The most extensively excavated of Baslicata’s Greek sites, METAPONTO was settled in the eighth century BC and owed its subsequent prosperity to the fertility of the surrounding land – perfect for cereal production (symbolized by the ear of corn stamped on its coinage). In about 510 BC, Pythagoras, banished from Kroton, established a school here that contributed to an enduring philosophical tradition. Metapontum’s downfall came as a result of a series of catastrophes: absorbed by Rome, embroiled in the Punic Wars, sacked by the slave-rebel Spartacus, and later desolated by a combination of malaria and Saracen raids.

Metaponto today is a straggling, amorphous place, lacking much charm but with sandy beaches at Metaponto Lido that attract holiday-makers in summer. There’s a train station at Metaponto Scalo, and Metaponto Borgo, some 800m from Scalo and 3km northwest of Lido, has an important archeological museum, otherwise the place mostly consists of the huge archeological park and modern villas, apartments and hotels.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Italy features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
The best places to get off the tourist trail in Rome 

The best places to get off the tourist trail in Rome 

Ticked off Rome’s big sights and wondering where to go next? Natasha Foges picks some of the city’s off-the-beaten track highlights. Lose yourself in the Q…

25 Jan 2017 • Natasha Foges insert_drive_file Article
The 10 most beautiful places in Italy – as voted by you

The 10 most beautiful places in Italy – as voted by you

Is there anywhere in the world as easy on the eye as Italy? From art-filled cities to heart-stopping coastlines via gorgeous landscapes, you could criss-cross t…

07 Dec 2016 • Natasha Foges camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month