LogoLogo

Maratea, Province of Potenza, Basilicata, Italy

The territory of the town, the only center of Basilicata on the Thyrrhenian, occupies the 30 km between Sapri in Campania and Marina di Tortora in Calabria.

It is situated in a wonderfully panoramic position on the most enchanting Gulf of Policastro along the indented coast of the Tyrrhenian, at the foot of Mount San Biagio, is deservedly called "the pearl of the Thyrrhenian Sea". The municipality includes the popular seaside resorts of Acquadredda, Cersuta, Fiumicello, Porto, Marina and Castrocucco, and in the mountainous hinterland Massa, Brefaro and S. Caterina, while to the west of Mount San Biagio are Curzo and Campo.

Info

Altitude: 310 m a.s.l -- Population: ca. 5,400 inhabitants -- Zip/postal code: 85046 -- Phone Area Code: 0973

Territory

The territory is various and outstandingly beautiful, with green vegetation everywhere, small beaches and rocky bays, the mountains behind as a protection from the cold winds. The old medieval town centre of Maratea Centro, also called "Castello" rises at the foot of Monte San Biagio, and still has its original medieval street-plan with narrow streets and stairways. On top of the "Castello" around the Santuario-Basilica, there are the ruins of the ancient Greek Maratea.
The Christ of Maratea

What to see

Where to stay

Province of Potenza

History

The earliest historical settlement took place on the Mount San Biagio, where the Greek colonizers founded a town. Some hisotriand also identify this colony with the Roman Blanda Julia that disappeared in the 8th century AD. More recent excavations would however identify the location of Blanda on the souther border of the territory, at the mouth of the Noce river. Some unknown event brought about the destruction of Blanda Julia, and the refugees founded the medieval Maratea in a higher position.

An ancient settlement was found also along the coast at "Santavenere", where items and documents show the presence of a temple to goddess Venus. It is therefore possible that both Santavenere and Castello joined in one center. In Roman times the small isle of Santo Janni was used to produce the "garum", a fish-based salty sauce in great demand in Rome, used to flavour dishes; on the sea bottom around the island naby anchors have been found, and on the island there are still the stone basins used to produce the garum.

In the Middle Ages the population most probably moved to live to the Castello, for a better defense. The fortress at top, originally a military garrison, was enlarged to include within its walls most of the houses of the town; two main doors were opened in the walls: Porta Santa Maria, the main entrance, and the Porta dei Carpini leading through steep paths to the hinterland where the orchards and farming lands were situated. Under the Anjou Maratea enjoyed many privileges and was granted an independence from the feudal lords.

Follow us on Facebook: