7 Days/ 6 Nights
Day 1: Matera: Arrive at Bari airport and depart for Basilicata, a mountainous region in Southern Italy. This week in Basilicata will open your eyes the beauties of this region, and our first stop is the wonderful Matera. Upon arrival to the city of stones, we advise you spend some time taking in the energy of this ancient city, walking through the rocky neighborhoods typical of a rural civilization that survived until the 60s of the last century. In the late morning, you can go to the Murgia Materana Natural Park, better known as the Natural-Historical Archaeological Park of the Rupestrian Churches of Matera. For lunch, you can choose to stop at a provincial restaurant or enjoy a tasting of local products from Jazzo Gattini, an old farm, renovated in the 19th century. In the late afternoon, you will be taken to your boutique hotel, built within the stones. Dinner at the hotel or in one of the local restaurants in the area.
Day 2: Crypt of Original Sin and the Ghost Town of Cracus: Breakfast at the hotel. This morning, we suggest a visit to the Crypt of Peccato Originale, a cave used as a church in the 9th century BC by Benedictine monks. completely covered by frescoes made by the right hand of the “flower painter of Matera”, this cave contains the oldest and most evocative rock art in southern Italy. In the afternoon, we suggest you visit the Ghost Town of Cracco. Abandoned in 1963 after a disastrous landslide. The town is a destination especially appealing to movie lovers, as it was chosen as a filming location for numerous movies (Christ Stopped in Eboli, Basilicata Coast to Coast, and many more)! This city also offers a stunning panoramic view over the valley and the old Norman Tower that will leave you speechless. Despite having survived various landslides unscathed, this tower was struck by lightening, only adding to the mystique of “the abandoned medieval ghost town of Italy”. For dinner, we will then return to the hotel and from there you can discover local restaurants on your own or ask the concierge for suggestions!
Day 3: Metaponto and Miglionico: Breakfast at the hotel. Today you get the chance to go back in time, to the time of Magna Grecia. A 30 minute drive from Matera, towards the Gulf of Taranto to the southeast, is Metaponto. The city was founded in the middle of the 7th century BC. C. by the Greeks of Acaya and became one of the most important colonies of Magna Grecia. Its wealth was constituted mainly by an extensive and fertile territory, bordered by the Bradano and Basento rivers and famous for its cereal production. Visit the Archaeological Park with the remains saved from the continuous looting of the past. Visit the Greek polis, the Metapontine National Museum with finds from prehistoric times to late antiquity, and the Extra-urban Temple of Hera, better known by the name of Tavole Palatine. In the afternoon, back in Matera, we recommend that you stop at Miglionico to see the Malconsiglio Castle, named for the historical conspiracy of the barons against King Ferdinand I of Naples. Additionally, it is worth visiting the splendid Mother Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, located in the historic center of the city and which houses works of art of rare beauty. Return to the hotel, dinner at the hotel or in a typical restaurant in the area.
Day 4: The “Lucani” Dolomites – Lake Monticchio: Breakfast at the hotel. Today will be dedicated to visiting some of the most beautiful villages in the Lucan Dolomites. Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa, perched on the crest of the Lucan Apennines, offer a splendid view of the Basento valley. We advise you to visit them along the “Cammino delle 7 Pietre”, an old country road of about 2 km, which connects the two municipalities. Once you arrive in one of these two splendid villages, you will have the opportunity to stroll between the houses settled among the rocks, take historical-naturalist excursions, or taste local products. In the afternoon, continue to the area of Monte Vulture, the only volcano in Basilicata. Extinct since prehistoric times, Monte Vulture is unique compared to other Italian volcanoes (generally located further west). After checking into the hotel, if you are not tired, you can walk to the lakes of Monticchio, an important site for the extraction of mineral waters. If you want to savor the purity of these waters, pay attention to the springs scattered around the lake area. From some of the the more popular springs you can draw water with a natural effervescence. We recommend a walk along the shores of one of the two lakes and a visit to the remains of the Church of Sant’Ippolito from the 10th century and the white Abbey of San Michele Arcangelo. On your way back, grab some dinner at one of the delicious restaurants, then return to the hotel.
Day 5: Castel Lagopesole – Acerenza: Breakfast at the hotel. The morning will be dedicated to visiting one of the most fascinating castles of Norman origin, the Castle of Lagopesole. Renovated and expanded by Frederick II of Swabia, its massive rectangular block is articulated on two floors and is characterized by two courtyards, one larger and one smaller, and a tower characterized by ashlar masonry at the top, typical of Swabian architecture. In the afternoon, continue towards Acerenza, considered one of the “most beautiful villages in Italy”. It is often referred to as “cathedral city” due to the imposing temple that dominates the center of the old town which was dedicated to Santa Maria Assunta and San Canio (11th-13th century) . Once in town, let yourself be swept away by the alleys of the old town where there are fountains and prestigious buildings, many of them with internal courtyards, decorated with coats of arms and stone portals. Enjoy dinner on your own then back to the hotel.
Day 6: Lands of Aglianico: Breakfast at the hotel. On the last full day of the tour, we will visit Venosa: located along the ancient Via Appia. Thanks to the remains of epigraphs, architectural fragments, decorative elements and bas-reliefs of the time, his ancient Roman city looks and feels like an open-air museum. Given the presence of a Jewish community at the end of the Roman Empire, it is also possible to find ruins of Jewish catacombs excavated in a tuff hill on the outskirts of the historic center next to Christian hypogea and articulated with galleries, tunnels, frescoes. Also of great interest is the Aragonese Castle, built at the request of Duke Piero del Balzo. An imposing square-plan building with four cylindrical towers that houses the National Museum of Venosa, which mainly preserves the rich testimonies of the Roman colony of Venusia. In the afternoon, we continue to Ripacandida to visit the Church of San Donato, defined as the “little Assisi” of Basilicata due to the similarities with the Basilica of Assisi. This ancient sanctuary contains frescoes from the 16th century in the Giotto style and was recognized by UNESCO in 2010. At the end of the day, we will stop at a local winery for an Aglianico del Vulture wine tasting. In addition to trying this excellent red wine from the north of Basilicata, you can taste locally produced olive oil and pecorino cheese from the area. Return to the hotel, dinner at the hotel or in a typical restaurant in the area.
Day 7: Arrivederci Basilicata: Breakfast at the hotel and departure to Bari, arrival at the airport. End of our services.
P.s. Tour itinerary’s, for technical reasons, can be changed or inverted without notice. We will guarantee all previous visits, excursions and services.
– Accommodation with buffet breakfast
– 2 dinners at the hotel or a local restaurant in Matera – 3 courses (without drinks)
– 1 dinner at a local farmhouse in Monticchio Bagni – 3 courses (without drinks)
– 1 Aglianico del Vulture wine tasting in the cellar
– Transportation (car, minivan, bus) available according to the indicated program.
Attention: the driver by law cannot drive more than 08 hours a day, so he will not be available for eventual night excursions or dinners at local restaurants.
Attention: the driver may vary during the trip (not always the same driver)
– Mandatory parkings
– English-speaking local guide at disposal for the whole trip
Contact us at (800)621-2259 or firstname.lastname@example.org to book today!
*Package descriptions and pricing are subject to change without notice*