a well-kept secret (loved by those in the know), holidays to Basilicata are a wonderful choice.
Dine out in the caves
After an informative tour of the caves, you can spoil yourself and celebrate your new knowledge by eating at one of the restaurants now housed in these ancient spaces.
Visit the Redeemer
There’s a huge Christ the Redeemer statue above Maratea that is second only to the one in Rio. Approach up the winding road for sweeping views across the coast.
As well some long crescents of white sandy beach, Metaponto has a superbly preserved Greek temple, with impressive columns, dating from the 6th century BC.