Say “Ciao Bello” to the city of Potenza, located in Southern Italy and the capital city of the province of Potenza, which comprises over 100 municipalities and small towns. The city is the highest provincial capital in all of Italy, at 819 m above sea level. This affords its visitors stunning panoramic views of the Apennine Mountains. As well as looking down into the valleys through which the Basento River flows.
With a history dating back to the second century BC, the town has been rebuilt several times thanks to earthquakes, the most recent being in 1980. However, many of its notable churches and cathedrals have primarily remained intact. This alone makes the city worth visiting to marvel at its 12th-century places of worship. The old-time architecture with its rose windows and large carved doors were typical of the time. The Museo Provinciale Lucano is also worth a visit, as it has an impressive archaeological collection of findings from the city and surroundings dating back to the times of the Romans and beyond.
The region of Basilicata in which Potenza is located makes it the ideal base from which to explore the area on various day trips. The city enjoys a relaxed, authentic Italian way of life far removed from the more touristy stops, which some might find appealing. Active outdoor enthusiasts will love the easily accessible hiking and mountain biking trails located at nearby Monte Vulture, the site of a now-extinct volcano.
Like much of southern Italy, the area is also well known for its wine. Many family-owned vineyards dating back many generations surround the hills, offering wine and food tasting experiences and guided walking tours of the orchards. So, the next time you’re in this beautiful area, be sure to visit Potenza, if not to stay, just to browse its shops and enjoy its laid-back way of life before moving on. What better way than simply people watching and sipping a cappuccino at the Piazza Mario Pagano in the center of town.