Maratea is deservedly considered the treasure of the Basilicata region. The only seacoast town on the Tyrrhenian coast of Basilicata, Maratea has been growing in popularity for tourists, and by today has become a true must-see landmark of the region.
The commune of Maratea includes several villages: Acquafredda, Cersuta, Fiumicello, Castrocucco Porto and Marina di Maratea are all located on the coast. The beaches are small, but cozy and picturesque. The area by the beach is tourist-friendly, offering shops, bars and restaurants. Few other villages (Brefaro, Massa, Castello and Santa Caterina) stand on surrounding hills, guaranteeing an amazing sea panorama. Maratea itself, the historic center, stands on a hill. Its the most common place to stay if you’re vacationing in the area. But be aware that getting to the beach involves going up and down steep stairs and a great deal of energy!
What to see in Maratea
Maratea is often called the ‘town of 44 churches’ – clearly due to the number of churches in the area. The village ensemble is watched over by a giant statue of Jesus Christ on the hill of Monte San Biagio. It is definitely worth going up to see it (if you don’t feel like hiking, you can drive or even take a taxi uphill). The statue, Il Renditore, is a highlight of Maratea, and is believed to be blessing the land of Basilicata.
For the church enthusiasts out there we recommend: Chiesa d’Immacolata, Chiesa d’Annunziata and Chiesa dell’Addolorata located in the main square of Piazza Buraglia. Locals also recommend visiting Chiesa Madre and Chiesetta del Calvario (16th Century), but they are not always open for public and you’ll need to ask about the opening hours on the day. The oldest church in town is Chiesa di San Vito (11th century). It is located near the Chiesa Madre, further uphill from the Piazza Buraglia. Here you can witness old abandoned buildings wither next to newly restored houses. Another photographer’s delight is the medieval Convent of Capuchins – Convento dei Cappuccini. But you don’t have to carry a camera to appreciate the interesting ensemble of towers and churches of the convent. The tangled old streets are a sight themselves. Walking through the town, between the churches and old buildings, listening to the sounds of the town’s life is to be savored by those who have never seen an Italian town not overrun with tourists. Admirers of laid back, small town living – this is the place for you!
Other things to do
Once you’ve explored the upper part of town, it is worth coming down to the sea coast for some fresh sea air. The beach area offers boat activities, such as sailing and fishing. You can rent a boat for cruising along the coast and enjoying the amazing view. The highly recommended locations to visit by the sea are Porto, Marina, Acquafredda and Fiumicello. The beaches there are well-organized, beautiful and cozy.
How to get to Maratea
If you are not a driver with a navigation system, public transport is your solution. There are trains coming from major cities: Naples, Bologna, Florence, Rome, etc. There is also a train from Lamezia Terme in Calabria. Check Trenitalia website to find a convenient route. The following bus companies run for Maratea direction: SITA Sud (www.sitasudtrasporti.it/orari), Rocco Autolinee (www.roccobus.it), Autoservizi Preite S.R.L. (www.autoservizipreite.it).