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Trip Planner Europe  /  Italy  /  Basilicata  /  Province of Matera  /  Policoro


Beaches · Forests · Specialty Museums
Policoro is a town and comune in the province of Matera, in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata. It is bounded by the towns of Rotondella, Scanzano Jonico and Tursi. Policoro is a relatively small town of approximately 17,000 inhabitants. Situated on the coast, its population swells in the summertime due to an influx of tourists who come to enjoy the Lido di Policoro.HistoryThe construction of the town started in 680 BCE thanks to the Greeks, who were coming from Colophon, but the town was destroyed in the 6th century BCE 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 famous Battle of Heraclea happened there during the war between Taranto and Rome. In these places, Pyrrhus of Epirus defeated, with the help of his soldiers and elephants, Rome’s troops in a bloody battle, leading to numerous casualties in what has been called “una vittoria di Pirro” or Pyrrhus’s victory.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.”
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