Notes on Basilicata
Basilicata is a quiet and somewhat remote region rarely found on touristic itineraries. Yet there is a rough beauty to the predominantly barren landscapes, and there is a sense of isolation and time standing still in many of the villages and towns in the region.
Until fairly recently, Basilicata was a desolate, neglected and poor region far away from the modern world.
At that time the coast along the Ionian Sea was a malaria ridden swamp, the summer sun was relentless, the inland mountains were rocky or barren and subject to frequent landslides and erosions. And the deep forests bordering Calabria were dark and impenetrable. In these areas farmers had to struggle to survive, and in the period around the unification of Italy their poverty gave rise to the phenomenon of brigandage, where local people stood up against the nobility and the Italian state.
The sense of isolation and injustice is still deeply ingrained in the people from Basilicata, who can talk for hours about their misfortunes. Still, there is a warm and friendly atmosphere that makes visitors feel welcome, and this – along with the fascinating landscapes, beautiful national parks and outstanding towns and villages like the Unesco World Heritage site Matera – makes Basilicata a wonderful attraction.
We hope our notes on Basilicata can give you inspiration on what to explore.
A lot of tourists (like me) don’t realise that the cave churches near Matera form part of Basilicata’s three-in -one UNESCO World Heritage package.