A few kilometers from the Calabrian border, with a view on the the Ionian coastline and the easternmost peaks of Mount Pollino, this ancient and densely populated town is renowned for the licorice, harvested in the nearby gorges, and the impressive gullies surrounding the site. To protect them, in 2011 the Riserva Naturale Regionale was created, with center in Tempa Petrolla, a geological site visible from the north-east viewpoint of the town. The origins of Montalbano Jonico probably date back to the times of Magna Graecia Among the monuments built in later times the most important is the “Chiesa Madre di Santa Maria dell’Episcopio”, with a XII Century wooden statue of Madonna con Bambino (Virgin Mary with Child). Two square towers are the remains of the mighty Norman walls protecting the town. The oldest district, Terravecchia, goes back to the times of Frederick II. The mainstreet Corso Carlo Alberto is lined with the mansions of the nobility or affluent citizens, built between the XVI and XX Centuries. It is probably of medieval origins the Torre dell’Orologio, the Clock Tower, heavily reworked in more recent times. The trails of the regional reserve (run by Legambiente, a national agency) lead to Petrolla and the remnants of an old castle. Very interesting are also the pathways going from the town down to the Metaponto sheep track, used for the seasonal migrations up to the beginning of the XX Century.