VENEZIA GIULIA: …siede la Patria mia tra il monte, e ‘l mare quasi theatro c’abbia fatto l’arte, non la natura… (Erasmo da Valvason)


MAB Ancient vineyards, small settlments, natural reserves run all along sweet hills, watching over a suggestive landscape with a unique microcosm, fully rich of different tradition with a millenial history. That’s Collio, a halfmoon of sunny hills in the province of Gorizia, norther east Italian, between alpi Giulie and Adriatic sea, close to the border with Slovenia.
This small piece of land can discover terrific beautyful glimpes (scorci): rivers, mountains, acacia forests, hills, vineyards, lagoons. This territory is rich of historical and cultural heritage, with a variety and contrasting/opposite influences, displayed by castels, lonely churches, legends and poems in different languages.
Collio between two rivers Judrio (to the west) and Isonzo (to the east), is about 1500 ha vineyards, inside 8 out of 25 municipalities in Gorizia area: Capriva, Cormòns, Dolegna del Collio, Farra d’Isonzo, Gorizia, Mossa, San Floriano del Collio e San Lorenzo Isontino.
The territory consists of eocenic and paleocenic hills, cut by narrow and small dales, except for the bigger Preval Valley.
The specific microclimatic conditions of this area, sited between the Julian Alps and the Adriatic sea, since the ancient times have favoured the development of high standard viticulture and the winemaking of excellent white wines, famous for their strong mineral notes and lifespan.
Four are the autochthonous vine varieties: Malvasia, Ribolla Gialla, Friulano and Picolit. The assembling of different winegrapes results in the production of the most distinctive wine, the Collio Bianco, the true essence and soul of this territory.
Not far away from the Collio, is located the multicultural and charming regional capital city, Trieste. Its most representative symbol is the austro hungarian Miramare Castle, sited close to the Protected marine area of Miramare, recognized as Biosphere reserves of Unesco’s Man and Biosphere – MAB Programme since 1979.

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1 The best way to discover the Collio area near Gorizia is to travel along the “Wine and Cherries route”. Leading from San Floriano to Dolegna, it has been the first wine route established in Italy in 1963. It is possible to visit the sites where the World War 1 has left its bloodiest evidences: among them, the Oslavia ossuary, hosting the remains of 60,000 soldiers. Other traces and thematic routes dedicated to World War 1 can be visited all over the Karst plateau area between Gorizia and Trieste.
Cross-border areas shared with the neighbouring Slovenia, Collio and Karst are rich with towers, castles and manors built by noble families in the past centuries.
Crossroads of cultures and border city, Gorizia has always had a central role in Mitteleuropa. Today the history of this town is highlighted by its streets, its parks, its middle ages, baroque and 19th century architecture.

2 Trieste, an international, multicultural and multi-religious city. Trieste recalls a small Vienna laying on the sea, with beautiful and elegant palaces built in baroque, neoclassic and liberty style. Trieste is a kind of unique and fascinating puzzle: among its pieces we can recall San Giusto and Miramare castles, the Synagogue, the Greek and the Serbian Orthodox temples, the Lutheran and the Helvetian churches. It is really worth spending the night in Trieste and have an evening sightseeing.

3 Grado, rich with peculiar Venetian athmospheres. A health spa center and seaside resort with finest sandy shores, Grado is not only a place for spending some wonderful relaxing days, but also the starting point for a tour along the lagoon and its protected areas of unique beauty.

