Theme Week Basilicata

Monday, 25 December 2023 - 12:00 pm (CET/MEZ) Berlin | Author/Destination:
Category/Kategorie: General, Bon voyage, Theme Weeks, UNESCO World Heritage
Reading Time:  5 minutes

Sassi di Matera © Superchilum/cc-by-sa-4.0

Sassi di Matera © Superchilum/cc-by-sa-4.0

Basilicata, also known by its ancient name Lucania, is an administrative region in Southern Italy, bordering on Campania to the west, Apulia to the north and east, and Calabria to the south. It has two coastlines: a 30-km stretch on the Tyrrhenian Sea between Campania and Calabria, and a longer coastline along the Gulf of Taranto between Calabria and Apulia. The region can be thought of as the “instep” of Italy, with Calabria functioning as the “toe” and Apulia the “heel”.

The region covers about 10,000 km² (3,900 sq mi). In 2010, the population was slightly under 600,000. The regional capital is Potenza. The region is divided into two provinces: Potenza and Matera. Its inhabitants are generally known as Lucanians (Italian: lucani), and to a lesser extent as basilicatesi and other very rare terms.

In ancient times part of its territory belonged to Magna Graecia being populated by coastal Greek colonies (including Sybaris). Later the region was conquered by the ancient Romans. It was then conquered by the Byzantines, and then by the Normans around the year 1000 with the Hauteville family. Their presence explains the persistence of Gallo-Italic linguistic enclaves of Basilicata, dialects influenced by Gallo-Italic dialects. It was later dominated by the Aragonese and the Spanish. Subsequently it became part of the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies, to then be annexed to the unified Kingdom of Italy after the Expedition of the Thousand.

Rivello © Acquario51/cc-by-sa-4.0 Rotondella © Rocco Scattino/cc-by-sa-4.0 Sassi di Matera © Superchilum/cc-by-sa-4.0 Castelmezzano © flickr.com - Jon Shave/cc-by-2.0 Maratea © Luke18389/cc-by-sa-4.0 Pietrapertosa © flickr.com - Vito G./cc-by-2.0 Badlands in Aliano © Enzo.ribatti/cc-by-sa-4.0
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Castelmezzano © flickr.com - Jon Shave/cc-by-2.0
Cultivation consists mainly of sowables (especially wheat), which represent 46% of the total land. Potatoes and maize are produced in the mountain areas. Olives and wine production is relatively small with about 31,000 hectares (77,000 acres) under cultivation. The terrain is mountainous and hilly with poor transportation routes that hinders harvesting. Most oils are sold unbranded and only 3% is exported. The main olive cultivars are Ogliarola del Vulture, Ogliarola del Bradano, Majatica di Ferrandina and Farasana with only Ogliarola del Vulture having the Protected Designation of Origin (PDO). Other varieties are the Arnasca, Ascolana, Augellina, Cellina, Frantoio, Leccino, Majatica, Nostrale, Ogliarola (Ogliarola Barese), Palmarola or Fasolina, Rapolese di Lavello, and Sargano (Sargano di Fermo and Sargano di San Benedetto).

Difficult accessibility and lack of extended promotion make Basilicata one of the most remote and least visited regions of Italy. However, tourism is slowly growing since the early 2000s. Matera, once dubbed “national disgrace” by prime minister Alcide De Gasperi who urged to take strict development measures due to its extreme poverty, is now Basilicata’s main attraction and has gained fame worldwide for its historical center, the Sassi, designated in 1993 as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2019, Matera was designated as the European Capital of Culture.

Seaside tourism is mainly concentrated in Maratea, nicknamed “The Pearl of Tyrrhenian Sea”, but also the Ionian coast (Policoro, Pisticci, Bernalda, Nova Siri) is fairly developed. Naturalistic attractions include Pollino, that hosts the largest national park in Italy, Dolomiti lucane and Vulture. The New York Times ranked Basilicata third in its list of “52 Places to Go in 2018”, describing it as “Italy’s best-kept secret”.

Here you can find the complete Overview of all Theme Weeks.

Read more on italia.it – Basilicata, Cuisine of Basilicata, Wikivoyage Basilicata and Wikipedia Basilicata. Learn more about the use of photos. To inform you about latest news most of the city, town or tourism websites offer a newsletter service and/or operate Facebook pages/Twitter accounts. In addition more and more destinations, tourist organizations and cultural institutions offer Apps for your Smart Phone or Tablet, to provide you with a mobile tourist guide (Smart Traveler App by U.S. Department of State - Weather report by weather.com - Global Passport Power Rank - Travel Risk Map - Democracy Index - GDP according to IMF, UN, and World Bank - Global Competitiveness Report - Corruption Perceptions Index - Press Freedom Index - World Justice Project - Rule of Law Index - UN Human Development Index - Global Peace Index - Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Index). If you have a suggestion, critique, review or comment to this blog entry, we are looking forward to receive your e-mail at comment@wingsch.net. Please name the headline of the blog post to which your e-mail refers to in the subject line.




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