Metaponto Palatine Tables

The Palatine Tables (Tavole Palatine) near Metaponto are the remains of a sixth century BC Greek temple dedicated to the goddess Hera. Originally the temple had 32 columns (6 by 12) but only 15 of the doric limestone columns remain. It sits in a field beside the River Bradano, near the border with Puglia. This was a sacred place outside the ancient town of Metapontum along an ancient road (now the SS106 highway). If you are visiting Matera, this is an interesting day trip.

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Location: Italy - Basilicata - Matera - Metaponto

Category: Ancient Greek

Tags: Temple

From the SS106 (E90) coast road, take the exit marked "Tavole Palatine" north west of Metaponto. From Matera, coming on the SS175, join the E90 in the direction of Taranto and take the first exit. The museum at the site may be closed, but park and walk into the site.

There are other archaeological sites to visit in Metaponto (see More Information). There are Archaelogical museums in Metaponto and nearby Policoro.

The town of Metaponto is small and not very appealing. We visited in April and the seaside town was closed (Metaponto Lido) but it did not look appealing either. There are other beach areas on the Ionian coast.

Go to the town of Bernalda for restaurants. Bernalda has become well-known for its exclusive hotel owned by American film director Francis Ford Coppola whose family is from the town. Palazzo Margherita is a refurbished 19th-century palace in the middle of the town’s lively, palm-tree-lined Corso Umberto I.

Pisticci is a pretty nearby hilltown.

Website: Wikipedia - Metapontum

Day trip contributed by Pauline Kenny

More Information

The ancient Greek town of Metapontum (now called Metaponto) was set between the Basento and Bradano rivers where they meet the Ionian coast. The Palentine Table is part of the Metaponto Archaeological Area. The other sites are near the modern town and consist of the outlines of a horseshoe shaped theater, a sanctuary, foundations of Roman buildings (castrum), and some burial tombs (necropoli). There is an Archaeological Museum.

This Google Map shows the location of the other archaeological sites in Metaponto. We were not able to find them when we were there. There were only a few confusing signs to the museum and we were not even able to find that. If you prepare better than we did, you should be able to find these sites. I included a photo in the Photos section showing a map of the area with the sites marked. If you find them, please put a comment on this Day Trip. In our defense, friends of ours who live in Basilicata were not able to find this museum either.

Photos of Metaponto Palatine Tables

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1 comment

Valerie | Archaeology Travel

Valerie (3 comments)

July 23, 2015

The museum is insanely hard to find! The archeological sites are scattered around with poor signage, odd as you'd think they'd make it easier to find their major tourist draw!