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By Air: Aeroporto Trieste Airport, Ronchi dei Legionari (GO) –: Cormons 18 km, Gorizia 28 km, Trieste 54 Km, Venezia 120 Km.
By Train: Railway Station: Gorizia and Cormons (GO) on the railway Udine-Trieste.
Other stations: Trieste Central Station, Monfalcone
Other stations on the railway Venice-Trieste: Cervignano-Aquileia-Grado
By Car: Highway A4 , exits Palmanova, Villesse-Gorizia, Redipuglia


Tel: +39 040 6701111

SICILIA ORIENTALE: The marvels of a land waiting to be descovered


Tourism in the province of Ragusa has taken on a different dimension and importance than in other Sicilian provinces for many years now. The peculiarities of the territory, characterized by the great beauty of the cities and their monuments and its beautiful nature and scenery – especially along its stupendous coastline – create a mix of attractions that brook few comparisons. These characteristics, coupled with great food and wine production, can definitely be defined at levels of absolute excellence, and make the territory an area rich in tourism potential that deserves to be exploited to the fullest.
UNESCO’s recognition of the treasures in the Val di Noto has untimely helped motivate the entire sector, greatly increasing what is on offer to tourists injust a few years.
The province of Ragusa is the youngest of the Sicilian provinces, but also stili ancient enough for there to be many traces of civilizations that have lived there over the millennia. On January 11, 1693, an earthquake devastated part of the province’s territory. Massive reconstruction followed and that led to the extensive and splendid Baroque architecture that characterizes the Val di Noto, which was declared a UNESCO world heritage site in 2002.
The lblea area has turned up various archaeological findings, including the oldest yet recorded human findings discovered in Sicily namely scrapers and lithic blades dating back to 30,000 years ago that were found in a cave. The vast majority of the findings are housed in the Iblea Archaeological Museum.
It’s worth to pay a visit to the wonderful island of Ortigia, that represents the most ancient part of Siracusa. There you’ll find a lot of old baroque monuments and historical buildings, it’s a real jewel of the world heritage.

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1 You can’t visit the province of Ragusa without admiring the baroque beauties of Val di Noto, part of the UNESCO world heritage in 2002. You’ll find yourself astonished by the sites Ragusa, Modica, Scicli and Noto.

2 The worldwide famous series “Inspector Montalbano” was filmed in the area of Ragusa. Visiting Punta Secca, district of Santa Croce Camerina, you can see the home of the inspector and thanks to a visit to the town hall of Scicli you can feel the atmosphere of Vigata’s police station.

3 The more athletic guests can go for bike rides or jeep drives in the country of Iblei Mounts, or on the Etna volcano. Another option is the vist of a few natural reserves, like the Pino D’Aleppo one, the Forest Park Calaforno or the Integral Natural Reserve Cava Randello.

4 You can’t miss a visit to Siracusa, one of the most beautiful Mediterranian cities. If you are short on time you can visit the historical center and the Ortigia island (whose name derives from the ancient greek word meaning quail) in only one day. There are a lot of significant historical monuments, such as the Dome of Siracusa, the Apollo’s Temple, the spring of Aretusa and the calcareous cave named “Dionisio’s Ear”.

Donnafugata’s Castle, Church of S. Giorgio, Church of S. Giovanni Battista, Church of S. Giuseppe, Church of S. Maria delle Scale, Cosentini Palace, La Rocca Palace, Palace of Cancelleria, Portale di San Giorgio, Bizantine’s Walls, Ponte vecchio, Torre Cabrera di Marina of Ragusa, Site of fascist architecture (Piazza Libertà, Piazza Poste, Ponte Nuovo)

By plane: Catania Airport (45 min from Siracusa and Comiso)


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Tel: +39 095 7361244

CROTONE: Sila Natural Park


The lands in the province of Crotone belong to the Sila National Park, considered an important spot for the preservation of biodiversity by IUCN and WWF. The huge olive fields, the breathtaking landscapes and the big heart of the inhabitants, convinced UNESCO to declare these lands UNESCO World Heritage Site. In a just few minutes journey, you can pass from big shores and crystalline sea to amazing hills and to the luxurious plant life of the altopiano della Sila.
The lands around Crotone are remarkable both from the Naturalistic point of view (Riserva naturale Marina “Capo Rizzuto”, Parco Nazionale della Calabria, Area geologica Vica e Stuni) either from the artistic heritage (Parco Archeologico di Capo Colonna, Castello di Carlo V, Castello Normanno di Santa Severina, Castello Aragonese di Le Castella), giving the possibility to the tourist to visit these territories not only in the Summer, but all year long. You can not miss to get in contact with gastronomy, above all wines: they are produced by autochthon grapes and they are labelled by important recognition, such as COD and PGI. Other important products are bread, olive oil, sardella, cold cuts and cheeses. In the province of Crotone craftsmanship has a first class position, above all the goldsmith art.
This province is a unique and charming territory: when you come here, you will remember it for ever.

