Nestled in the mountains between Campania, Calabria and Apulia, Basilicata is one of Italy’s best-kept secrets. The Basilicata region is hugely diverse, with extinct volcanoes in the mountains giving way to rolling green hills, and evergreen forests hiding turquoise waters lapping on white sandy beaches. Self-catering beach villas make for an excellent summer destination for families, while Basilicata cottages in the mountains provide couples with a romantic and secluded getaway.
In the summer months, the lush countryside and the high mountains in Basilicata make for great opportunities of walking, hiking and mountain biking. The winter months are ski season in Basilicata, with La Sellata-Pierfaone just outside of Potenza and Mount Volturino being among the more popular resorts. Winter is also a great time to appreciate the thermal baths which around the National Park of Pollino.
Potenza holds many monuments which pay tribute to the rich history of the area, including a preserved Roman villa, a cathedral and the church of San Francesco d’Assisi. Potenza is also home to the Provincial Archaeological Museum of Potenza, which provides a wide selection of artefacts from the different eras of the region, and makes for a great distraction when the weather is no so great.
There are also several places in which visitors can view remains from the area’s Greek occupation, such as Metaponto. The small town contains temples, basilicas and a museum detailing the Greek history of the area. Metaponto also has a beautiful 1km white sandy beach which gets quite busy in the summer months.
Although there are not many English-speaking visitors to Martea, it is somewhat of an undiscovered gem. The coastline is touted as one of the most beautiful in all of Italy, overlooked by Christ the Redeemer, a slightly smaller version of the famous Rio landmark.
The National Park of Pollino spans the region between Calabria and Basilicata and is a great place to spend some time getting back to nature. The area features stunning areas of natural beauty with a rich array of photo opportunities around the forests, rivers and lakes.
The summer months are the best time to visit Basilicata for a beach holiday, with temperatures reaching the upper twenties and with the driest months being May to September. Tourists still flock to Basilicata in the winter months for the skiing, with snowfall in the region making for cold winter months between December and March.
Basilicata is served by both Bari (BRI) and Naples (NAP) airports. Bari airport received several international flights daily, although caters predominantly to domestic services. Naples is well-served by most international airlines, with several budget airlines including easyJet flying daily from the UK. Hire cars are available from Naples airport to get to your self-catering accommodation in Basilicata, which is around 185km east.