Magna Grecia: Metaponto / Policoro

Apart from beautiful beaches and crystal clear sea, the areas of Metaponto and Policoro offer visitors the possibility of diving into ancient history. These areas belong to the so called Magna Grecia area. Metaponto (62 km)  is renowned for the ruins of the important colony founded by the Achei in the VII century AC. It contains the archaeological site with the sacred part of the city containing temples dedicated to Athena, Apollo, Hera e Aphrodite, and the urban area with the ruins of homes and a large theatre. The museum of archaeology houses many pieces found in the surrounding areas and is a must in order to understand the civilization of the local Italic populations and the later Greek influence. Nearby are the Tavole Palatine where the Doric columns of the temple dedicated Hera are still standing 25 centuries after their construction. Policoro (98 km), the VI century colony of Herakleia was founded on the ruins of the colony of Siris and is today home to an archaeological park where you can admire the ruins of the temple dedicated to Demetra and the symmetrical urban plan of the nearby city that was home to the battle between Pyrrhus and the Romans. A visit to the National Museum Siritide inside the Park is a must, following civilization in the area in five distinct stages from neolithic times to the Roman period.