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1 Let’s start from Capo Colonna, where you can admire the sanctuary of Hera Lacinia, one of the most important sancturaies of Magna Grecia. After lunch you can arrive at La Castella. Here, in one of the most beautiful traits of the “Capo Rizzuto” Marine Protected Area, a castle rise up. Its foundation are greek, but the next alterations were done by the normans, the svevis, the byzantines, the angioinis and the aragonians.

2 You can’t skip a visit to Crotone, where you can explore the National Archeological Museum, Carlo V Castle (a fortess built in the IX century to defend the city from the Saracenic incursions), Piazza Duomo and the Cathedral (IX century). You can end the morning with a walk on the seaside up to the touristic port. Another interesting spot is Santa Severina, known for its Castle built in the norman era, the Cathedral (XIII century) and the Baptistery, the only Byzantine sample that’s still intact nowadays. In the end there is also the opportunity to visit one of the many wineries of DOC wines in Val di Neto (I.G.T.), where you can taste the local products.

3 Nature lovers cannot skip an excursion of Sila’s National Park and the village of Palumbo, also known as Palumbosila, located in the Silian upland, near the south rivers of Lake Ampollino. It’s an important skiing area, equipped with ski lift, bob tracks, ice rink and a lot of renting center for the necessary gears. Palumbosila is blessed with a natural and uncontaminated landscape, with its forest of larch pines and white firs. In the summer you can also ride the chair lift to admire the scenary and, after June, it is possible to cross the lake in a peddle boat.

Airoport Crotone S.Anna or International Airoport of Lamezia Terme.
By train: Station of Lamezia Terme Centrale
By car: Motorway A3 Reggio-Calabria


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Tel: +39 09 626634234

BENEVENTO: Longobards in Italy. The places of power (568-774 d.C.)


The Holy Wisdom Church is one of the most beautiful and original religious building of ltalian Middle Ages. The ancient façade of the church remembers a military Lombard tent. The stone drew-bell was built outside of the church, in a safety distance, because of the earthquakes that made it fall on the vestibule, in front of the entrance.
On the entrance door you can notice a beautiful bass-relief in the lunette. In the middle of a shining golden mosaic, there’s Jesus on the throne with the Virgin Mary and Saint Mercury at his sides and also a little character down on his knees that is supposed to be, by his crowned head, Prince Arechi the Second who, in 759 a.C., wanted the Holy Wisdom Church to be built. The building became the “Sanctuary of Lombard people” in ltaly. Inside, the aisle, once star-shaped and completely painted, now is geometrical ordered, and his circumferences measures 23 metres and 50 centimetres
Walking from the centre of it, you can cross an hexagon with six columns decorated by ancient Capitals, to a decagon of eight columns, each of them parallel to the corresponding perimetrical wall. The survivor frescos, that testify oriental art influences, represent on the left, looking at the altar, episodes of San Giovanni Battista’s life (e.g. the announcement to Zaccaria and his dumbness for the Battista’s birth); on the right, episodes of Virgin life (e.g. the Announcement and the Visit).
All the missing parts are due to earthquakes, a real problem for the Samnitic land. The ancient covering of the Church was supposed to be hut-shaped, based on the moving external structure. The cloister was a Benedectine nunnery and it was built up with the Church. The cloister has a squared shape (the square represents Jerusalem) and has a recess due to the trespassing of the connected church. The arcades are composed by fifteen windows with four lights and just one three millioned window. In the middle of the place there is a well, protected by and ancient capital.

