historical information

Until 1974, a fraction of Montalbano Jonico, Scanzano Ionico was the last in the province of Matera. The etymology of the name, according to some historians, is to be found in the root "ISCA", which in popular dialect meant land near watercourses and "SAINA" a medieval word which meant rush. According to others, the name "TURRIS HISCHINZANAE" derives from the tower still visible towards the sea. Founded in the Middle Ages, but later became a fief of Pietro da Oledo to whom we owe the construction of the Baronial Palace, also known as Palazzaccio, the history of Scanzano Ionico has its roots in ancient times, when its territory was frequented by the Mycenaeans, of which deep traces still remain in Termitito, not very far from the town centre. Here the archaeological remains of a settlement dating back to the XIII-XI century BC were found. C. Here the elephants of Pyrrhus passed (282 BC), the legions of Rome and the troops of Alexander the "Molossus" bivouacked, Plutarch, Spartacus and Pythagoras of Samos visited the place (540 BC). It was a land of raids and looting by barbarians and Saracens, by the brigand Ninco Nanco and his colleague CROCCO, but also of social conquests, land reclamation and agricultural development. Due to its extensive citrus, tobacco and vegetable plantations, Scanzano Ionico is defined as a small Southern California. Its wide golden sandy beaches, well equipped and organized to cheer up the summer holidays, have repeatedly received environmental awards.

tourist route

In addition to relaxing days spent on the splendid beaches, the idea of ​​organizing a cultural trip to discover the past and the other beauties of Scanzano Ionico cannot be excluded. The itinerary can start from Termitito: a plateau of about one hectare located in a dominant position on the Cavone river, where ancient Roman baths have been found with Mycenaean remains from the 13th-11th century BC. It represents the first settlement of the Hellenic colonizers in Southern Italy. Subsequently you can go as far as the noble Palazzo Recoleta, a fortified farm characterized by a large portal, a square tower and two towers located at the corners of the facade. Palazzo Andriace is beautiful and well preserved with its architecturally sober and clean lines, almost austere. The church of S. Francesco da Paola is enclosed in it. Near the bed of the Cavone stream on whose banks, according to recent archaeological studies, the armies of the Epirote king Alexander the Molossus sheltered. An unmissable stop is certainly the delightful historic center characterized by the white houses of the settlers of the land reform, and the imposing Torre del Faro, the first bastion of sighting and protection of the whole territory. The route can find its destination in the Baronial Palace, also known as "Palazzaccio", with an adjoining chapel. It stands on the site of the ancient farmhouse of S. Maria. The Tower and the Church arose together with the primitive building (11th century). It is a square-plan feudal building with an internal courtyard and crenelated tower. The terraced houses of the ancient laborers frame the Palazzo which has represented the center of the historical events of the city and which even today, on summer evenings, comes alive with numerous cultural, theatrical and cinematographic events. Of great naturalistic value are the dunes rich in Mediterranean scrub and the splendid coastal pine forests that embellish the blue expanse of the sea.


From a desolate and malarial swamp, the plain of Scanzano Jonico has transformed, in the space of a few decades, into an area rich in crops of the highest quality exported all over the world. The few profitable extensive crops of tobacco, wheat and beets have been replaced by strawberries, citrus fruits, kiwis, apricots, peaches, grapes, plums and early horticultural crops. Dozens of small family-run farms have joined together in cooperatives, revealing an unprecedented consociational spirit. The "enlightened" management of the water resource has contributed to the growth of the agricultural sector, alongside pastoralism which, with modern stables, consolidates the appreciated dairy-cheese tradition. Some local companies have the pride and prestige of following the working cycle of the olive tree from the plant to the bottling of a fine finished product. The local cuisine is rich and favors fish and vegetables as the main ingredients for the preparation of tempting and varied dishes. Do not miss the "scapice", a dish based on anchovies marinated in vinegar and the herb dish, with all the seasonal vegetables. For lovers of stronger flavours, the "Baccalà alla lucana" is also offered with tasty and crunchy "cruschi" peppers. Renowned are the wines, including the White Malvasia and Moscato.

sea zone (portogreco)

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