Basilicata, Italy, Metaponto, travel, travel with kids
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Metaponto, Italy

Last year this week we flew to Europe to spend time with my parents in Germany and visit relatives in the Basilicata region of Italy. Our house was in the small seaside village of Metaponto.

We would spend time between sightseeing in nearby Matera and the hill towns of the region and swimming in turquoise waters and lie on soft, sandy beaches…

If there still is a quiet and lesser discovered region in Italy – this is it…

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seaside lunch of capicola, fresh ricotta, arugula and marinated artichokes

seaside lunch of capicola, fresh ricotta, arugula and marinated artichokes


Miglionico - a historic hilltop town, overlooking the Bradano and Basento valleys.

Miglionico – a historic hilltop town, overlooking the Bradano and Basento valleys.

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more info about Metaponto:

Getting Around

It’s essential to have a car in Basilicata. You can fly into Rome and rent a car there, then drive the five hours south. Or you can connect in Rome and fly to Bari and then rent a car and drive a little over an hour. A favorite way to go is to take the train directly from Rome to Metaponto, which leaves several times a day. There are no car rentals in Metaponto, but most hotel hosts will meet guests at the station and arrange for a car to be delivered.

Where to Stay

San Teodoro Nuovo, santeodoronuovo­.com. A working farm on the Metapontan plain. Apartment with double room between 115 and 140 euros per night, or $127 and $155, at $1.11 to the euro. Breakfast included. Closed from November through Easter.

Hotel Giardino Giamperduto, Via Giamperduto; giamperduto­.com. An oasis in a busy neighborhood in Bernalda. Breakfast included. Open year round. Double rooms start at 100 euros per night.

Locanda di San Martino, 71 Via Fiorentini; locandadisanmartino­.it. A modern boutique cave hotel in the heart of Matera. Rooms off season start around 100 euros; high season, 150 euros. Breakfast included.

Where to Eat

Riva dei Ginepri, Lido 48; rivadeiginepri.it. Snacks, cocktails and a multicourse prix fixe lunch for 25 euros in Marina di Pisticci. Open May through October.

Cinecittà Bar, 64 Corso Umberto I; coppolaresorts­.com/palazzomargherita. The hip but affordable restaurant inside Francis Ford Coppola’s luxury hotel in Bernalda, Palazzo Margherita.

Al Vecchio Frantoio, 70 Corso Umberto I. Considered by many to be Bernalda’s best restaurant.

La Gatta Buia, 90-92 Via delle Beccherie. This cozy restaurant is in an old cave jail in Matera. Modern cuisine based on regional classics.

Alle Porte, 1 Via Redi; ristorantealleporte.it. A great pizzeria and restaurant in a spacious 16th-century building in the historic district of Bernalda.

What to See

National Archaeological Museum of Metaponto, 21 Via Aristea, Metaponto, sba-bas­.metapontomuseo­@beniculturali.it, houses a vast collection of Greek vases, jewelry, weapons and sculpture. Open Tuesday to Sunday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Monday from 2 to 8 p.m. Admission, 2.50 euros.

The Archaeological Park in Metaponto is where many of the ruins are, including an amphitheater and temples dedicated to Athena, Apollo and Hera. Always open.

Tavole Palatine, the site of 15 Doric columns dating from the sixth century B.C., just off Highway 106 in Metaponto near the Bradano River.

The Crypt of the Original Sin, cryptoforiginalsin.it, a cave just outside Matera with beautiful ninth-century frescoes of Adam and Eve, the Madonna and Child, and SS. Peter and Agatha, painted by troglodytic monks escaping religious persecution in the Byzantine Empire. Guided tours only; 8 euros.

(this info is from The New York Times Travel section – click here to read a great article by Helene Stapinski: Discovering the Ruins of Italy’s Ionian Coast)

more info about Miglionico

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