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1 Visit of Benevento’s historic center. Rocca dei Rettori is the symbol of different historical changes: from the sunnis to the romans, and then longboards. Next to it is the Acros Museum with findings of Iside’s Temple. In front of it is the complex of St. Sofia. Sideways there are the Museum of Sannio and the Cloister. In the area there is also the Hortus Conclusus, an artistic installation realized in 1992 by the artist Mimmo Paladino. Going on you can find Arco di Traiano, erected in 114 d.C. in honor of emperor Traiano. Next to it is the church of St. Ilario, of Longobardian origin.

2 Advancing into the center of the city you’ll find the Cathedral (V century), famous in the Medieval Europe for its bronze doors (that were destroyed by the bombing of ’43; only a few tiles with holy images survived). On the right, going through the Sacrament’s Arch (an honorary arch built between the end of the first century and the beginning of the second century in front of the roman city’s Foro), you’ll arrive to Triggio, the heart of the new Longobard city, where San Gennaro was born. Next there is the roman theatre, built in the second century by the order of emperor Adriano and enlarged by emperor Caracalla. In the end there is Leproso’s Bridge (third century a.C.) and the Basilica of Madonna delle Grazie.

3 Tour of Benevento’s districts, a territory full of touristic, historic, artistic, cultural and natural attractions (Paleolab Museum – geopaleontological area of Pietraroja, park of Taburno, Fortore, Telesina Valley, Caudina Valley, Terra di San Pio, the wines and the torrone sweet, ecc.).

Aeroport of Naples Capodichino, Aeroport of Bari, Aeroport of Rome Fiumicino.
By train: from Naples and Caserta
By car: Motorway A1 Naples-Milan, Motorway A14 Milan-Bari, Motorway A16 Naples-Bari


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Tel: +39 0824 300201

SASSARI: Ancient regal city, rich of history and art


Sardinia is a treasure to be discovered with its beauties, unique and different in every territory, islands in the Island. Centuries long stories and still alive traditions give visitors always new and engaging experiences, such as the descent of candlesticks, the great feast on August 14th in honor of Our Lady of the Assumption. It is a religious procession that crosses the historical center of Sassari, tightening to itself the whole population in an event of great charm and transport, among the most important in Sardinia. In 2013, Unesco declared it Immaterial Patrimony. The descent comes from the vow made to the Madonna dell’Assunta, who in 1652 saved the city from the plague. A vote that the Gremi, the ancient guilds of Arts and Crafts – Butchers, Blacksmiths, Piccapietre, Viandanti, Contadini, Carpenters, Ortolani, Calzolai, Masons, Tailors and Masons in Sassari in the Middle Ages, dissolve each year. Each corporation is identified by a candlestick, a huge wooden candle weighing 300/400 kg, carried on the shoulders and arms of eight bearers, under the direction of a candlestick head.
The colors and scents that tell Sardinia, the real one, explode on the penultimate Sunday of May with the Cavalcata, the most important secular party on the island: a parade of groups from different centers that gather every year the popularity of tourists and fans of local traditions. Finally, the uncontaminated nature and the unmistakable sea represent the treasure chest capable of embodying emotions that history, art and culture are able to make visitors breathe every moment of their vacation.

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1 Walking tour of the historic center of Sassari, where you can admire the Cathedral of San Nicola, Palazzo Ducale and Palazzo di Città, the fulcrum of the Descent of the Candlesticks, with a projection of the relative short film. History enthusiasts, however, can visit the G.A Sanna National Archaeological Museum in via Roma. At dinner, we recommend tasting traditional recipes in a typical restaurant.

2 After admiring the Fountain of Rosello, we advice leaving for the prenururagic altar of Monte d’Accoddi, unique in its kind. In the afternoon, instead, you could visit the Argentiera mine, site of the Sardinian geominerary park and UNESCO heritage. To end the day in the best way you can do a tour of the beaches and the scenic spots of the Nurra coast.

