Trekking in Basilicata


Walking in Basilicata

Breathtaking views, hills, woods, mountains, in a few kilometers you will discover a region suitable for slow tourism. Walking through this area of ​​Southern Italy, a treasure chest of hidden treasures, you cross landscapes and passages between the ancient roads of communication and transhumance.
Vast horizons, deep silences, genuine flavors, indelible traces to discover the Earth as it once was … slowly, gently.


Go past the Acqua dei Pastori refuge (1,117 m), leaving it to the left, continue for a few meters on the paved road and, at the bend to the left, take the wide path on the right that enters the woods. The track continues uphill, first parallel to the paved road and to the Cerrito stream, then, after about 1.2 km, it changes direction first to the north-east and then to the south, crossing the area with the highest concentration of fir trees. After about another 500m you will reach the edge of the wood, turn right onto the cart track and after another 500 m, at a bend to the left, turn right to re-enter the wood. It ends near the Acqua della Pietra Fountain where you will see the homonymous refuge. An educational centre has been set up with exhibition rooms and panels on the presence of fir trees in the region.
At this point you could return by tracing the route backwards or completing the loop, especially recommended for cyclists.
Leave the Acqua della Pietra refuge behind you and proceed along the cart track, to the north west, skirting the entire wooded area. After about 4.5 km, turn right until you reach the SP60 road 500m further on, in Acque del Prosciutto. Turn right onto the paved road to return, after about 3.5 km southwards, to the starting point (Rifugio dei Pastori).

The Frassati path of Basilicata is one of the Italian paths dedicated by to the blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati by the Italian Alpine Club (CAI) ( It is a 14 km circular hiking trail and a 4 km link road connecting to the historic centre of Sasso di Castalda. Inaugurated by the CAI section of Potenza on 9 September 2007, at the foot of the Arioso and Pierfaone mountains, it is an ideal place for hiking and mountain biking. The itinerary crosses the ancient communication routes used in the past by the local people for daily life: the water route, the shepherds’ route, the woods route, the air route, the route of the Beech of S. Michele.
As it is can be reached from several places, by car, the route can easily be customised according to the activities to be experienced.
From the village, pass by the Oasi del Cervo, following the cart track for about 700 meters, uphill, until you cross the path, heading West (1,042 m), to reach the S. Michele stream, which you cross on a small wooden bridge. Immediately you can see the remains of the Mulino del Conte mill (with “horizontal” wheel), along the “grain road” used in the past in the months of July and August to transport the fruit of the threshing to be milled. Continue over a second wooden bridge in the lower part of the Costara Wood until you reach the paved road to immerse yourself in the shrubbery again.
Along the stream, skirting the aqueduct, after about 2.5 km, you reach the S. Michele intersection, from where you can see the chapel of the same name and the water fountain. At this point the “bretella” link path ends and the real Frassati path begins behind the fountain (1,100 m).
From here the “via dei pastori” (shepherd’s route) begins, along an uphill path across farmland, and after a few hairpin bends it climbs up to Madonna del Sasso (1,368 m). A votive shrine can be seen near a camping area. Cross the paved road to the second votive shrine to continue towards the forest of pines and firs, downhill for about 500 meters to the Fontana di Fossa Cupa (1,272 m). Continue along the visible uphill track towards Monte Arioso, for about 1.5 km, passing by some hairpin bends arranged with dry stones. Around 1,500 meters up, turn right to enter the beech forest which thickens as you go up, for about 1 km, until you reach the ski lifts (1,700 m) of the Arioso-Pierfaone area. Turn southwards along the narrow ridge that leads to the summit of Monte Arioso (1,709 m). This peak is historically important since it was the first destination, on 15 September 1878, of the Lucanian section of the CAI. Walking along the “via delle nevi” (‘snow route’) along the ridge, on snow-covered landscapes until late spring, you can see the peaks of Volturino, Sirino, Cervati and Alburni, up to the beech forest, intersecting other ski slopes and ski lifts. Drive along the paved road for a short time until you’re near the Rifugio Forestale refuge. Continue south for about 1.4 km with no major climbs, up to the Tempa d’Albano peak (1,626 m). Nearby there is the “belvedere delle scaledde”, a panoramic viewpoint where you can enjoy a view of the summit of Monte Maruggio (1,576 m). From here, going back a little way, first passing through an area of beech forest, you begin “la via dell’aria” (‘air route’), gliding across the meadows. Halfway down the hill, after about 700 m you will find the Acqua Ceresola spring; continue to the right halfway up the slope along an open path to enter the Bosco della Costara wood and keep going downhill to the intersection of the Rifugio La Costara refuge (about 150 meters from the path). The route, now shrouded by the imposing and beautiful beech forest, gently leads you back to the starting point. Shortly before the end, along the fitness trail, you will meet one of the great Father Trees of the Basilicata Region, protected by a special regional law, the Beech of San Michele, recognisable by a sign and a bench. Not far away, under the large tree it you can’t miss a huge hole used in the past to store snow that would later be used during the warmer months to make ice creams and slush.
Follow the steep descent until you reach the edge of the wood where the entire loop ends.