Maratea

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Maratea , Marathia in the marateota dialect, is an Italian town of 5,083 inhabitants in the province of Potenza, the only center of Basilicata to overlook the Tyrrhenian Sea , through the Gulf of Policastro.

About :  It is one of the main tourist destinations in the region, so much so that it has been nicknamed “the Pearl of the Tyrrhenian”  for its picturesque landscapes and artistic and historical heritage. It is also called “the city of the 44 churches”  for the numerous churches, chapels and monasteries built in different eras and styles, some of which represent notable episodes of the artistic and religious history of the region. On 10 December 1990 the President of the Republic Francesco Cossiga awarded the municipality with the honorary title of “City” , a title which Maratea already boasted on the basis of a decree of 1531 signed by Charles V of Habsburg. On 10 August 2015, the municipality of Maratea formalized its candidacy to become part of the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites.

The small island of Santo Janni overlooks the coast of Maratea. Slightly bigger than a rock, it is about 500 m from the coast. The islet takes its name from an ancient chapel dedicated to San Giovanni, hence the name corrupted by the dialect, and hosts, in particular in its depths, an underwater archaeological area among the most important in the Mediterranean. On the island there is also a zoological endemism: the so-called Dragon of Santo Janni, a blue-brown lizard, which lives confined on the rocky ravines of the islet, subjected to specific protections.

Access : Coordinates: 39.983333, 15.716667 / By Plane : International Airport of Naples in Capodichino: Approx. 137 min. by car ,  Airport of Lamezia Terme: Approx. 91 mi by car , Airport of Salerno and Amalfi Coast: Approx. 87 mi by car ,  By Bus : Local public transport inside the Comune of Maratea is operated by Cotrab. / By Train :  Roma-Reggio Calabria-Sicilia line, with trains to Maratea or Sapri  or the Praja-Aieta-Tortora line, with direct connections to regional trains for Maratea’s three stations (Maratea, Acquafredda and Marina).

By Boat :  Maratea’s port can host boats ranging in size, including those of large dimensions.It’s a step in the routes of the Peninsula circumnavigation or to the Aeolian Islands, Sardinia or the islands of the Gulf of Naples. There are no scheduled services for passenger transport  the closest is a hydrofoil service to Naples which serves the nearby harbor of Sapri (Metro del Mare)

Highlights :

  • Statue of the Redeemer : It is located on the highest peak of Mount San Biagio, overlooking the historic center of Maratea. It was completed in 1965, with a mixture of cement mixed with Carrara marble, by Bruno Innocenti, a Florentine sculptor, based on an idea by Stefano Rivetti.
  • Column of San Biagio , The column of San Biagio, built in 1758 by the population of Maratea.  The votive column in San Biagio, located in front of the Church of the Annunciation in the square of Maratea, was erected by the will of the people on 13 July 1758.

Churches :  For its innumerable churches, chapels and monasteries, Maratea is called the city of 44 churches. : The main churches, both by historical order and by artistic heritage, are:

