When it comes to choosing the destination of summer holidays, usually Basilicata is all too often underestimated: this beautiful Italian region, in fact, offers wonderful beaches, as well as beautiful places and rich in historical and archaeological finds to be discovered, perfect for spending a few days in complete relaxation between the sea breeze and contact with nature.
To warmly welcome visitors here is Metaponto and Maratea, two areas particularly interesting both for their history, both for the beaches certified Blue Flag among the most beautiful in all of Basilicata (and not only).
Metaponto, between suntan and cultural excursions
For those who want to organize a holiday that proves to be the right compromise between fun, relaxation and a good dose of culture, Metaponto is ideal: it is a small fraction of the city of Bernalda, in the province of Matera, which extends between the marina of Pisticci in Basilicata and the marina of Ginosa in Puglia.
The etymology of its own name, that is Metapontum, recalls its historical origins: means “between the two rivers”, that is, the Brandano and the Basento, an appellation given at the time of the ancient Greeks. And still today, Metaponto is a perfect bridge between the relaxation of the sea and the enthusiasm given by the discovery of those cultural places that make the village a real treasure of Basilicata.
Maratea, a pearl on the Tyrrhenian Sea
Framed by a rocky cliff and surrounded by typical Mediterranean vegetation, Maratea offers tourists a landscape as varied as fascinating, characterized by fragrant flowers and the unmistakable breeze of a crystal clear sea.
Its name means “goddess of the sea” or “city of the great Etei”, that is a people who, originally from the shores of the Black Sea, seems to have later decided to emigrate to the West settling permanently in Basilicata.
The sea and the beaches
A Maratea is the sea the real protagonist: stands out on coves of fine sand as well as on pebble beaches and promontories and, at the same time, is characterized by small islands that create a very impressive landscape.
Among the most famous beaches are undoubtedly Acquafredda, Cersuta, Black Beach, Fiumicello and Castrocucco, but every little corner of the beautiful Maratea offers an enchanting spectacle; an example is given by the Marizza beach, almost unknown, which houses inside a spring of fresh water. Here the sea is among the cleanest in Italy, with colorful backdrops and rich in fish and vegetation.
Even the beach of Metaponto is no joke, with its golden sand and its crystal clear sea that enters in pleasant contrast with the green of the surrounding nature. The Ionian coast that also includes Metaponto extends for over 35 km alternating beaches from the Caribbean air to pristine areas.
The seaside area is mainly concentrated between the two rivers, where there are the most prestigious and chic tourist complexes in the area, first of all the Lido delle Sirene which offers visitors an excellent dining area. In any case, Metaponto is also rich in free beaches where you can spend whole days of silence and tranquility.
Where to stay
Both Maratea and Metaponto are suitable places for everyone, from lonely travelers, to groups of friends, to families with children. Not surprisingly, in fact, , the accommodation facilities where you can stay are numerous and offer the best solutions to any need: hotel elegant and equipped with every kind of comfort for the most demanding, villages and camping for those who love adventure and B&B for those who are looking for the comforts of their own home even on vacation!
What to eat
The typical products of Lucania are certainly not lacking in Metaponto and Maratea, from the wine of Matera DOC to the Capriata del Materano, that is the traditional soup made of legumes, wheat and potatoes. In general, the gastronomic offer of both areas draws from the peasant tradition of vegetable dishes, pork and fresh fish.
The homemade pasta is a must: between orecchiette, cavatelli and strangolapreti the turnip tops are spoiled for choice! The most typical main courses, however, include cod and peppers and cod to ciaruedda, that is seasoned with chilli pepper and fresh onions. Finally, a nice cake like the scorzetta of Bernalda, a biscuit of almond paste in the shape of a crescent covered with dark chocolate, accompanied by a small glass of Crithmum, a typical liqueur made of sea fennel, They cannot be refused!
What to do and what to see
Both Metaponto and Maratea offer not only beautiful beaches, indeed: the places to see are numerous, as well as activities for adults and children!
Maratea is home to 44 churches among small streets, coastal towers and a small square in the center. The port is beautiful, so much so as to rise to the nerve point of the town. To visit absolutely the Monte San Biagio, on top of which stands the statue of the Redeemer, also called Christ of Maratea, with his arms outstretched!
After a walk in the name of culture, a Maratea you can also make the exciting River Trekking, an excursion that allows you to know the various territories of Basilicata sailing through the rivers and spending a few hours in complete freedom!
For its part, Metaponto enjoys an immense green area, the Metaponto Nature Reserve, belonging to the Mediterranean and declared Protected Natural Area in 1972. Walking inside it is also possible to meet the sea turtles Caretta Caretta which, being endangered, are very rare today.
Among the major cultural attractions, however, is the Archaeological Park of the city, that is a historical site that contains the remains of the Greek polis founded in the seventh century B.C. by the Achaeans. The main finds are exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum of Metaponto, where you can admire the Palatine Tables that, at the time of the Greeks, marked the territorial boundaries of Metaponto.
Entertainment for adults and children
Making sure that children on holiday are not bored can be difficult, but not in Maratea: here, waiting for them, there is the educational farm! They will enjoy a day immersed in nature, exploring and creating a unique relationship with the animals present through the creation of a vegetable garden and the cultivation of flowers and aromatic plants.
For adults and groups of friends, however, there is plenty of live music, to listen while you sip a delicious drink. Especially Maratea, in recent years, has become a promoter of live music, especially jazz, so much so as to host two themed festivals: the Marajazz and the Phonetica Jazz Festival.
In both towns, then, you can participate in country festivals or religious festivals while walking through the streets of the various villages and, if the desire to live an adventure should be too strong, you can always take a train and reach beautiful places like Sapri, Trecchia or Praia a Mare!