Between relaxing walks and extreme sports, we take you to the lakes of Basilicata
In Southern Italy, between Puglia and Calabria, Basilicata is a popular summer holiday destination.
With a total of 9,995 km², of which 30% are protected areas, Basilicata is a region dedicated to the conservation of its uncontaminated, mainly mountainous and hilly environment.
The short stretch of Basilicata’s coast extends with a clear blue sea between Campania’s and Calabria’s Tyrrhenian coasts. Larger beaches are located on the south-east area of the region, where the Ionian sea completes the panorama.
Basilicata has got only two provinces: Potenza, the regional capital, and Matera, the “City of Sassi”, famous all over the world for being declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1993. Matera was also the 2019 European Capital of Culture.
Basilicata residents are only 556,934. The region is in fact the third least populated region of Italy.
Two national parks, two regional parks and six nature reserves give this region the merit of being a place to discover with all kinds of outdoor activities. People come from all over Italy to try the Angel Flight over the Lucanian Dolomites, to go rafting in the Mercure river or to relax on the shores of the magnificent lakes of Basilicata.
Many lakes in Basilicata are artificial lakes, but they are equally fascinating to visit.
Below you will find a short guide to the most famous lakes of Basilicata.
At the foot of the Benedictine Saint Michael’s Abbey, in the Vulture crater (an extinct volcano), we find two famous lakes of Basilicata: the Monticchio lakes.
A strip of land separates the large lake from the small lake, framed by chestnut woods.
An enchanted place where you can admire many fish species in the green water, including carp and eels. For your next holidays in Basilicata, you may not find more appropriate lakes for a day outdoors!
San Giuliano Lake
Not far from Matera, there is the Oasis of San Giuliano Lake, protected by the WWF and the region as a natural area. It has been declared SIC (Site of Community Interest) and ZPS (Special Protection Area) by the European Union.
This lake in Basilicata was created by damming the Bradano river and it has favoured the creation of the ecosystem that has become so precious today.
Pietra del Pertusillo Lake
This is also an artificial lake created by damming the Agri river: it is located in the municipalities of Grumento, Nova, Montemurro and Spinoso.
The most popular sport is rowing: this lake hosts several national competitions in Basilicata.
Other sports activities to practice in this place are fishing and classic excursions to admire the surrounding fauna and flora.
Laudemio lake, the southernmost lake of glacial origin in the region, is located more than 1,500 metres high. Located at the foot of Mount Sirino, this lake is often a starting point for excursions and skiing in Basilicata.
In the province of Potenza, on the slopes of Mount Sirino, we find a natural lake of ancient origins: the Sirino Lake.
Initially, it occupied the entire Noce Valley. Today it is a small lake of 5 hectares.
In some areas it has made way for Noce river: the rivers and lakes of Basilicata have thus found a symbiosis that shapes the naturalistic landscape.
It is the ideal place for long walks or fishing enthusiasts.
Pantano di Pignola Lake
As the name suggests, it is a reclaimed land, a marshy lake situated in the Oasis of the same name protected by the WWF.
Interesting for its flora and fauna, the area is equipped for walking, cycling or horse riding.
Food and wine activities
If you are looking for regional food delicacies and traditional places to eat, the lakes of Basilicata offer farmhouses and restaurants that will satisfy every palate.
A specialty of the area in the province of Potenza is Aglianico del Vulture wine, one of the most important red wines in Italy. In the area around Monticchio Lakes in Rionero in Vulture, Italia Delight offers you to discover the historic wineries with aperitifs in the wine cellar and Lucanian food tastings.
In the province of Matera, you can taste other local food delicacies such as Matera bread, sun dried cruschi peppers or the delicious pistachio from Basilicata.
The region offers food tours in local farms and Lucanian cooking classes, as well as many activities that we have already mentioned.
Did you like the article on the lakes of Basilicata by Nur Migahed, a graduate student in Gastronomic Sciences and Cultures at Roma Tre University, for Italia Delight? It is worth organising your next holiday in Basilicata thanks to her advice!