With its seven peaks standing in a semicircle around two small crater lakes, the Vulture Massif and the green surrounding lands offer a scenery of singular beauty, still little known and largely unexplored by the conventional tourist itineraries. Very famous, on the contrary, are the vineyards from which derives Aglianico del Vulture, a red wine of great personality and long ageing, real button-hole of Lucan oenology.
In order to appreciate this exclusive regional production that goes best with the savoury traditional dishes, it is sufficient to move from Rionero in Vulture to Barile, from Rapolla to Melfi covering vast and fertile expanses covered with vineyards and chestnut groves.
At about 10 kilometres from the lakes, Rionero In Vulture is a welcoming agricultural centre, seat of interesting archaeological discoveries among which also the remains of a Roman aqueduct. To be tasted on location is the Aglianico, the very precious oil Colline del Vulture at the moment awaiting Pdo recognition, and the traditional sausage pezzenta, typical example of poor-peasant cooking.
Not far away there is Barile, an ancient Albanian installation, which still today maintains its roots in several folkloristic traditions and in the preservation of terms and place-names of Albanian origin. In its outskirts the caves dug in tuff are characteristic; today they are used as cellars and in the past as real houses dug by the first Albanian settlers.
After Rapolla, a picturesque village clinging to a hill, an imposing and turreted castle indicates Melfi, town preferred by Frederic II of Swabia. Built in high-medieval times, this centre reached great importance during the Norman and Angevin period, as testifies the presence of monuments of great importance. Besides the castle, the Duomo is certainly noteworthy. Its Norman bell-tower is one of the best examples of Norman art in the South of Italy. Among the typical cheeses of the area there are Caciocavallo podolico and Cacioricotta, whereas the so-called "marroncini" of Melfi engender the making of specific sweets.