It is from the capital of Lucania that we leave for two of the most beautiful towns in the region. Acerenza and Venosa are villages very different from each other but both very fascinating.
Located in the north of the region, land of plateaus and valleys, continuous alternation of areas characterized by dense vegetation, cultivated areas and vast expanses of grassland, but also an area dotted with tiny villages often clinging to the hills and leaning against charming manor houses, cathedrals or smaller churches , and of towns sometimes lying on the highlands.
It is a land of smaller towns, far from large metropolitan areas, just as the sea is far away.
Acerenza appears before us on a tufa cliff.
At over 800 meters of altitude it is scenographically more appreciable for those coming from Puglia.
It is in fact coming from the latter that you can admire the compactness of the village dominated by the Cathedral of the eleventh century, an architectural jewel of the village, located in the heart of the built-up area. Authentic treasure, should be enjoyed slowly without neglecting the details, observing the outside from many angles, sometimes even trying to get away to appreciate the beauty from the alleys that surround it.
Marbles of the Roman age, columns of Greek workmanship and figures carved from tombstones are the best that the outside offers.
Then the interior with the bas-reliefs, the monkey heads at the base of the columns, the ancient stoups and the frescoes. The extraordinary nature of this jewel of Renaissance art is certainly the details but even more its singular location, in the heart of the inhabited area dominating the immense expanse of countryside. Leaving the Cathedral is a must to be guided by the tangle of narrow streets populated by the many seventeenth-century buildings embellished with sculptures and coats of arms of the ancient families acheruntine. We allow ourselves a gastronomic break giving us a dish of beans and chicory and a taste of local cheeses including caciocavallo and burrata.
The second leg of the itinerary in the Lucanian land is Venosa, the birthplace of the poet Quinto Orazio Flacco, located on a spur of volcanic origin.
Characterized by various archaeological sites, extraordinary expressions of the succession of the various cultural phases of the city, it also presents an interesting historical center.
Between arcades and paved alleys it is nice to get lost in the discovery of some artisan shop or to buy some local specialties.
To visit the National Archaeological Museum, located in the imposing Aragonese castle with a square plan with four cylindrical towers at the ends, where exhibits are found that allow you to follow the history of the ancient Roman colony of Venusia.
To see the archaeological area that contains the monumental remains including the spa, the residential areas and the amphitheater. Among the most evocative corners of the city is the Unfinished Church of the Benedictine Trinity Abbey, which was to be the New Church, financed in the mid-1100 by the Benedictines but never completed by the latter, forced to leave Venosa to because of the suppression of their monastery at the behest of Pope Boniface.
Also Venosa offers many delicacies to which we give honor by giving us Lagane and Ceci, the typical durum wheat tagliatelle, the traditional "U cutturidd", lamb or sheep stewed in pieces seasoned with tomatoes, hot pepper and lard, and a taste of fried lampascioni, all extraordinary flavors of the Lucanian lands.