The Appennino Lucano (Lucanian Apennines) bite Basilicata in half like a row of jagged teeth. Sharply rearing up south of Potenza, they protect the lush Tyrrhenian coast and leave the Ionian shores gasping in the semi-arid heat. Much of the area is protected by the Parco Nazionale Dell’Appennino Lucano, inaugurated in 2007 and the second-youngest of Italy's 25 national parks.
Aside from its gorgeous mountain terrain, the park's most iconic site is the abandoned Roman town of Grumentum, 75km south of Potenza and just outside the town of Grumento Nova. In the granite eyries of Pietrapertosa and Castelmezzano, it can also lay claim to two of Italy's most strikingly situated hill towns.