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Untouched landscapes and ancient pilgrimages

by Dario Morgante last modified 2008-06-20 15:10

Through twisting roads on an ancient pilgrimage - a savage beauty is born.

Take a trip around Basilicata, or Lucania as it was once called - the inhabitants are still known as Lucani - and you will discover a place of savage beauty, virtually untouched by modern civilisation and steeped in history. Visit Acerenza, one of the prettiest towns in the area with an impressive gothic cathedral built in the 11th century.

Santuario di MontevergineGetting back on track you arrive in Mercogliano a small town in the province of Avellino (we're now in Campania) which is famous for its hilltop Montevergine Sanctuary, Santuario di Montevergine, built in 1119, in devotion to the Virgin Mary, by San Guglielmo da Vercelli, a young hermit monk. A cable-car will take you up to the Sanctuary in just seven minutes where the more devout can follow the pilgrims on the sentiero dai mille tornanti (the winding path) as they as they chant prayers and supplications to the Black Madonna.

For food and accommodation close to the Sanctuary you can book in to the Hotel Ristorante Romito (phone: +39-0825-72463). If you're just eating the Titino restaurant in Via Marcone 105 in Mercogliano is both quieter and cheaper (phone: +39-0825-788177).

Christ stopped at Eboli - Read Carlo Levi's evocative account of life in Basilicata during the second world war.
Lucania photos - A look at Lucania through the seasons.

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