The region is mountainous, arid, scarcely watered. It has two coastlines, one in the center of the Gulf of Taranto in the Ionian Sea, and a tiny one on the Tyrrhenian Sea, with the famous sea resort of Maratea. The bare mountain landscapes slope down to the Ionian Sea.
Cities: Potenza is the regional capital; Matera is the capital of the other province.
Art: The region is rich in archaeologic relics, dating back to the most remote times. Remains of the Greek era can be found in Metaponto (the Palatine Tables), while ruins of the Roman Age can be seen in Venosa. Tourists can admire noteworthy examples of medieval art in Venosa and Cerenza (Romanesque style). The architecture presents Arab-Byzantine and French influences in Matera, Melfi and Lagopesole. In this region, the Baroque style shows an evident Neapolitan influence.
Museums: The Provincial Archaeologic Museum of Potenza houses an important prehistoric collection, an interesting ethnographic section and numerous Greek and Latin inscriptions. In Matera, the Ridola National Museum holds Paleolithic relics, and ceramics which date back to the Neolithic, Bronze and Iron Ages. The Pinacoteca d’Errico displays noteworthy paintings of the Neapolitan school of the seventeenth and eighteenth century. The Archaeologic National Museum of Melfi houses prehistoric, protohistoric and Roman relics.
To be visited: In Matera, visitors can see the “Sassi”, the typical houses and churches dug into the “tufa” crag. In the Gulf of Policastro, tourists can enjoy the fascinating Maratea, an important resort of the Tyrrhenian Sea; on the Ionian Sea, the Antiquarium of Metaponto.