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ART CITIES IN BASILICATA - ART AND CULTURE IN BASILICATA - CULTURAL HOLIDAYS

ART AND CULTURE HOLIDAYS IN BASILICATA

Ostuni città bianca

Basilicata is a region that is steeped in history, with its architecture reflecting the influences of the ages. An example of this rich architectural heritage is the Cathedral of Matera, dating back to the 13th century and still standing proud at the highest point of the city.

A few kilometres along the Appian Way from Matera is the so-called Sistine Chapel of Rupestrian Art, the Crypt of Original Sin, which features a 9th century series of frescoes painted on the walls of hollows in the limestone cliffs.
Also in Matera is the Museum of Contemporary Sculpture, where modern day pieces are presented in contrast with the rock-hewn surroundings of the 16th century Palazzo Pomarici.

In the north west of Basilicata lies the historic town of Melfi, once the capital of the Normans. Its cathedral was originally built in 1155 but only the bell tower has survived the numerous earthquakes over the centuries. It is now home to several works of art including a Byzantine icon of the Madonna. Nearby lie several other churches worth a visit, with impressive frescoes and sculptures spread among them - you could spend a full day touring here.

A trip to Basilicata would not be complete without a visit to the Ghost Town of Craco, a small hilltop village which was abandoned after repeated earthquakes and landslides. The deserted town makes for an eerie guided tour (independent exploration is not permitted), and the town has been used as a backdrop for several films including Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ.

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