Tourist Information and Travel Guide
ABOVE: Maratea's statue of the Redentore
(Christ the Redeemer) is 22 meters or 72 feet high. It stands on a mountain
ridge that offers dizzying views of the historic center, the Port of Maratea,
and the Tyrrhenian Sea.
For English-speaking visitors,
Maratea and the Basilicata region are Italy's last travel frontier. Few
foreigners have even heard of Maratea, which discriminating Italians have long
prized as a cheaper and less crowded alternative to the Amalfi Coast.
Maratea lies two to three hours south of Naples on the Gulf of Policastro, a
30-km stretch of rugged coastline that is hemmed in by Campania on the north and
Calabria to the south. The municipality has about 5,000 inhabitants in 30
scattered communes, the most of important of which--the historic center of
Maratea--lies on the slopes of Monte San Biagio, 311 meters or 1,020 feet above
sea level and a 10-minute bus ride from the scenic Port of Maratea.
Several years ago, a new company called Gruppo Fintur acquired several
local hotels and restaurants as the first step in developing Maratea tourism in
a way that would "conserve, protect, and improve" the existing tourist structure
while offering new activities such as music festivals, boat excursions,
horseback riding, and culinary events (including the annual
Caseus Prize cheese
competition). Yet Maratea's basic appeal remains unchanged: The resort draws
travelers who want to enjoy a dramatic coastal setting, historic buildings and
monuments, a rich local gastronomy, and the unspoiled atmosphere of a community
that refuses to heed the siren call of mass tourism.
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