3 If you are in Sassari on August 14th, you can not miss the preparation for the Descent of the Candlesticks in the evening at the Germans’ headquarters. From 6 pm the real event will begin, starting from Piazza Castello, and continuing along Corso Vittorio Emanuele and Corso Vico, to arrive in the church of Santa Maria di Betlem, where the vote for the Madonna dell’Assunta is dissolved in the night.

At 15 minutes from Sassari is the archaeological site of Sardinia prenuragica, Monte d’Accoddi
15 minutes from Sassari is the Basilica of the Holy Trinity of Saccargia, a Romanesque Pisan style church.
At 30 minutes the city of Alghero with its Catalan Gothic style buildings
At 40 minutes from Sassari is the village of Castelsardo

By plane : Alghero Airport – Fertilia (about 30 km away), Olbia Airport – Costa Smeralda (about 120 km away)
On boat: Port of Porto Torres (about 20 km away), Port of Olbia (about 107 km away) Port of Golfo Aranci (about 125 km away)


Tel: 079 2008072

BARI: History, talent and entrepreneurial attitude


Many paths lead to Bari-it can be reached by road, air or sea. The town shows strong historical features and a lively economic environment. Just enjoy its cathedrals, churches, castles, walls, trulli, manor farms, dolmens and  factories,  manufactures, craftsman laboratories… they are all part of the urban and suburban landscape and embody the successful eastern union between talent and entrepreneurial attitude.
From the countryside to the sea: look at the “nel blu dipinto di blu” (in the blue painted blue), this is Volare sung by Domenico Modugno – he was born in the beautiful town of Polignano a Mare – and the white patterns of the rose windows of Romanesque cathedrals, these two colours are the perfect embodiment of this land. Water and stone are the foundation stones of a “liquid” society, a welcoming society, which is also a “solid” one and wants to protect its rural peculiarities that have been transformed into traditions and customs, even culinary ones.
UNESCO included Castel del Monte in its World Heritage Sites List in 1996. The reason why Castel del Monte was included is “its exceptional universal value, which is shown by the perfection of its architecture…A unique medieval architectural masterpiece, which symbolizes the humanism of its founder. Frederick Il, Holy Roman Emperor”.
In that same year, the Bari area and its beauty were honoured again by UNESCO. The Trulli in Alberobello became a UNESCO World Heritage site, because “they are an example of buildings dating back to pre-history time, which survived over the centuries, even if they have constantly been in use up to the present day”.

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1 Walk through the historical town of Bari and along the city walls. Your afternoon snack will be the typical focaccia baked in the bakeries located in the narrow alleys of the town. Visit the cathedral, the San Nicola church and the Svevo Castle.

2 You’ll visit Molfetta and its San Corrado cathedral, a peculiar example of Romanesque and Apulian architecture. You will then enjoy a walk through the port. Then, you’ll visit the splendid Trani cathedral which was built by using the local chalky tuff. In the afternoon, your guided tour will accompany you to Castel del Monte, the XII century castle that was built by order of the Emperor Frederick II. It was used as a private home and a public residence.

3 Let’s go south: you’ll visit the town of Polignano a Mare and its overhanging cliffs, you’ll enjoy your ice-cream (Polignano is famous for it!) in one of the cafés along the gallery. Then, you will visit the Trulli in Alberobello, the typical stone buildings that are still enriching and adding a monumental touch to the Apulian countryside thanks to the mastery of trullari, local craftsmen who take care f these buildings.

The Alta Murgia park, Gravina, the coastal town of Bisceglie and Monopoli, Barletta, the Castellana caves, Conversano and Mola di Bari.


Bari airport, Port of Bari (daily links to Greece, Croatia, Albania and Montenegro), Bari railway station.


