Santa Maria Chapel
Two hundred meters below the Pianeta Maratea Residence, there is a small whitewashed chapel. To visit it, walk down the private road linking the resort with the beach area. Two – three minutes later you will see the chapel on your right. Wide terrace with clear footpath leads to it. The 19 century chapel is small but pretty.
Monte San Biagio
One day we decided to visit the basilica on the top the Monte San Biagio (in English, Mt. Saint Blaise). Rising up from the resort terraces, the road was like a huge black snake. On its lower part the road coiled tightly around the mountain slope but close to the summit it raised up on the mighty pillars. We walked up slowly because the views that unfolded were spectacular, in front the hard San Biagio face, behind the sea with the harbor and below the villas and houses. From the road it is possible to admire the valley, the Maratea’s historic center and the fascinating ruins of the old settlement.
On the summit (643m) we found the San Biaggio basilica (6 – 7 century). Inside of the preserved interior of the chapel lie the remains of the patron saint of Maratea. There is a small restaurant and the gift shop next to the basilica. The footpath from the church leads you westwards, to the impressive 22m statue of Christo Redentore (Redeeming Christ). The statue was constructed in 1965.
After watching this show we made our way back to old settlement and made our descent. On our way down we pointed out the things we had missed on the way up, as the statue on the mountain grew smaller the buildings grew larger. From the houses above the Pianeta Maratea we turned right following the ancient footpath. They say, it was build by the monks centuries ago.
The path encircles the mountain and brings you to the upper part of the Old Town. The scenery was breathtaking, with several mysterious caves on the way, charming creeks immersed in lush vegetation and enchanting mountain panoramas.
Maratea Porto from the Monte Biagio slope.
Exploring a cave on the Monte Biagio slope.
Monastery in Maratea
View from the St Mary Chapel
This monorail used to link the Pianeta Maratea resort with Grand Hotel
Waterslide at Pianeta Maratea
Pianeta Maratea and Monte San Biagio
Magic of Maratea
Maratea is the most renowned tourist center in the Basilicata region. As beautiful as the Amalfi coast a hundred miles to the north, lovely Maratea lies three hours south of Naples on the Gulf of Policastro, between Campania on the north and Calabria to the south. The scenery is picturesque, with the sea and backdrop of the mountains.
Maratea offers amazingly well preserved historic center, beautiful beaches, footpaths for excursions and excellent resort on the slope of the San Biagio Mountain. The colorful Festival of San Biagio draws crowds of locals and tourists alike in mid-May.
Thirty years ago few foreigners have even heard of Maratea, which Italians have long prized as a better, less crowded alternative to the Amalfi Coast. It is not the case today. Staying at the Pianeta Marate resort, we even met fellow Edmontonians here (Edmonton is the capital of Alberta, Western Canada province). If you are looking for a relaxing vacation where you can enjoy the pleasures of fine dining, strolling, beautiful scenery, Maratea is for you.
Five things to do in Maratea:
1. Ascend the San Biagio mountain. The views that unfolded are spectacular.
2. Explore the caves on the mountain slope.
3. Walk into the streets of Maratea’s Centro Storico to find shops and restaurants to suit all tastes and pockets.
4. Visit the St Mary Chapel just below the Pianeta Maratea resort.
5. Make a daytrip to visit the Naples area (the Vesuvius Mountain, and Herculaneum or Pompeii).
Waterslide at the Pianeta Maratea Residence
Pianeta Maratea and Monte San Biagio
Resort Pianeta Maratea and the Monte San Biagio
The Macarro Beach in May