Popularly known as ‘The Pearl of the Tyrrhenian’, Maretea
started as a small village on the top of a tiny headland known as La Timpa. Over the years, much development has taken place in the area, making it a tourist magnet for thousands of visitors from various parts of the world. The town grew as small trading centre, which existed until second century BC, when the Romans invaded and conquered Lucania. For some time during the Roman era, the town continued as a trade centre, according to dozens of archeological evidence obtained from the seabed of Santo Jaani Island. Such evidence included anchors, which are now displayed in the local museum.
Geographically, Maratea is a stretch of a rocky coastline of about 20 miles (32km). Maratea is the only town of Basilicata region that lies on the Tyrrhenian Sea. Its small harbour is a beehive of activities, especially during peak seasons. The harbour can accommodate up to 200 boats. With over twenty beaches gracing the coastline, the town has some of most beautiful landscapes, offering a spectacular panoramic view of the coastline. When you visit the place, you cannot avoid breathtaking sea views, splendid mountains, and woody hillsides all gliding down to the sea, revealing beautiful high cliffs. The town is home to Grotta di Maratea, or ‘Cave of Wonders’, as they call it. A great tourist attraction was discovered in 1929 by 18 builders from Calabria. Other key features in the town include Maratea Borgo or Maratea’s Old Town as natives call it. It found on the northern slopes of Mt. San Biagio.
Visitors to Maratea of Basilicata are often keen about some of its key interesting sights, which include the following:
• Steep and jagged coastline covered by dense Mediterranean vegetation
• A string of beautiful headlands and beaches
• Statue of Christ
, which is the second biggest in the world, aside for the one in Rio de Janeiro in Brazil
• Breathtaking coastal panoramic view
• Old artworks and architectural features
• Old religious buildings and monasteries and recent ones as well
Other interesting sights include Basillica of St. Biagio, which is a dedication to the city’s St. Patron, church of the Immaculate
, and church of Santa Maria Maggiorie
. For most tourists, the most enjoyable events include watching Scuba divers, wildlife watching, and visiting the seaside resorts. A spectacular event in the town is the Festival of St. Blaise. Celebrated for the first time in the year 972, it is a special ceremony in honor of the saint. It involves an open ceremony on a Candlemass Day, with a festive procession organized by church members. Traditional concerts and shows, presentation of books and theatre guest performances all grace the occasion.
Tips for Tourists
Maratea of Basilicata has two main urban areas, namely Castello and Borgo. The former sits on top of mount San Biagio, while the latter is on the northern hillside of the mountain. Some of the nearest airports to the place include Salerno-Pontecagnano, Napoli-Capodichino, and Lumezia Terme. This place, although little known to many people, can spice up your holiday in a manner that leaves you quiet and revitalized. Instead of spending much money going to places that may not leave you fulfilled, you can derive a greater satisfaction by visiting Maratea in Basilicata. It provides a suitable tourist destination for both local residents and foreigners, who may just want to have a glimpse of the place, or for specific reasons.