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Tel: +39 080 2174452

CASERTA: Terra Felix (“Land of Happiness”)


Caserta is a province of Campania region and corresponds to the part of the territory that the Romans called “Campania Felix” (“ Happy Campania”). Caserta has very ancient origins. During the Longobardic Age (8th century), an urban housing unit still existed called “Casa Hirta” ( in Latin, “Village on the Top “) which became a modern town only in the second half of the 18th century , when King Charles III Bourbons asked architect Luigi Vanvitelli to plan and build his Royal Palace made up of 1.200 rooms. 1.742 windows, 249 meters long and 37,83 meters high. The wonderful building extends over an area of about 47.000 square meters. In the same period, the Bourbons founded many other wonderful sites in the same area that will later be renamed “ Terra di Lavoro” ( “ Land of Labour” ) : the Real Estate of Carditello and the Real Silk Factory of S. Leucio to be considered not only sites for the entertainment of the royal family, but very important places for the industrial development of the territory. In fact, in 1856, at the International Exhibition of Paris, the Bourbon Industry was classified 3rd in the European industrial classification, after England and France. Nowadays, the province of Caserta, also called “ Land of Labour”, extends, from the seaside ( 45 kilometers of the coast) to the mountains, and covers a surface that is the 19 percent of the whole regional territory. With its three consortiums of communes in mountain areas, three regional parks, three natural reserves and numberless sites of historical and artistic interest, is an ideal destination for tourists fond of nature and culture.

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1 Sightseeing in the city center of Caserta

2 Guided tour of the Royal Palace. It is situated at the center of the town, opposite the Railway Station and not far from the tollbooth of Northen Caserta Highway. He Royal Palace, the biggest royal estate all over the world, will attract you with its historical rooms, its English Garden, its huge Park, the Bath of Venus, its Palatine Chapel, its Cryptoporticus, its picture gallery, the Throne Room and many other surprises. A small curiousness: in 1861, with the birh of the Reign of Italy, all the items and the furniture were registered. The “bidet” was so defined: “strange object guitar-shaped”.

3 Guided tour to the Royal Silk Factories of San Leucio, the Royal Aqueduct (Bridges of the Valley) and Casertavecchia (Ancient Caserta).

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Casertavecchia, San Silvestro Forest, Vaccheria end San Leucio, Capuano Amphitheatre, Vanvitelli Aqueduct, Benedictine Basilica of S.Angelo in Formis, Roman Theatres of Sessa Aurunca and Teano, Site of Carditello.


By car: Motorway Al Roma-Napoli
Motorway A30 Caserta-Salerno
By train: railway line Napoli- Roma
By plane: Capodichino Airport (NAP)


Tel: +39 0823 249111
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GENOA: The buildings that welcomed guests in the XVI Century


Genoa has recently rediscovered its tourist vocation, which has roots in a distant past: from the Middle Ages and the 16th century­ – el siglo de oro – to the 20th century. It was a step-by-step rediscovery: from the Expo in 1992, with the reclamation of Porto Antico area and of the Aquarium; to the G8 Summit in 2001and Genoa – European Capital of Culture in 2004;and to the inscription on the Unesco – World Heritage List of 42 out of 150 existing Genoese “Rolli” in 2006.
Since the Middle-Ages, the aristocratic families of merchants and sailors used to settle in Genoa’s ancient downtown, living in lots which were strictly controlled by the families themselves. In the 16th century, those families decided to build new streets and palaces, and they created that extraordinary urban heritage known as Strada Nuova: an elite district characterized by a modem public allotment system and a series of houses aligned along a 250meters long straight stretch of street The houses became real “republican palaces” where rich Genoese merchants, bankers, and financial experts hosted emperors, kings, and ambassadors.
A very innovative system was created. Today, it could be called the “chateaux relais” system, and it meant that important guests were accommodated in private buildings, according to what was envisaged by a XVI century decree by the Senate of the Republic of Genoa that established the “Rolli degli Alloggiamenti pubblici” (or lists of buildings for public accommodation, after which the site is named). The aristocratic families who owned the buildings were to welcome and accommodate the guests of the Republic of Genoa and were to bear all expenses.
This innovative system based on widespread accommodation is now being rediscovered by tourists visiting Genoa; tour guides show people around the Rolli and spectacular events are organized, e.g. the Rom Days#. In addition to the Rolli, the 30 certified “Historical shops” are also being visited and rediscovered.

