Located just east of Castelmezzano, this picturesque hilltop town is classed as one of the most beautiful towns in all of Basilicata, and also the highest. It overlooks the mountains of the Lucanian Dolomites, and is well known to scare and amaze tourists as the town sits close to the edges of the rock it is situated on, with sheer rock faces on all sides of the town giving it the alternative name ‘City in the Clouds’. It is placed amongst peaks that have been given the evocative names of ‘the Hawk’, ‘the Anvil’, ‘the Great Mother’ and ‘the Owl’. Mainly untouched by tourism, a visit to Pietrapertosa during your holiday in Southern Italy will ensure you experience the Italy at its most authentic.

The town sits on the only main road to an ancient castle. The fortification is dominated by a naturally made arch that was once used as a look-out point and provides breathtaking views. If you are more of a thrill seeker you can also enjoy the view from the high-speed, high-altitude zip wire, the Flight of the Angel .

flight of the angel zipwire

On your visit to Pietrapertosa, visit the ancient Saracen castle situated in the old quarter with its incredible ruins and stunning views over the mountains, or the Chapel of the Assunta  where a wooden statue of the Madonna can be found. The beautiful church “Chiesa Madre di San Giacomo” is also worth a visit; dedicated to San Giacomo, the church displays a painting on wood from the 15th century and a variety of frescos from the 14th to 16th centuries.

The monastery of San Francesco was built on the ruins of a Roman fortress in 1474. San Francesco’s Church was built in a Gothic style and contains an engraved wooden choir and magnificent 17th century frescos. Around this area several historical and naturalistic excursions are possible, such as the one through the ‘Sentiero della Croccia’ (Croccia Path) or the ‘Sentiero di Tempa Castello’ (Tempa Castle Path).