Potenza, nature and parks

Potenza is surrounded by numerous parks and public villas where you can take regenerating walks or admire breathtaking views.

The Montereale park is the historic green space of the city, but the capital city has got many vast green areas, such as the Villa of Santa Maria, Baden Powell Park, Elisa Claps Park, Basento River Park and Europa Unita Park.

It’s only 10 km from Potenza to Pignola, the northern access point to the Appennino Lucano-Val d’Agri-Lagonegrese National Park, a protected area with endless scope for walking, mountain-bike trails and bridle paths.

10 km from here lies the La Sellata Pass and Abriola, located right in the centre of the Sellata-Pierfaone-Arioso range. In winter, this is the area’s main skiing centre and offers wonderful walking in summer. Here it’s not unusual to encounter wild horses or herds of grey Podolica cows, whose milk is used to make the typical local cheese, caciocavallo. The 12th-century sanctuary church of Madonna di Monteforte, situated on the side of Mount Pierfaone (1,444 m), is a popular pilgrimage site.

About 30 km south-east of Potenza lies the sandstone massif of the Piccole Dolomiti Lucane, a jagged mountain range with vertical cliffs and weirdly-shaped pinnacles of rock. The mountains of the Lucanian Dolomites were formed 15 million years ago. Some of the most famous features are the Costa di San Martino, culminating in Mount Impiso (1,319 m), the Cresta Tavernaro (1,390 m) and Mount Caperrino (1,455 m). The mountains, surrounded by dense forests of turkey oak, maple and sweet-chestnut, are part of the Gallipoli CognatoPiccole Dolomiti Lucane Natural Park.

Located a few kilometres from Potenza, the WWF Oasis that contains the Lake of Pantano di Pignola which spreads out into a valley surrounded by mountains.