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1 Visit to the historic city center of Genoa

2 Tour to the town of Genoa. Short walk to the XVI century Strada Nuova – which is now known as via Garibaldi – and visit a few of the 42 Palazzi dei Rolli: the Tobia Pallavicino and Lomellio buildings, Palazzo Bianco and Palazzo Rosso, the Giacomo and Pantaleo Balbi buildings, the Grimaldi Spinola di Pellicceria building, which is the only one that still has its original furniture, and the Palazzo Reale Museum and its Sala del Trono, Salone da Ballo and Galleria degli Specchi (throne room, ballroom and hall of mirrors).

3 Guided tour of the Palazzo del Principe: this is the largest and most magnificent aristocratic building in Genoa. Later you can visit the Acquario di Genova and the new Cetaceans Pavilion designed by Renzo Piano. After leaving the Acquario, a guided tour will show you around the 32 Genoa’s certified historical shops, a real architectural and cultural treasure, and you’ll also be able to buy excellent typical products sold in quality shops along the Medieval “caruggi” (typical Genoa’s alleys).

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The eastern part of Ligurian Riviera is characterized by fascinating villages such as Portofino, S. Margherita Ligure, Rapallo, Camogli, Sestri Levante and Chiavari, and enchanting places, such as Paradiso and Tigullio Gulfs and the Promontory of Portofino. Just behind the city and the Riviera, the Partes of Antola, Aveto and Beigua.


Cristoforo Colombo International Airport
Motorways: A12 along the eastern Riviera towards Livorno, AlO along the western Riviera towards France, connected to the routes Genoa-Milan (A7) and Turin-Aosta (A26, motorway “of the Tunnels).
Railway connections with La Spezia, Imperia, Milan and Turin.
Ferry-boats to Sardinia, Sicily, Spain, Marocco.


Special Agency of the Chamber of Commerce of Genoa for Internationalization
Tel: +39 010 27041

MATERA: Unexpected architecture in the karst rocks


Out of time! It is a paradox for a city having such a complex history: border town, characterized by contrasts, competition and fusion of different landscapes, civilizations and cultures. At first, the irregular landscape of Murgia Materana ideally supported the “Rupestrian civilization” of Byzantine and eastern origin; then, starting from the coming of the Normans, it was the time of a systematic attempt to force the “Rupestrian town” into the rule­ based system of the European “culture of the city”. From the Romantic Age to the Renaissance and the Baroque, eight centuries of building and finishing tried to shape the city, to gain over the natural “oppositions” of the prior Rupestrian habitat, creating urban architectures and arrangements, which show particular quality and originality.
The human settlement in Matera is very ancient. The original centre was, and still is, Civita; at its sides, in two karst valleys, the amazing Sassi developed. In the 10th century, groups of shepherds started to settle there and to dig their rustic houses into the soft rock. These areas became so complex to completely occupy the slopes, creating one of the most incredible organized urban structures of the world, an absolute masterpiece of the intelligence and adaptability of human beings working hard to overcome environmental difficulties.
Thanks to the width of the concerned ravine and to the historical durability of the urban settlement, which still exists, the ancient part of Matera can be considered “the capital of the “Rupestrian civilization” which developed in Murgia Pugliese between the 9th and the 11th centuries AC.
Matera is the capital of European Culture 2019.

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1 Visit the city center of Matera an have dinner in one of the typical resturants of the Sassi.

2 Guided tour of the Parco della Murgia Materana: you will visit the Sassi di Matera, the Cripta del Peccato Originale, which is known as the Sistine Chapel of the parietal cave art, its frescoes are of Longobardic origin and date back to the IX century, and they are among the most ancient frescoes that you may come across in the Basilicata Region. You will then visit the cave art areas. In the afternoon you can visit the Santa Lucia alle Malve and Santa Maria dell’Idris rock churches and the extraordinary area of the Convicinio di Sant’Antonio.

