Grand Hotel Pianeta Maratea, Maratea ****
Whether your priority is a great view, discovering Italy's rich cultural heritage, soaking up the sun, energetic water sports or some pampering, this Maratea hotel can meet your vacation needs. Set high on a hill overlooking the Golfo di Policastro and the Tyrrhenian Sea. View hotel
Double rooms from €70
Locanda Di San Martino Hotel, Matera ***
Undoubtedly one of Italy's most unusual accommodation options, this Matera hotel has been built around San Martino, a de-consecrated church in the renowned Sassi historical district. Rooms have been painstakingly fashioned out of the ancient cave-style dwellings that have been home to local people for several thousand years. View hotel
Double rooms from €87
The southern Italian region of Basilicata meets Puglia to the north and east, Calabria to the south and Campania to the west. It has a small stretch of Tyrrhenian (western) coastline (major resort Maratea) and a slightly longer stretch on the Ionian (eastern) coast.
Basilicata has two main towns, Potenza and Matera, and vast stretches of untamed mountains, national parks and stunning countryside. You encounter abandoned villages and farmsteads, ruined castles - and very few people: this is a rich wildlife habitat, of eagles and wolves, kites and kestrels. Dialects here reflect the ancient Albanian and Greek occupants.
Check out the extraordinary town of Matera, whose people occupied the Sassi, caves dug into the soft rock of the hillsides (the last people were evicted during the 1950s). Mel Gibson filmed his 'The Passion of the Christ' here. On the west coast, the lovely little port of Maratea has medieval streets, hidden beaches, rugged cliffs, and plenty of places to eat and drink.
Simple, peasant food predominates on the menu of Basilicata - what meat there is will likely be pork, but mainly pasta, olives, tomatoes and a very un-Italian taste for chilli and ginger (zenzero). Wines to try include Malvais, Moscato and Aglianico del Vulture.
To the left you'll find a selection of hotels, just to whet your appetite, as well as links to individual towns in Basilicata (top left); See also Basilicata hotels (full listings) and our Basilicata hotel map.