The South of Italy has no shortage of breathtaking landscapes, rich history and incredible cuisine – but it’s still somewhat unknown when compared to other areas of the Bel Paese. It’s a good thing then that there are several initiatives that aim to make it more accessible and popular, like the Cammino Materano and its newest hiking route.

You can now explore Calabria on a coast-to-coast trail

The Cammino Materano is a hiking project centered on the city of Matera and consisting of six routes connecting it to other locations in Southern Italy across the regions of Basilicata, Puglia and Campania. The project is promoted by local volunteers and businesses and it’s an excellent way to enjoy slow traveling in the heart of what used to be Magna Graecia and discover all its histories and peculiarities.

At the moment, the Cammino Materano has one fully-operational route and one that is almost ready for travelers. The Via Peuceta, 160 kilometers long, connects Matera to the city of Bari and is completely up-and-running with info points, hostels and maps. The Via Ellenica on the other hand is in its final stages of work. In 290 kilometers and fifteen stops, it will lead from Brindisi to Matera, touching two UNESCO World Heritage Sites (Matera itself and the trulli of Alberobello) as well as the Natural Park of Terra delle Gravine.

Matera, Basilicata, Italy: landscape of the old town
The city of Matera is the heart of the Cammino Materano, with trails connecting it to the surrounding major cities © ermess / Getty Images

Travelers can rely on guides and info points to help them on their trip and they can also receive a certificate, called testimonium, that testifies they have walked at least 100 kilometers on the route, inspired by the compostela for the Way of St James. If you’d like to know more about the Via Ellenica and its stops or the Cammino Materano at large, you can check out the official website here.

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