Soft golden sandy beaches which were walked on one thousand years ago by ancient Greeks to found one of the most prosperous "polis" (town) of Ancient Greece: this is Metaponto. Sea and culture melt together in this small town overlooking the Ionian Sea, located between the two rivers Lucan Bradano and Basento.
Today Metaponto is a cozy resort, but it deserves a place in history as well. Over the centuries, Metaponto hosted important characters of history and culture: the Greek philosopher Pythagoras, who founded one of his schools in this town, it was a refuge for Hannibal and his men, it saw Spartacus fight against the Romans and, according to the legend, it seems to have a noble birth, having been founded by the Greek Nestor returning from the Trojan War.
Of this rich past we can still enjoy the remains of the beautiful Temple of Hera (or Palatine Tables), the interesting archaeological museum and the tranquility of the Ionian sea, cradling the visitor as it once rocked tired warriors in search of fortune. We close our story with a curiosity for film lovers: a few kilometers from Metaponto there is the villa of the famous movie director Francis Ford Coppola. It is in this villa where Coppola’s daughter Sofia married Thomas Mars, the Phoenix singer.
THREE GOOD REASONS (AT LEAST) TO VISIT METAPONTO
Metaponto beach is sandy and the sea is not very deep. You have to walk out to sea quite a bit to find deep water. For this reason Metaponto is an ideal destination for children. The area offers hospitality with more than twenty campsites and holiday parks, a dozen hotels and numerous beaches with facilities (umbrellas, deckchairs, restaurant, bars and toilets).
The beaches are usually not very crowded, so we recommend Metaponto to those wishing to relax and escape from hectic city life.
As just said, Metaponto played a key role in the early history of southern Italy. For this reason two places deserve a visit: the Palatine Tables (the remains of the Temple of Hera) housed in an impressive archaeological park a few kilometers from the town and the National Archaeological Museum of Metaponto which collects unique relics from the Greek world.
We recommend you visit the Palatine Tables at sunset, to enjoy the immortal charm of the Greek art.
If you like slides and water games, then you must try the Acquazzurra Park, a water park for families about nine kilometers from the beach. Here children can have fun by sliding from a fun pirate ship.
In the evening, the heart of Metaponto is the promenade, with cafes that organize DJ sets and disco nights. There are very popular summer nightclubs in Ginosa and Castellaneta, a few kilometers from Metaponto.