Italy
Provincia di Potenza

Here you’ll find travel reports about Provincia di Potenza. Discover travel destinations in Italy of travelers writing a travel blog on FindPenguins.

16 travelers at this place:

  • Day221

    Lavello

    February 2, 2017 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 12 °C

    Leaving Lucera, we hoped to find a quieter stopover with less litter where we could relax for a few days. Setting off a few within 50 miles we started along the staright and bumpy roads that networked the patchwork of fields. Frequently there were plumes of smoke rising from amidst olive groves as farmers burned pruned branches. Growers had probably used this method of disposal for centuries but with such intensive cultivation and mass production, the smoke coloured the air for miles around.

    The first stopover, up in the hills was difficult to get to through the narrow streets and when we stepped outside it was like walking on a surface of compacted landfill. The second proved impossible to get to, as both roads ahead had height limits. We had to ignore a 'one way' sign to get back out of the town. Despite keeping our eyes peeled for wild camping in the countryside, nothing fitted the bill and we carried on, eventually finding a spot in the town of Lavello. It was cleaner, quieter and we were very glad.

    We spent two nights here and discovered we'd entered into the region of Basilicata- perhaps the reason for the improved cleanliness and the evidence of investment in public amenities such as small parks and sports facilities. Prices were low and the high level of poverty apparent in the quality of housing and cars. Even the clothes people wore, although in good condition, didn't have the same pride of presentation as we'd seen further north. Friday lunchtime was spent at a pizzaria in the comfortable basement of a multistorey building, a short walk away from the central piazza. It had advertised a 4 course meal for €15 and as we hadn't yet had 'primi, secondi, dolce and caffe' in one sitting, we went for it. They didn't stint on portion sizes or ingredients. After bolognaise, muscles, steak, fruit, coffee, water and a good amount of wine we'd really enjoyed our time there and the place had filled up with a good range of diners. Taking the long way back to the van we skirted round the edge of Lavello. There was very little green space amongst the low rise apartments from which people hung their drying, even placing portable drying racks on the pavements. Where the housing ended, the sloped and terraced plots began. Some were used, some weren't, there were fig trees, olives and wire fenced enclosures guarded by dogs. As the land flattened out in the narrow valley floor below, sheep chimed their bells and chickens scraped the dry earth. It was a beautiful view and would have been even nicer were it not for the fly tipping.

    Our Friday night was spent living the high life (taking the sleeping bag for a much needed wash at the 'lavendaria'!) We were there for more than an hour and witnessed the Italian Passegiata, where lots of people come out for an evening stroll through the streets. It's a social event and people of all ages take part. We found it interesting to think of how the groups of teenagers would be viewed were they wandering the streets back in the UK. Here, the whole community was out together, away from the TV and focusing on what and who was around them.
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  • Day50

    Cristo Redentore di Maratea

    October 18, 2018 in Italy ⋅ ☀️ 25 °C

    Well what a road trip today. Brad’s GPS was determined to take us on the road less travelled and that certainly wasn’t the easiest at times. I can’t believe how narrow some of the so called dual lane roads are over here. It was certainly a bit daunting at times.

    In saying that the changes in the landscape today have been quite dramatic from rolling hills of fields either recently harvested or ready to be plowed to mountains covered in trees and bush with a rainforest like feel. I am loving the southern end of Italy.

    We finally arrived at our location in Maratea for the night and while it was a confronting drive the view when we got here was amazing. Maratea is approximately 32 km of rocky coastline with 20 beaches however we are staying further up from the coast. This is just an overnight stop to break up our drive towards Sicily. Maratea is also known as the town of churches as it has 44 of them!! Shock, surprise we didn’t visit any of them today.

    Our only tourist stop today was the Cristo Redentore di Maratea, the Statue of Christ the Redeemer, at the top of Mount San Biagio. After the drive we had I didn’t think anything could be worse but I was mistaken! Not only did we drive down narrow laneways through town, we then had the treacherous windy drive up the mountain. I didn’t think I was scared of heights but I really had to reassess that belief this trip and today certainly challenged me. Not only was the road windy, the drop from the edge of the road was daunting and the guard rails minimal. Definitely an experience but not a drive I want to repeat.

