Basilicata Itineraries

Matera and Craco in 48 Hours

The instep of the boot, in southern Italy

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Basilicata is one of Italy’s regions that’s less visited by tourists. It includes a national park and rocky stretches of coast along the Ionian and Tyrrhenian Seas with excellent clean, sandy beaches. The inland is interesting to explore although there are not many tourist services in some places. A rental car is recommended since there isn’t much public transportation although Matera and the coast can be reached by train. Basilicata has several good Greek sites along the coast and Roman sites inland.

Basilicata Highlights:

* Matera is one of my favorite small cities in Italy. The sassi, or cave settlements, are fascinating and the newer (medieval) town above the caves is also interesting. Some caves have been made into cave hotels so you can stay right in the sassi area. Matera will be the 2019 European Capital of Culture so lots of improvements are being made although that means it’s also becoming more touristy. See Matera and Craco in 48 Hours for what to do and see.

* Greek remains and museums at Metaponto and Policoro. Both towns also have a good beach.

* Bernalda is a lively town with small historic center and castle that became famous when Francis Ford Coppola built a luxury hotel in what was once his hometown. Bernalda makes a good base for visiting both Matera and the coast.

* Maratea, built on the slopes of Monte San Biagio, has a good historic center, beaches and port. Marina di Maratea is a top beach on the Tyrrhenian coast. South of the more popular Amalfi Coast, the Maratea coast is a more wild and less crowded area.

* Melfi was a Roman, a Longobard city and later a Norman city. There’s a Norman castle, several Baroque monuments, and an archaeological museum. Near Melfi is the Roman site of  Venosa.

* The Pollino National Park is centered around Monte Pollino, 2248 meters high. The park extends into Calabria and includes 24 Basilicata towns and four nature reserves.

What it Costs

Basilicata is a fairly economical region although there are some luxury places to stay if you’re looking for luxury.

Abstract Pricing at a Glance

Prices often fluctuate dynamically depending on capacity, seasonality and deals. Quoting exact prices that quickly become wrong is not a good idea so to give you a rough idea for budgetary planning purposes we have indicated general price ranges for all points of interest.

Price ranges are quoted in €.

See & Do
N/A => Not applicable
€ => Tickets less than €15 per person
€€ => Tickets €15 – €30 per person
€€€ => Tickets €30 per person

Sleep — Out of town/rural
€ => Rooms less than €60 for a double
€€ => Rooms €60 – €100 for a double
€€€ => Rooms €100 for a double

Sleep — Large Cities
€ => Rooms less than €100 for a double
€€ => Rooms €100 – €150 for a double
€€€ => Rooms €150 for a double

€=> €5- €10 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)
€€ => €10 – €25 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)
€€€ => €25 per person for a meal (without alcohol, tax, tip)

N/A => Not applicable

€ => Tickets less than €25 per person
€€ => Tickets €25 – €50 per person
€€€ => Tickets €50 per person


Exchange Rates and Currency

The currency in Basilicata, and the rest of Italy, is the euro.

Money, ATMs, Credit Cards

The best way to get cash is usually by using a cash machine. Many small restaurants, shops, and even places to stay may not accept credit cards so it’s always a good idea to have cash, especially if you’re traveling outside the main tourist destinations. Be sure to alert your banks before you leave that you’ll be using your debit and credit cards in Italy.


Because much of the region is fairly remote, booking a rental car is really the best way to travel in Basilicata.

Getting There

Trains run to Matera and along the coast but most of the region is not well-served by public transportation. The closest airports are Naples or Lamezia Terme (Calabria) to the west and Bari or Brindisi (Puglia) to the east.


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