I found out about the town of Pietrapetosa from a Senior Chief who works in my office. As someone who always wants to be in “the know” about travel I spend a lot of time picking people’s brains about cool places they’ve seen and been. Who better to talk to then people who have been stationed in Naples for multiple years, surely they’ve all gone and done some amazing things that I have never heard of. Usually I’m not disappointed. I was telling Senior about my plans to head over to Matera (a set location for Passion of the Christ) and then hit up Alberobello (a town full of smurf homes) when he suggested a place that not many people have heard of that’s right in the middle of Naples and Matera/Alberobello.
After looking up the name and doing a little time distance I decided that on the way back from Alberobello on Sunday we would have time to stop for a meal along the way. I secretly slipped this into our plans but said nothing to the girls except that we would be stopping somewhere fun. I wanted it to be a surprise!
Turns out that Pietrapetosa is an 11 km drive from the highway. The town is built right into the side of Dolomiti Lucane, a mountain range in the providence of Basilicanta, Southern Italy. And it sure is beautiful. Once you exit you’ll see signs for Pietrapetosa and you’ll start climbing up and up into the mountains. It’s a stunning view on a clear day. It will take some time because the road is very windy and makes for a slow and steady climb.
As I predicted none of the other girls had heard of the town but keeping the surprise to myself was perfect for when we came over the ridge and saw the view. The population here can’t be more than a couple hundred people I’m thinking but have no hard evidence to prove. All of the houses you see in the picture are the town.
When searching directions to Pietrapetosa on Google Maps it comes up as Volo Dell’ Angelo meaning “Flight of the Angel” in English. Another Navy friend told me that during the summer months this town is famous for a zipline that stretches across between Pietrapetosa and another small town Castelmezzano. The zipline itself is only open from May to November and mostly on the weekends during this time, but it looks mighty fun. I’ll definitely be back this coming summer for some zipline fun!
Coming into the town it was pretty obvious that my car wasn’t going to fit into the tight streets so we parked up the hill a little ways before venturing down into town. The first restaurant we came to was open and there didn’t appear to be many options so we headed inside for some home cooked Italian food.
There was no menu and not good communication between us and the restaurant owner and main chef. He ended up preparing us 2 main courses each which was WAY too much food but it was really well made I will admit. Then at the end of the meal he insisted we try multiple shots of different concoctions (similar to lemon cello) There was alot of gesturing and laughing and my sister ended up on the chefs lap by the end of it. Quite an enjoyable afternoon.
After dinner we walked over to the church at the end of town. From the church we saw Castelmezzano the town just across the way that the zipline leads to in the summer and fall when it is setup. After we took our pictures and our fingers and toes started freezing we decided to head back to the car, we still had a couple hours to drive till we’d be home.
Here we are right on the edge of town as we walk back to our car. The sun was already setting as we climbed inside and started our last leg to the end of the weekend. It was pretty rainy the rest of the way back and dark, which is never a good combination in Italy. We ended up lost a couple of times but eventually made it. My sister only has a couple of days left in Italy at this point, where do you think we’ll head to next?
Have you been to Pietrapetosa? Tried the ziplining? Is it as much fun as they say?
This article appeared first on Dynamic Soarer.