In the Basilicata region lies a Tyrrhenian treasure. Maratea is a postcard-pretty town set high above the sea, rustic and restful in equal measure. It’s also the name of the wider commune – a jigsaw of tiny towns with sloping streets and tucked-away bays. Locals gossip outside little cafés. Life moves at its own pace. While a Christ the Redeemer-esque marble monument watches over it all.
Things to do
Refined Maratea Porto is an ideal launch pad for boating. If you don’t want to stretch your sea legs, there are plenty of cafés by the marina for a little yacht watching over a cappuccino. Centro Sub Maratea is the place for diving adventures and trips to the captivating caves and grottoes along the coast.
It may not have the grandeur of Rome or Florence, but Maratea is the proud ‘town of 44 churches’. Chapels and monasteries are peppered across the commune. If you’re sticking to the town, rather than exploring the wider region, take a look at the churches near Piazza Buraglia. Chiesa dell’Immacolata and Chiesa dell’Annunziata are often open. Or stay in the fresh air and admire the outdoor frescoes at Convento dei Cappuccini.
Peaceful coves are the hallmark of Maratea. In-keeping with Italian beach culture, many feature lidos giving you a lounger and parasol. Il Mirto has incredible ocean views and La Secca is beautifully serene – with calm waters. For a dramatic contrast with the sapphire seas, pay a visit to black sand beaches, such as Spiaggia Nera.
While visiting the giant hilltop statue of Christ, make time for the Basilica of San Biagio to learn the miracle of the shipwreck that led to a shrine to St. Blaise.
Top tip from slh