Whether you are practicing Catholics or not, if you really want to know the deepest culture of this part of Basilicata, you have to follow the itinerary we suggest. If you choose to take this route, prepare yourselves for meditation and keep away anything that might disturb your mind. It’s a recommended route for introspection and for anyone who wants to scrutinize oneself more closely. The first stop of this route is Viggiano (PZ) (about 40 km from Corleto P.), home to one of the most important Marian santuaries of Basilicata. Best time to be there is definitely the first Sunday of September, the time of year when the venerated image of the “Black Madonna” is taken back in the country, inside the Mother Church. During these days of celebration, the town welcomes thousands of pilgrims from everywhere, and who belongs to different religions, and the folklore demonstrations are mixed in an apotheosis you absolutely can’t miss. If you are on a summer trip, you should stop at the Sacred Mountain, where the Sanctuary stands, built on the site where, according to tradition, in the fourteenth century the sacred image of the Virgin Mary was found. Don’t miss a visit to the “Portatori” Monument and the “John Paul II Opera” museum. For lunch, choose a typical farmhouse, where you should taste “Ferricelli with breadcrumbs”, the typical pecorino (cheese), “Canestrato di Moliterno”, and stock up for the winter with some typical Sarconi beans.
Second stage of this itinerary is the Scenografic Museum of Santa Maria d’Orsoleo in Sant’Arcangelo (PZ) (about 40 km from Viggiano). Open since 2015, the museum chronicles the life of monasticism in Basilicata, with sound narrations, video installations, stage effects, holograms and 3D movies. Almost every town in Basilicata, in the past had its small monastery and you can learn about the life of the monks, and really get in touch with this land of ancient faith. The monument is open to the public every weekend and offers a guided tour service.
As a conclusion of such a beautiful itinerary, stop at one of the restaurants and definitely try the local pork sausage, accompanied by peperoni cruschi di Senise (local peppers), bathed in a delightful Grottino Roccanova (regional wine).