Motorbike route: Matera – Policoro

Matera - Policoro: Route Nature and Culture

From Matera to the Ionian Coast


The route starts from Matera, the city of the Sassi. A magical land, where the past and future intertwine in a whirlwind of beauty, catapulting unsuspecting visitors into a dimension that exists beyond time.
The second stop is Montescaglioso. Part of the archaeological area of “Parco delle Chiese Rupestri del Materano” (Park of the Rupestrian churches in Matera), Montescaglioso is home to four monastic complexes and is thus known as the town of monasteries. Among these, the Benedictine abbey of San Michele Arcangelo is one of the most important centres of monastic culture and spirituality in Southern Italy.
Metaponto, ocated on the plain of Metapontino, between the Bradano and Basento rivers.oday, Metaponto is part of a vast archaeological area that includes the Temple of the Tavole Palatine, dating back to the sixth century BC.
The ruins of the temple, which was dedicated to the mythological deity Hera, consist of 15 columns (although there were originally 32) and Doric capitals.
Before the arrival to the ionian coast, there is Craco, nestled in the silence of the gullies, surrounded by a quiet and evocative landscape, is situated on a hill just a few kilometres from Matera. It has earned the name the ghost town because it is uninhabited, but visitors are attracted to the timeless place despite this. The the small abandoned village is now only accessible on foot and accompanied by a guide, and tourists can only visit with a Craco Card, an entry card issued by the local municipal administration. Thousands of visitors come to Craco periodically, attracted by its singular beauty and intrigued by its mysterious features.
The next stop is Aliano, surrounded by the harsh and evocative landscape of the gullies, is perched on a clay spur, dominated by the Agri Valley and the Sauro stream. Aliano is remembered as the place where Carlo Levi spent his period of exile from 1935 to 1936, and is also well known for inspiring the most beautiful dedication from his famous book “Christ stopped at Eboli”.
Valsinni, the new settlement is situated along the banks of the Sinni River, while the medieval village, which enjoys a wonderful panorama of the entire valley, is crowned by the emblematic feudal castle, the setting of the sad story of Isabella Morra.
In the fertile and sunlit Metapontino plain, drenched by the Ionian sea, lies Policoro, whose name means “spacious” in ancient Greek.It is currently one of the largest and most economically important towns in the province of Matera. The National Archaeological Museum of Siritide, with the Sanctuary of Demetra and the Dionysus Temple, the unspoilt nature of the Pantano woods and the golden beaches of the Ionian coast are just some of the must-see tourist attractions that provide the setting for a “young” ancient Greek colony.