Maratea

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Maratea

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Maratea

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Maratea

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a Chic Coastal Town

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a Chic Coastal Town

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a Chic Coastal Town

MARATEA

Located on the Tyrrenhian Coastline to the south west of the region, Maratea is a chic coastal town, with a historic centre, elegant harbour and pebbled coves.

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The landscape in Maratea is simply unique. It varies from breath-taking sea views to wooded hillsides and majestic mountains which sweep down to the blue sea. There are over 20 white sandy beaches and pebbled coves here, spread along 19 miles of stunning coastline, which is dotted with numerous sea caves, most of which can only be reached by boat. La Grotta delle Meraviglie is the only sea cave accessible on foot and there are some amazing stalactite and stalagmite formations to be seen in this deep underground cavern.

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Maratea is known as the ‘Cannes’ of Southern Italy, with chic residences and a stunning harbour, it is a popular hidden retreat for the rich and famous. Like Cannes, Maratea hosts a prestigious International Film Festival in August every year with many renowned directors and actors converging on the town in a celebration of film.

The town of Maratea is situated on a hilltop, overlooking idyllic waters. It has charming unspoilt scenery both inland and along the coast, with colourful houses nestled among the trees it really is an undiscovered delight of Southern Italy. The town contains an impressive 44 churches and a white Statue of Christ, ‘Il Redentore’ dominates the skyline above the village and coast. The climb up to the statue is a challenging one, but the panoramic view from the top is well worth the hike and is a vital part of your Basilicata holiday itinerary.

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The historic centre of Maratea dates back to the 13th century and is built upon the slopes of Monte San Biagio and was recently carefully restored. There are two main piazzas; the charming Piazza Buragli and the Piazza Vitolo which are connected by a narrow street as well as a maze of winding streets and alleyways. Small shops sell a variety of regional speciality foods and crafts including colourful ceramics. The centre is small and an hour or two’s stroll should be enough to do it justice.

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The beaches around Maratea include many secluded coves accessible by car or the local bus. Winding roads with hairpin bends offer spectacular coastal and mountain views and they pass ruined towers which once guarded the shore. Some of the beaches are Catrocucco, Fiumicello and Macarro (a black sand beach). Other good options for swimming include the beaches at Acquafredda (10 km north) and Marina di Maratea (5 km south) which can be accessed from the coastal road. The Centro Sub Maratea, based in Santa Caterina, offers diving courses and excursions. During the holiday season it is also possible to hire boats or go on a sailing or fishing trip.

DON’T MISS

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THE PORT

Maratea’s yacht harbour is 10 minutes by road from its historic centre. Once a fishing harbour, these days it is used primarily to host yachts and other luxury boats. The port has an assortment of shops, pavement cafes and restaurants. In good weather, boats offer excursions to various caves and other parts of the coast.

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THE STATUE OF CHRIST THE REDEEMER

The impressive white Statue of Christ the Redeemer was created by sculptor Bruno Innocenti and has dominated the skyline above the village and coast since 1965.  It is worth climbing the hill above the town, Monte San Biagio, to the 22ft statue which faces inland, with its arms outstretched. Admittance is free and the views will take your breath away.

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THE CAVE OF WONDERS

La Grotta Delle Meraviglie is accessible by car and often signposted or advertised as the ‘Grotte Di Maratea’. The ‘Cave of Wonders’ was discovered in 1929 by workmen building a highway from Calabria. The caverns are spectacular.

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THE CHURCHES

The Basilica of San Biagio is the main church of the district. It is situated on top of Monte San Biagio, opposite the statue of Christ the Redeemer. Built in the 6th – 7th century, it houses the remains of the saint, who is honoured every year in May by a procession in which a silver statue of the saint is transported from the Basilica to the main church of the old town.

Maratea is home to 44 churches, 21 of which are open to the public, 11 can be found in the old town alone. We don’t insist you see them all, but it is worth descending to the old town and visiting the church of Santa Maria Maggiore, built in 1505. The three churches near the Piazza Buraglia; the Chiesa dell’Addolorata, the Chiesa dell’Immacolata and the Chiesa dell’Annunziata are generally open and are worth visiting for their artworks and their atmosphere which is both quaint and devout.

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VILLAGES NEAR MARATEA