    The statue of Christ the Redeemer was erected in 1965 and is the tallest statue in Italy, the second tallest in the world. Created by Florentine sculptor, Bruno Innocenti, it is 21 metres tall and 19 metres wide. Made from reinforced concrete covered with a mixture of white cement and marble from Carrara, it makes a striking figure on the mountain top.

    I had read there was a car park towards the top of the mountain and then a shuttle bus would take us the rest of the way, however there was no mention about it not operating in October. Thankfully (or unfortunately) we were unable to drive past the carpark due to it being a traffic limit zone and while I was disappointed we couldn’t get to the top the road to be travelled would have been the scariest by far. We made do with walking as far as we could and grabbing some photos from as close as possible. The view was breathtaking and I was shaking just getting close to the edge for photos.

    I was relieved when we had made it back to town. Having decided we (Brad) were done with driving we stopped in town, after driving around a round about the wrong way and making an Italian laugh, grabbed a takeaway pizza and enjoyed an early dinner with some local wine sat in the lovely outdoor area of our B&B. Another interesting day on our Italian adventure.
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  • Day158

    Badlands

    April 3 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 17 °C

    This part of Lucania is known as the badlands.
    “The endless expanse of dry clay, without a sign of human life, waving under the sun as far as eyes could see, far away, far away, they could melt in the white sky”. [Carlo Levi]
    Basically clay with pockets of sand, the rain carves gullies which are then baked in the firece sun and crack, eventually channelling further rainfall and forming these steep eroded hills, resembling a moonscape.Read more

  • Day158

    Flying fish

    April 3 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    This time the crossing only cost me 56 Euros for the 30 minute ride. The boat was not even half full, so I could sail virtually immediately and set off for Latronico, for it was here in 1982 that a fossil was found at an altitude of 980m ASL.
    It looks like a swordfish but has been classified as an istioforide (genus Makaira) which lived in the miocenico sea 10 to 30 million years ago. Its abut 235cm long and 95 high and the skeleton can just about be made out - after seeing a drawing of it! The detail photo shows a flipper.
    And no, I didn't draw an outline on the relic, I copied the print on an information panel.
    This species of fish was common in the tropical Atlantic and more rarely in the Med. If I said Ernest Hemingway "The old Man and the Sea" you can guess what we call these fighting fish nowadays.
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  • Day158

    Here be dragons

    April 3 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 10 °C

    I went to Sant'Arcangelo after reading Carlo Levi's book "Christ stopped at Eboli."
    In it he recounts how dragons used to live in the area, proved by a set of dragon horns held in a local church.
    Nobody in the nearly deserted town knew anything about it though and there were no references to 'Game of Thrones", so as all the churches were locked up tight, I had to leave taking the story on faith alone.Read more

  • Day158

    The town that dare not speak its name

    April 3 in Italy ⋅ ⛅ 16 °C

    Who could resist visiting a town known as the “town of misfortune”; Chillu Paese, (That Town,) in the local dialect as saying its name is believed to bring bad luck.
    The curse on Colobraro is as old as the place itself; but it wasn’t until the 20th century that the evil was fully awakened, thanks to a lawyer and a witch. The lawyer was proud never to have lost a case. In the middle of one case he rashly proclaimed that if he told a lie to the court the rooms chandelier would come crashing down. Of course, it did, but he still won claiming the opposing side had resorted to witchcraft as they had no better arguments.
    The townspeople and those from neighbouring villages began to believe that some of That Town’s women were actually witches who practiced dark magic. In the 1950s, people especially feared La Cattre, a wrinkled elderly woman many claimed was a sorceress. Anthropologists then began visiting the town to investigate its mysteries, but according to local lore they, too, soon fell victim to freak accidents and illnesses.
    Another legend concerns the remains of the Norman fortress of which only a few stone walls survive. It is inhabited by a mischevous sprite, being the soul of an unbabtised child. Wearing a red cloak with a hood it plays tricks on the unwary but will grant any wish if you can catch hold of its hood.
    This particular tale is very old and is often fused with the mythology of the brigands for which the region is famous. In this version, the brigands, who were welcomed and sustained by the ordinary folk as a gesture of defiance to uncaring authority, buried enormous quantities of plunder around the countryside. And forgot where it was hid. The sprite know though and if you catch one by the hood it will lead you to the treasure. However, you must not let go of its hood or it will run away and laugh at you, revealing nothing.
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You might also know this place by the following names:

Provincia di Potenza, Potenza

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