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Comune di Policoro
Eraclea square
Coat of arms of Policoro
Coat of arms
Location of Policoro
Policoro is located in Italy
Location of Policoro in Italy
Policoro is located in Basilicata
Policoro (Basilicata)
Coordinates: 40°12′N 16°40′E / 40.200°N 16.667°E / 40.200; 16.667Coordinates: 40°12′N 16°40′E / 40.200°N 16.667°E / 40.200; 16.667
ProvinceMatera (MT)
 • MayorEnrico Mascia
 • Total67.66 km2 (26.12 sq mi)
25 m (82 ft)
 (December 31, 2015)[3]
 • Total17,313[1]
Time zoneUTC+1 (CET)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+2 (CEST)
Postal code
Dialing code0835
Patron saintMadonna of the Bridge
WebsiteOfficial website

Policoro (Lucano: Pulecòre) is a town and comune in the province of Matera, in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata. With some 17,000 inhabitants, is bounded by the towns of Rotondella, Scanzano Jonico and Tursi. Situated on the coast, its population swells in the summertime due to an influx of tourists who come to enjoy the Lido di Policoro.


The construction of the town was started in 680 BC by Greeks colonists from Colophon, but the town was destroyed in the 6th century BC by the Achaean colonies in coalition with Metaponto, Crotone, and Sibari.

In 432 BCE, the town was rebuilt in the same place as before and was called Heraclea (also Heracleia or Herakleia). In very little time, it became richer and more famous than the nearby town Siris. In 280 BCE, the Battle of Heraclea happened there during the war between Taranto and Rome.

The Tables of Heraclea date back to this period and they are now located in the Archeology Museum of Naples. These ancient bronze tablets contain texts in Greek and Latin that discuss public and constitutional rules and laws of the town, one such being "Lex Iulia Municipalis".

During the Middle Ages, the entire area depopulated and Heraclea lost its prestige, becoming a little village on a small hill. It was called Policoro, Πολύχωρον meaning "large place" in Greek. The population was sheltered from nearby villages, which were threatened, by numerous invasions and raids. Eventually, the village became a baronial feud and the town developed around the baronial castle, used as a residence from 1000 CE for hunting because of the vast forests owned by local noble families, such as the Berlingieri.

Only after 1950, thanks to the work to reclaim the land which had become marshy and unhealthy over the centuries and also to the agrarian reform that split and redistributed the land to guarantee a fast development and resettlement, Policoro received municipal autonomy. This change attracted families to move to Policoro from all parts of the region.[4]

Geography and weather[edit]

It is on the Ionian coast, 70 km far from Taranto and Matera. Policoro has a hot Mediterranean climate and enjoys mild winters with moderate rainfall. Summers are warm to hot and also dry and sunny. Rainfall is rare in this season, and a typical July has only two or three days with measurable rainfall. The temperature is typically above 20 °C and frequently reaches 30 °C+. The average maximum temperature in the warmest months (July and August) is around 37 °C. During winter, days can be either sunny and dry or damp and rainy. Frost is unusual and snowfall is extremely rare that they are remembered by the townspeople as special events. The last noticeable snowfall occurred in early January 2017. The average minimum temperature in January is around 7 °C. Spring starts mild and rainy in late March and becomes increasingly warmer and sunnier towards June.


Events in the ton include

  • Blues in Town: organized annually by the cultural association La Mela di Odessa, the summer festival, which was founded in 2004, has had performances by artists such as Neffa, Giuliano Palma, Rocco Papaleo, James Senese, Paolo Belli, and Inibizioni Recidive.
  • Policoro in Swing: organized annually by the cultural association Vintage Routes, the festival has been held every year at the end of August since 2013. It's an original swing dance camp where music, dancing, sailing, and vacationing combine into a week of fun.
  • Balloon—Children's Cartoon and Literature Festival, a summer cultural event that was born in 2012 and has hosted esteemed Italian cartoonists such as Silver (Lupo Alberto), Corrado Mastantuono (Dylan Dog, Tex, and various Disney characters), Giuseppe Palumbo, and Clod.
  • Youth Creativity Festival. Organized annually by the Young Democrats of Policoro, the festival was created in 2009 to showcase young artists.


Policoro had a football team, Policoro 2000 Calcio, until the 2009 Championships. During the 2009–2010 season, Policoro had two teams, A.S.D. Policoro 2000 and A.S.D. Borussia Pleiade. Since the 2010–2011 season, the two football teams combined into one team, A.S.D Policoro Heraclea. The colors of the team were light blue, white, and red, but then they returned to the original colors of white and light blue. Now, the team is called Real Metapontino and they play in Serie D.

In the 2010–2011 season, the team Avis Borussia Policoro were promoted to Serie B and now they play in Serie A2.

In 2016, Policoro created its first boys’ basketball team, A.S.D. Policoro Basket, for local teenagers. Their home games are played at Palaercole.

TV and cinema[edit]

On April 19, 2017, Policoro was mentioned in a “Too Much Exposition Theatre” sketch starring Alec Baldwin on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert as a possible location for a shipwrecked Italian cousin.[5]

The following films were filmed in and around Policoro:

  • Berlin Chamissoplatz, directed by Rudolf Thome (1980)
  • Libera nos a malo, directed by Fulvio Wetzl (2008)
  • Basilicata Coast to Coast, directed by Rocco Papaleo (2010)
  • Operazione vacanze, directed by Claudio Fragasso (2012)


External links[edit]


  1. ^ Popolazione Policoro 2001–2015.
  2. ^ "Superficie di Comuni Province e Regioni italiane al 9 ottobre 2011". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  3. ^ "Popolazione Residente al 1° Gennaio 2018". Istat. Retrieved 16 March 2019.
  4. ^ "Breve storia di Policoro". Città di Policoro. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  5. ^ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4lEskigIho