Beaches, archeology, local products, nature. These are the attractions of Policoro, the heart of the Ionian coast of Basilicata. The modern town, born in the post-war period of World War 2 in the middle of a very fertile territory (where strawberries, oranges, grapes, kiwi, tomatoes and other delicacies are grown), is watched over by the XIV Century baronal castle. The little church of “Madonna del Ponte.” (Our Lady of the Bridge) too dates back to the Middle Ages. The vast archeological area and the “Museo Nazionale della Sirtide” tell us the history of the ancient Herakleia, a town in Magna Graecia founded in the V Century B.C. and where, some 150 years later, the Roman legions were defeated by Pyrrhus, king of Epirus and nearby Taranto. Of this period too are the Tables of Heraclea, kept in the “Museo Archeologico” in Naples, where some texts in Greek language on the laws governing the town are cast in bronze. Even though the agriculture requires work and care all the year round, on summertime the hub of the Policoro economy and social life moves into the beaches of the Ionian Sea. Near the coastline, west of Lido, a regional natural reserve run by the WWF protects the “Bosco di Policoro” (Policoro Wood), named “ the verdant labyrinth” by Norman Douglas a century ago. The area is home to a most interesting flora and fauna and allows activities of the type most liked by young people: sailing, snorkeling , walking. In the Ionian waters the monk seal has recently re-appeared.