3 The surrounding areas of Matera are as precious as the city itself, like Miglionico, a small town characterized by the impressive Castello del Malconsiglio: it has Norman origins and overlooks the valley. Your next destination can be the Basilica Pontificia di Santa Maria Maggiore (the Papal Cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore), where you’ll enjoy the invaluable polyptych by Cima da Conegliano and a wonderful Norman crypt. Now, take your time and stroll through the town center and then leave for Montescaglioso.

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The park of Murgia, Miglionico, Montescaglioso, Gravina of Matera.


The closest airports Karol Wojtila airport in Bari Palese, which is about 60 Km far from Matera. Another airport is Salento airport in Brindisi, which is about 150 km far.
Matera is the last station of the Bari-Matera section (narrow-gauge line) which is part of the railway network of Ferrovie Appula Lucane.


Azienda Speciale della Camera di Commercio della Basilicata

Tel. +39 0835 338411


MESSINA: The Aeolian Islands: the seven pearls of the Mediterranean


The Aeolian Islands constitute a volcanic arch created half a million years ago when two tectonic plates collided, causing magma to rise to the surface. There are still active volcanoes today: Stromboli, whose continuous explosions cause cascades of lapillus to fall on the “Sciara del fuoco” (fiery lava). Vulcano, whose last eruption was in 1888, known for the intense smoke-hole activity along the edges of the crater. The submerged opening Panarea’s crater is visible between the islands due to numerous smoke holes emitting magmatic gases.
The Aeolian Sea offers enchanting scenery, often only accessible by boat. Among cliffs, reefs and with a seabed rich in biodiversity. There are beaches of rare beauty, such as Valle Muria and Acquacaldain Lipari, Bazzini in Alicudi, Le Punte in Filcudi, Cala Zimmariin Panarea, the Gelso, the Sabbie Nere (black sands) in Vulcano and Piscità in Stromboli.
A crossroads between history and legends, the island are a simulating destination for cultural tourism. Humans have inhabited the Aeolian Islands for 8,000 years and have shaped its landscape by creating impressive terraces, leaving traces of their presence not only on the castle of Lipari monumental complex, which hosts the important “L. Bernabò Brea” Regional Archaeological Museum with its numerous relics from the Neolithic to the Byzantine era, but also in the perfectly preserved Bronze Age villages found on Capo Graziano in Filicudi, Serro del capo in Salina and Punta Milazzese in Panarea.
To discover the Aeolian landscapes, there are numerous trails, ideal for hiking enthusiasts, which wind their way among the soft-leaved scrubland, coastal meadows, broom and Mediterranean brush, composed of mostly heather and evergreen arbutus bushes.
The production of wine, particularly that made from Malvasia and Corinto Nero grapes, along with farming, where capers are grown alongside other local products, give an unmistakable character to a gastronomic tradition that reflects a long history of “isole contadine”- farming islands – that also includes the fishing of albacore, swordfish and prawns.

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l A sunset tour of the island of Lipari. End the evening with a typical dinner in one of the renowated restaurants in the historic center.

2 Excursion to Vulcano, where you can’t miss a visit to the famous black sand beaches. Afterwards, a boat ride around the island. This island is characterized by perennial volcanic activity, highly appreciated by tourists who also enjoy the hot mud and the therapeutic underwater smoke-holes.

3 Visit to the Castle’s stronghold and the important Aeolian archeological museum. Later you can take a trip to Panarea to visit the present-day and prehistoric villages, and to Stromboli where there is a chance to either scale the volcano or admire the striking brilliance of the nocturnal volcanic activity from the sea.

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The closest airports are Fontanarossa in Catania (110) that is served by public transport and private shuttles working in convention with the main Aeolian hotels; Reggio Calabria, right by the straits and which is more accessible in the summer thanks to hydrofoil connections between the Aeolian Islands and Reggio Calabria


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