Luigi, one of our guides, had warned us even before arriving in the Lucanian territory. Basilicata would have remained in our hearts forever, it would have made us fall in love. Looking at the first rolling hills aboard our bus we still didn’t realize how right he would be.
We have recently finished a beautiful blog tour in Basilicata. Today we are going to tell you about some of the places and experiences we have lived in these days. Martulli Viaggi, with the collaboration of Francesca Milione, led us to the discovery of this wonderful yet still little-known region. The landscapes seem to change every kilometer. Where you turn there is a village, a natural park, a castle to admire and explore.
The first days of our blog tour: discovering some of the most fascinating villages in Basilicata
Our first stop is Sasso di Castalda: thus we find ourselves at 949 meters high, in the heart of the Appennino Lucano-Val d’Agri-Lagonegrese National Park. We are greeted by the characteristic stone houses, the steep stairways, and the pretty colorful alleys with flowered balconies. An aperitif with local products is the perfect opportunity to meet the other bloggers with whom we’ll share the next few days’ adventures.
This is perhaps the first surprise. Basilicata gives us incredible flavors, which best describe the rich territory and the agro–pastoral tradition. From crusco peppers to cheeses and wine, we discover genuine foods that are a real triumph for the palate.
After the aperitif, the deputy mayor takes us to some of the most important places in the village. We discover some secret corners at night and listen to the story of Rocco Petrone. He was the American engineer, son of two inhabitants of the village, who led the Apollo 11 space mission from the Kennedy Space Center.
We spend the night in a beautiful accommodation. Terra del Sasso Suites offers two spacious rooms tastefully furnished, with attention to every detail. But what makes the difference are Michela and Angelo, who warm your heart with their kindness and their gastronomic treats at breakfast.
The morning in Sasso di Castalda begins from the balcony of our room. Even in the rain, we realize the beauty that surrounds this village perched in the shade of high rocks. In front of us, we can admire wonderful views of the surrounding landscape and an interesting geosite. We also catch a glimpse of Ponte Alla Luna, a Tibetan bridge that today represents one of the greatest attractions of this corner of Basilicata.
Ponte Alla Luna, adrenaline-fueled adventures in Basilicata
In 2017, Ponte Alla Luna opened its doors. Today it’s perhaps one of the most exciting and impressive experiences you can live in Basilicata. Its name recalls the link between Sasso di Castalda and the moon landing. It is a Tibetan bridge, one of the longest and most fascinating in the region. In reality, the attraction consists of two different suspension bridges. The first one s 95 meters long and suspended at about 30 meters high and you’ll need to practice. After that, you reach the rock side characterized by geological formations and the other bridge. This is 300 meters long with a maximum height from the stream below of 102 meters. It is a unique and breathtaking experience, that you practice in total safety and which allows you to admire Lucanian nature from a different perspective. If you don’t suffer from vertigo like me, it’s worth living!
The murals of Sant’Angelo Le Fratte
The second destination of our blog tour in Basilicata is Sant’Angelo le Fratte. The village together with Satriano and Savoia di Lucania forms the “Most painted valley in Italy”. From 1995 onwards some of the houses have been decorated with paintings by various Italian and international artists. New ones are added every year and today there are 158 murals. They tell the history, customs, and habits of the community and make this small village even more fascinating and evocative. You can discover it by getting lost in its colorful alleys.
Sant’Angelo Le Fratte is also famous for its cellars, carved directly into the rock of Carpineto mountain and which have always been used to store wine, cheese, and cured meats. Every year, from 12 to 14 August, the cellars come alive by hosting the much-loved event “The Open Cellars of Sant’Angelo Le Fratte”.
Castelmezzano and the Little Dolomites
Basilicata is dotted with small and charming villages and so you have a lot of choices. We were lucky enough to visit Castelmezzano, which deservedly is part of the Most Beautiful Villages in Italy association. So we moved from the Appennino Lucano Val d’Agri Lagonegrese National Park to the Regional Park of the Lucanian Dolomites and we found ourselves in front of a majestic panorama. The village climbs on the rock and in the background, you can admire the profiles of the so-called small Dolomites, which almost seem to protect the houses.
Games of light and shadows seem to give life to the peaks of these fascinating mountains: popular tradition has thus given them the names of Golden Eagle, Beak of the Owl, Great Mother, Anvil, and Lion’s Mouth. We cross the natural gate of the town, a tunnel carved into the rock, and walk through the heart of this typically medieval village. A suggestive ladder carved into the rock leads us to the ruins of the city walls, to the ancient castle of Castrum Medianum, and an impressive viewpoint.
Viggiano, stage of the pilgrimage in Basilicata
Another stop on our blog tour in Basilicata is Viggiano, a village famous for being the most important religious center in the region for the presence of the cult of the Black Madonna, Patroness of Basilicata, and for its rich musical tradition, in particular linked to the harp. Here we have the opportunity to try our hand at homemade pasta. A group of women from Viggiano teaches us to make ferricelli, the undisputed protagonist of the village tables.
Basilicata is a region that you must live fully, its beauty is indescribable. Ideal for us eco-travelers thanks mainly to the presence of two national parks and three regional parks, perfect for those who want to take a food holiday, for those who dream of an active or cultural holiday. The things that will win your heart are its varied landscapes, from the gullies to the peaks that recall the Dolomites, the magic of Matera, the wildest corners, and above all the people who welcome you and make you feel at home.
Where to sleep in Basilicata
Do you want to fall in love with this region as we did? Plan your next holiday in Basilicata now, staying in eco-friendly holiday homes, B&Bs and hotels.
Our blog tour in Basilicata certainly could not fail to include Matera! Keep following us to discover all the beauty of its stone town.