  • Church of the Rosary, from 1575, richly decorated in the Baroque age.
  • Church of Sant’Antonio, from 1615, popularly called the Capuchin church.
  • Church of San Francesco di Paola, at the foot of the historic center, from 1616
  • Church of the Madonna degli Ulivi, a small medieval hermitage.
  • Church of Maria Santissima Immacolata, a nineteenth-century parish church in the Acquafredda district.
  • Church of the Madonna Addolorata, in the hamlet Cersuta
  • Church of the Madonna del Carmine, a twentieth-century church in the Massa hamlet.
  • Papal Basilica of San Biagio, sanctuary of the patron saint of the city, is located on the top of the mountain of the same name.
  • Mother Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, parish church of the historic center.
  • Church of San Vito, an ancient medieval church.
  • Chiesa dell’Annunziata, a sixteenth-century factory rebuilt in 1748.
  • Church of the Addolorata, in the historic center, from 1620.
  • Church of the Immaculate Conception, in the historic center, nineteenth-century reconstruction of an eighteenth-century chapel built on an older church dedicated to St. Peter.
  • Obelisk of the Addolorata :  The small and simple monument, erected in 1788 by the citizen Gerardo Laurelli in memory of the death of one of his sons, is located in front of the church of the Addolorata.
  • Memorial cross :  The simple monument, in stone and concrete, was built in 1941 on the initiative of the podesta Biagio Vitolo on the top of Mount San Biagio.
  • Villa Nitti in Acquafredda  It is a structure of great historical and architectural value. It was the residence of Francesco Saverio Nitti, a southernist and president of the Council of Ministers during the Kingdom of Italy.
  • Palazzo De Lieto :  Donated to the community in 1734 by Giovanni De Lieto, it became the first real hospital in Maratea. It maintained this function until the beginning of the 20th century, when the city’s hospital was transferred to the ex-convent of San Francesco di Paola
  • The tower merged with Palazzo Eredi Picone :  On the edge of the Pietra del Pesce district, the building stands out for its characteristic tower-shaped loggia, traditionally identified as one of those on the municipal coat of arms.
  • Labanchi baronial palace :  It is located in Secca di Castrocucco. It was built in the 16th century and, in 1860, it hosted Giuseppe Garibaldi for a night, during the Mille expedition.
  • Castello di Castrocucco : Located near the hamlet of the same name, it is located on a large rocky ridge suspended above the SS 18. In 2005 it was subjected to protection by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage and proclaimed a national monument. The entire surrounding area has also been identified as a Site of Community Interest by the European Union. The castle was abandoned in the seventeenth century, and therefore has a very poor state of preservation. However, some elements can still be distinguished, such as the door, the ramparts and some sections of the walls.
  • Walls, towers and gates of Maratea Castello :  The ancient Maratea, placed on the top of the San Biagio mountain, is nicknamed by the marathouts Castello because it was once fortified with walls, bastions and towers.These elements are no longer clearly distinguishable in the mass of ruins that make up the site, but there are still remains of some of these structures, whose destruction was ordered after the Napoleonic siege

Coastal towers

  • On the coast of Maratea, six anti-corsair coastal towers dating back to the end of the sixteenth century can be seen, positioned like lighthouses.
  • Torre dei Crivi: is located north of Acquafredda, on a rocky ridge above the 221.5 km of the SS 18. It is in a state of ruin, although well preserved in its external form.The Torre dei Crivi, located on a rock above the sea, near Acquafredda
  • Torre Apprezzami l’Asino: it is located north of the hamlet Cersuta, on a rocky ridge above the 229 km of the SS 18. It has undergone restoration work, and owes its name to an episode of the popular tradition
  • Torre Caina: it is located in a picturesque position on a large promontory overlooking the sea, near the 240 km of the SS 18, south of the Marina district.
  • Cave of Marina di Maratea : It is a small natural cave, open below the road surface of the SS 18 near the hamlet of Marina. It has stalactites and stalagmites.
  • Municipal Villa Casimiro Gennari :  It is the municipal villa named after Cardinal Casimiro Gennari, commissioned by the mayor Biagio Vitolo and built thanks to a territorial donation from the same cardinal.

Activities : Beaches : The Coast of Maratea stretches over 30 km, from the Midnight Channel to the north (border with Campania) at the mouth of the river Noce or Castrocucco to the south (border with Calabria)
Explore all the beaches of the coast of Maratea : Porto , Marina di Maratea , Castrocucco , Acquafredda , Cersuta , Fiumicello Santavenere
Guided tours / Explore the villages./ trekking , Hiking & Camping , Bus & Minivan Tours ,Day Trips

Go next :Pollino National Park / Viggianello / San Paolo Albanese / Rotonda, Basilicata / Latronico / Castelsaraceno / Castelluccio Inferiore

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