Castelmezzano / Pietrapertosa

Both of the neighbouring communities of  Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa, situated in the heart of the Gallipoli Cognato National Park, are clinging to the monumental cliffs of the Dolomiti Lucane mountain range, a rugged range of sedimentary rock forming a backdrop of natural rocky sculptures that over the years have been given characteristic names like The Great Mother, the Owl etc. The beautiful and extremely characteristic historic centres have winding alleyways and houses literally hanging onto the steep rocky slope. A must when in Pietrapertosa is a walk to the ruins of the Norman-Swabian Castle, situated right on the tip of a mountain peak with an extraordinarily beautiful view. A visit to the XV century church of Saint James is also worth it, home to a series of XVII century paintings by Antonio Ferro. Both towns are surrounded by the woods of the Pollino Nature Reserve inside which it is possible to follow one of the numerous nature trails caringly managed by the local rangers.