Here’s what to see in Potenza and where to indulge in typical Lucanian specialties: the city is ready to amaze you with its understated charm!
A destination normally overlooked by classic tourist circuits, nevertheless, Potenza is a city with a charm all its own, perched in the mountains and distinguished by an aura of discretion and solemnity. Its past is less turbulent than other more prominent centers; you can still discern its legacy in the quiet corners, in the long-established stores, and in the remains of monuments and towers that have survived the many earthquakes that have afflicted the area.
If you feel like discovering it, the city will generously repay you with numerous surprises: take off with us and discover what to see in Potenza (and where to eat the best typical specialties!).
First stop: Piazza Pagano in Potenza
Cominciamo il nostro tour di Potenza dalla piazza centrale, quella piazza Mario Pagano allestita originariamente nel 1800 e arricchita in tempi recenti da interventi di importanti architetti tra cui Gae Aulenti. Elegante e raffinata, godibile anche di sera grazie all’illuminazione ben progettata, vi si affacciano il Teatro Stabile e il Palazzo del Governo.
Places to visit in Potenza: the Cathedral of San Gerardo
Religious buildings always tell a lot about the place where they are erected: that is why you cannot pass by Potenza without a visit to its Cathedral, the Cathedral of San Gerardo della Porta, located at the highest point of the city. Consecrated in the 12th century, it has a very plain exterior but an interior rich in decorations and frescoes. Equally fascinating, although built in a completely different style, is the simple and rustic church of San Michele Arcangelo.
The National Archaeological Museum of Potenza
We also suggest a visit to the National Archaeological Museum “Dinu Adamesteanu”, where you can admire a wide selection of artifacts from all over Basilicata, including grave goods,armor, jewelry, and objects of daily use from the first centuries BC.
What to see in Potenza (and what to buy!): Via Pretoria
Not to be missed – a walk on Via Pretoria, the city’s main street, full of ancient buildings and shops where you can enjoy some great shopping! This pedestrian street is always full of people and comes alive especially during city festivals.
The Guevara Tower in Potenza
The only visible part of the ancient city castle, no longer in existence, the Torre Guevara is a defensive bastion built around the ninth century. Twenty meters high and spread over three floors, it is located in the historic center and is now used as an art gallery and cultural facility.Where to eat in Potenza: the downtown restaurants
In Potenza, you can also savor the best Lucanian culinary specialties, including cured meats, cheeses and the mythical raw peppers, washed down with Aglianico wine. But where to eat these delicacies? We particularly recommend that you treat yourself to lunch or dinner at Antiche Torri Restaurant or Trattoria da Peppe. If, on the other hand, you want to buy some edible souvenirs to take home with you, you can stop by the Piaceri Lucani deli.
To Potenza with Italo
Ready to encounter the surprising beauty of Potenza? With Italo, you can reach the city in a convenient and simple way, taking advantage of the high-speed train and Itabus combination service. From the Naples Afragola station, you can get to Potenza by bus or even continue on to the wonderful Sassi di Matera: in the latter case, consider our suggestions on the best trattorias to eat at and the Lido di Metaponto, among the most beautiful beaches in Matera!