Basilicata – Italy’s secret garden

  • 7 Days
  • Basilicata
  • Cultural, Etnographic


Basilicata is considered as the secret garden of Italy: a wild, little-known land which deserves to be discovered. Once dramatically isolated from the rest of the country, nowadays this isolation represents an incredible motivation to explore a land which has been able to preserve ancient rituals and tradition despite modernity. Here is possible to enjoy a stress-relief experience, based on a more relaxed way of life and on a genuine lifestyle with genuine local food. In this land mass tourism is practically unknown, which means that even today travellers are welcome and treated as guests.

Group departures:  29th October 2023 (Special Chestnuts)

What to Expect

A journey across the most mysterious and remote region in Italy, Basilicata. Located in the south of Italy, this isolated region is an opportunity to explore an unpoiled land which preserves untouched cultural and natural resources. The ghost town of Craco vecchia, the life in Borgo San Mauro Forte, the landscapes of Dolomiti Lucane are just few of the stunning gems of this region. We will also join naturalistic excursions at the Waterfalls of Savoia del Vallore di Tuorno and a trekking through Costare beech forest.
Moreover, Basilicata preserves the UNESCO site and European cultural capital 2019 of Matera.The old districts of the city that are famous for their stunning their ancient cave dwellings inhabited since the Paleolithic period.

  • UNESCO world heritage site "The Sassi of Matera"
  • Etnography
  • Cultural heritage
  • Local food


Day 1 - Bari - Matera • Arrival

Meet and greet at the airport and transfer to Matera for the overnight.Matera Basilicata

Day 2 - Matera • Discovering the city of “Sassi”

After breaksfast we start the visit of Matera, Unesco World Heritage and European Culutral Capital in 2019. Matera has been able to become an amazing example of resilience. We will visit the Sassi di Matera, the old districts of the city that are famous for their stunning their ancient cave dwellings inhabited since the Paleolithic period. In the afternoon we will attend to a cook class in one of the oldest bakery of Matera in order to learn more about Matera Bread, the typical local bread which is made only here. Overnight in Matera.Matera Basilicata

Day 3 - Matera – Craco Vecchia – San Mauro Forte - Castelmezzano • The ghost town of Craco Vecchia and the Carnival ritual of “Campanacci” (140km - 2h driving)

Today we visit the ghost town of Craco Vecchia and its fascinating and romantic surrounded by a stunning lunar landscape. Then in San Mauro Forte we have the chance to see and experience a day in the life of this ancient Borgo by visiting three farmhouses and talking with local young people who decided to live in San Mauro Forte to avoid depopulation of the Borgo. Here we will discover more about local traditions with the help of a local anthropologist, who will tell us about the carnival ritual of “campanacci” (cowbells).Craco Vecchia Basilicata

Day 4 - San Mauro Forte – Pietrapertosa – Castelmezzano – Satriano di Lucania – Brienza • Landscapes of Dolomiti Lucane (65km - 2.30h driving)

This day is dedicated to the exploration of Dolomiti Lucane, a mountain range that hides two amazing Borghi carved in the stone: Pietrapertosa and Castelmezzano., We move then to Satriano to discover another peculiar and interesting tradition about Carnival: the construction of Rumita (hermit). At the end of the day we move to one of the best 10 restaurants of the region for the dinner.
After the dinner, we move to Sasso di Castalda for the overnight.Castelmezzano Basilicata

Day 5 - Brienza - Savoia del Vallone di Tuorno waterfalls – Sasso di Castalda beech forest – Brienza • Inside the green heart of Basilicata (60km - 1h driving)

This day is dedicated to two beautiful naturalistic excursions that will allow us to discover the unspoiled beauty of this region. We start with the excursion to the Waterfalls of Savoia del Vallone di Tuorno, one the wildest location in the entire country. Due to the difficult path that was necessary to reach this spot, today these waterfalls and the sorrounding forest are uncontaminated. We walk on the path along the river, between water jumps,, smooth stones overhanging trees immersed in the eternal green landscape. After the visit, we move to Sant’Angelo le Fratte for a traditional lunch in a cellar. In the afternoon we travel back to Sasso di Castalda to enjoy an easy trek through the astonishing Costara beech forest in order to reach the San Michele Monumental tree, a 300 years-old beech. At the end of the visit there is the opportunity to cross Ponte alla Luna, the longest Tibetan bridge in Italy.Sasso di Castalda - Ponte alla Luna 2

Day 6 - Brienza - Laghi di Monticchio – Melfi • Laghi di Monticchio and the Castle of Melfi (110 km - 1.45h driving)

The protagonist of this day is a volcano: Vulture. Its influence, despite it is not active anymore, is still strong today. On its slopes we find the lakes of Monticchio and the Abbey of San Michele. In the afternoon, after visiting a wine cellar and tasting a few glasses of Aglianico wine, we will explore the remains of the former residence of Frederick II of Swabia: the Castle of Melfi.Laghi di Monticchio Basilicata

Day 7 - Melfi – Bari • Departure (140 km – 2h driving)

After breakfast we drive back to Bari Airport for the return flight.

Price Includes

  • Transfers from/to airport or train
  • Overnight in 3* hotel in BB treatment
  • Private transport by minibus
  • All the meals except dinner on day 5
  • Wine tasting on day 6
  • Matera bread cooking class on day 2
  • Local guide
  • Entrance fees

Price Excludes

  • International flights
  • Travel insurance
  • All the meals not specified in the program
  • Tips
  • Personal expenses
  • Everything not specified in "the quote includes"
  • Tourist tax
  • Drinks


When can I travel ?

From February to October, see scheduled departures. 

More departures upon request and availability.

How much does it cost ?

On request – quotations from 2 to 12 pax.

For further information on the price or a tailor-made quotation please contact us at

How's the climate ?

The best period for a trip to Basilicata is between May and September, which are months characterized by mild temperatures and less rainfall.

Are meals included ?

All the meals except for dinner on day 5. 

Which transportation will be used ?

We travel by minibus. 

What is "borgo"?

The literal translation of Borgo in English would be “Hamlet” or “Village“ but these words do not fully explains the meaning of “Borgo” is.
A “Borgo” is a fascinating, ancient, small Italian town, generally fortified and dating back to the period from Middle Ages to Renaissance. Walking in a “Borgo” is a step back in time, a walk through history, a typical Italian experience.

For logistics or technical reasons, the itinerary can be run with some amendments on the sequence of the visits and excursions.

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