Lucanian Dolomites are mountains whose origins date back to middle Miocene times, approximately 15 million years ago, when sandstone rocks were formed on the seabed and today represent the rock foundation. The highest cluster of mountains is the Coast of St. Martin (Costa di S. Martino), but just as important are the peaks of the Castelmezzano Murge and the steeples of Monte Carrozze. Over the years both the rain and the wind have carved out shapes in the sandstone rock and the local population have given specific names to these sculptured forms resembling the beak of an owl, a lion’s mouth, an anvil or a golden eagle.
At the top of the mountains there are two of the most beatiful towns of Basilicata: Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa
Castelmezzano is one of the two towns situated on the Lucanian Dolomites in the province of Potenza and is considered one of the most beautiful treasures in Basilicata. The town’s most fascinating characteristic is the scenery offered by the spectacular backdrop of the Lucanian Dolomites. The relation between the inhabited area and its surroundings has defined Castelmezzano as a nature-town and has included it among the most beautiful boroughs in Italy.
The urban structure of Castemezzano is typical of Medieval times: a conglomerate of houses nestled into a rocky basin and whose roofs are made with sandstone slabs roofs. Walking through the town centre is an evocative experience due to the houses that are built into the rock, to the numerous flights of steps that suddenly appear along the narrow lanes inviting you to go up to the very top and enjoy the fantastic view of the Lucanian Dolomites.
Pietrapertosa is the other town situated on the peaks of the Lucanian Dolomites in the province of Potenza. It is also included in the list of the most beautiful boroughs in Italy. It maintains a Medieval appearance, especially in the oldest part of the town, situated at the foot of the Castle, that is still known by its Saracen name of Arabat and is characterised by its narrow roads and dead-end streets.
When visiting Pietrapertosa, you get the feeling that everything revolves around the function of the rock. The town takes its name from the ancient Petraperciata, meaning “pierced stone”, due to the fact that it is situated in a cliff that is split in two from top to bottom. At an altitude of 1,088m (3,570ft), it is the highest town in Basilicata. The town was built on the rocks of the Lucanian Dolomites as a form of protection against raids from the valleys below. This natural defensive position and the fact that the town overlooks the Basento valley has ensured the presence of human settlements from ancient times. The Castle, that dominates the town from above, offers a spectacular and exceptionally beautiful view of the surrounding landscape.
The Flight of the AngelThe Flight of the Angel is a tourist attraction that gives you the possibility to fly over the divide that separates Pietrapertosa and Castelmezzano, two of the most fascinating villages in Italy both of which are situated on the mountaintops of the Lucanian Dolomites. The Flight of the Angell is a unique experience.
It is an adventure that brings you into contact with nature and with the unique scenery, in search of the real heart of the area. Safely harnessed and hooked to a steel cable, you can experience a few minutes of sheer ecstasy by letting yourself go and flying over one of the most breathtaking landscapes that Italy, and indeed the world, has to offer.