The Pollino National Park – Basilicata

Basilicata, sometimes called by its historic name Lucania, is a region in Italy’s far south. It is an interesting and varied region, with some dramatic scenery. Basilicata covers a large area above the instep of Italy’s boot, with two short stretches of coastline; one on the Ionian Sea and the other on the western, Tyrrhenian shore. It shares borders with the other Italian regions of Calabria, Puglia and Campania. Basilicata is sparsely populated and is divided into just two provinces, the Provincia di Potenza and the Provincia di Matera.
The Pollino National Park is a large, protected mountainous area in the far south of Italy, spreading over the border from Basilicata into the neighbouring region, Calabria. It is the largest national park in Italy, covering nearly two thousand square kilometres. Much of the park is wooded slopes, with bare grassy summits rising above. The highest points are Serra Dolcedorme and Monte Pollino.
There are several villages and small towns within the borders of the park. This part of Italy is fairly sparsely populated, though, and with the extra protection given by its national park status, the Pollino offers a chance to see a significant expanse of landscape that is little damaged by man. Where people have made a mark, development is still largely pre-twenty-first century, with picturesque traditional villages and small-scale farming. Traditional ways of life are still important, from annual rural festivals to small traditional haystacks piled around poles in villages.
From its steep wooded river-valleys to high bare hilltops, the Pollino harbours important wildlife, including golden eagles and other birds of prey, and even a few, rarely glimpsed, shy wolves. The emblem of the park is the Bosnian pine which grows here and in the Balkans.
The Pollino National Park can fit into itineraries touring either Basilicata or Calabria. The greatest destination in Basilicata is the UNESCO-listed cave-town Matera, which is 2-3 hours’ drive away. While in Basilicata, it is suggested that you hire a car to take you around the itineraries of Basilicata. offers cars on hire from a wide fleet of cars like Hertz, Mercedes, minivans and more. They provide cars on hire at economical prices. You may go for a chauffeured car if you are not too comfortable with the roads or driving around or are looking forward to a guided drive. You may go for a self-driven car, if you are looking forward to take the freedom and explore the place all by yourself and relish the essence of Italy to the core.

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