Hotels in Italy
Januari 30, 2023
Voce Amica
No.12: Voce Amica
Januari 30, 2023

No.12 Focus On Italy

Focus On Italy

Palatine Tables Hera Sanctuary in Metaponto Basilicata Italy

Ancient Temple, Metaposto, Basilicata
Basilicata and Molise are not neighboring regions, they have different climates and landscapes and their inhabitants even speak different dialects. And yet, they are often lumped together. What they have in common is their relative anonymity-both of these regions are virtually unknown to travelers outside of Italy. The result is a refreshing authenticity that makes them the perfect choice for the intrepid traveler seeking new Italian destinations.

Italy is a boot, Basilicata is wedged in its instep. It is almost fully surrounded by other regions-by Campania to the west, Puglia to the north, Calabria to the southeast-except for its two majestic shorelines, the Ionian Sea to the southeast and Tyrrhenian Sea to the southwest. A wealth of archeological sites, medieval towns and castles, historic churches, and varied landscape means there’s something for everyone in Basilicata

The capital f the region is Potenza. It has a rich history, going back at least as far as the second century BC. This makes for an eclectic cityscape in which different parts of the city reflect different periods of architectural style. When in Potenza, be sure to visit its many churches and cathedrals, most of which date back to the 13th century. Also worth a visit is the prehistoric exhibit at the Provincial Archeological Museum.

We consider the city of Matera to be the gem of the region (so does UNESCO; it’s a World Heritage Location). This is a city of Baroque churches, charming trattorias, and lively piazze, but most people come for the cave. Matera is home to the “sassi,” literally “stones”, rock-hewn structures that once sheltered a transient nomadic or refugee population. Amazingly, some of the sassi are churches, chapels painstakingly carved out of the hills by monks fleeing their persecutors in the Middle Ages. Some are remarkably ornate; many have frescoes still discernible on their cold stone walls. For the best view, we recommend that you head up the Strada Panoramica and wander among them. The overall effect of the sassi is one of mystery-it seems certain that each structure has a powerful story behind it.

Don’t confuse Matera in the northeast quadrant of the region with Maratea in the southwest-or else you’ll miss one of Italy’s loveliest beach resorts. Maratea is a popular getaway among Italians, but few tourists go there. In the summer, the town’s beaches and secluded coves are a must for bathers and sun-worshippers In the winter the winding streets and open squares of this medieval town offer enough beauty and history to keep visitors busy.

After some R&R on the Tyrrhenian coast, head across to Basilicata’s other shore to explore some of Italy’s most astonishing archeological remains. Herecleia and Metapontum, ancient Greek settlements, lie along the Ionian Sea. In the 7th century BC Greek settlers established themselves in the area, building communities of traders, farmers, and craftsman. Experts have determined that Herecleia was founded in the 5th century BC. Metaponto, dating from the 8th century BC, was one of the most important Greek outposts. The remains of the Greek theater are a reminder of the vibrant culture that once thrived there. Today traces of these once-bustling towns have merged with the landscape as grass and wildflowers push up through vestiges of walls, columns, and temples.

Map of Basilicata
Ancient Ruins, Metaponto, Basilicata
Vermosa, Basilicata


Castle, Melfi, Basilicata
Mt. Milletto, Isernia Maltese, Molise
Map of Molise




Aerial View, Isernia, Molise




The Fontana Fraterna, Isernia, Molise


Molise is the baby of the Italian regions-not until 1963 did it separate from Abruzzo to become a region in its own right. Like Basilicata, it is a small region nestled among many others; its neighbors include Abruzzo, Lazio Puglia, and Campania. Molise also claims a lovely stretch of Adriatic coastline.

The region is mountainous, although as you move east towards the sea, mountains become soft rolling hills. In the past, the mountains meant that individual communities were cut off from one another; this is why Molise was slower than other regions to become industrialized. This is no longer the case-Molise has “caught up” enough that visitors won’t lack for any of the comforts of modernity- but a wonderful sense of isolation remains. Molise truly is off the beaten path, the perfect place to lose yourself for a while to discover forgotten values and peace of mind.

As would seem inevitable for a region of such beauty, tourism has recently started to take off. So if Molise’s quiet expanses of wilderness, insider cache and old time villages-many of which are still dependent on agriculture-are appealing, we recommend that you go soon!

From November through February, the mountain resort towns of Capracotta, Pescopennataro, and Campitello Matese are popular among winter sports enthusiasts. In the summer, head to Marino di Montanero, Petacciato Marina, and especially Termoli, for a more peaceful beach vacation than you might find at other resorts on Italy’s east coast.

Moving inland, visitors to Molise can’t help but be enchanted by the small villages with farmers’ markets and medieval churches, where regional crafts are produced and sold by skilled locals who, in some cases, speak centuries-old dialects.

Campobasso is the region’s capital ad largest city. Dating from medieval times, today the city surrounds the hills on which he Castello Monforte stands. This fortress (erected in the 9th century, rebuilt in the 16th century) protected the city from its many invaders, and stands today as an imposing landmark. Visitors shouldn’t miss the 16th century church of Sant’Antonio Abate and the Romanesque churches of San Bartolomeo and San Giorgio.

Isernia, another important city in the region, is located just where the borders of Molise, Campania, and Lazio meet. Originating 2000 years ago as a strategic road intersection, Isernia has been under the control of many civilizations, including Roman, Gothic, and Byzantine. Each conquest brought deconstruction and rebuilding; this, coupled with damaged and restoration after a series of earthquakes, has meant that Isernia has been in a constant state of flux. (Experts say that the town has been destroyed and rebuilt 12 times, most recently after the devastation bombings of World War II).

The history of the main cathedral is emblematic of the town’s–it was built in the 14th century on the site where another church once stood; then 500 year later, it was nearly destroyed by the earthquake of 1805, after which it was rebuilt once more.



Mount Milletto, Molise
Beach at Termoli, Molise


Another highlight is the Fraterna Fountain, built in the 13th century by a wealthy local family. Isernia is renowned for the lace produced according to ancient methods-this is something special to look for while browsing the town’s open markets.

Does the name “Agnone” ring a bell? It does for most Italians. Agnone would be just another charming hill town were it not for the bronze forges that produce huge bells for export around the country and the world. In fact, if you spend any time in Italy at all, you will undoubtedly be awakened by a bell cast in the forges of Agnone.

The town is also known for its delectable sweets and baked good which somehow taste better when eaten in the place where the recipes originated.

A trip to Basilicata and Molise will introduce you to an unspoiled Italy. Small towns, piazzas, winding roads, picture-perfect scenery, open markets… it’s a place to relax and explore and interact with people who don’t see enough of tourists to treat them differently.

Head to these “hidden treasures” regions for a genuine experience of Italian country and culture.

Tinggalkan Balasan

Alamat email Anda tidak akan dipublikasikan. Ruas yang wajib ditandai *