Talking about Basilicata, a region in the South of Italy, is like writing about Neverland. You’ve heard about it but can’t remember when and by whom. What people know about Basilicata is that
-locals are kind (well, if you’re on holiday and spend money, all people will be good to you),
– nature is beautiful, and
– food&wine are very good.
So… what’s be the difference between Basilicata and Tuscany?
I’ll tell you, there are a lot of differences. First of all, nobody knows anything abut this region. When you say it’s damn full of petrol, more than any other region of Europe, no one will trust you.
When you’ll say it’s the only region in deep South of Italy where no criminal association was born (like Mafia, ‘ndrangheta, Sacra Corona Unita, Anonima Sequestri), someone would say ‘oh… it’s true… I’ve never thought about it’ (the same thing you will think after reading this article).
As the actor Rocco Papaleo said in his movie Basilicata Coast to Coast, you must trust in Basilicata, even if you don’t see it. Like for God and Santa Klaus.
Now, my lonely travellers, I’ll tell you some good reasons to trust in Basilicata. At least for a trip.
Culture & literature:
Among the nativesof this region there is Isabella di Morra (Favale, 1520? – Favale, 1546), said to be the very first female poet of Italy and one of the first in Europe. Her production was very wide and was interrupted by the armed hands of her brothers, who killed her because of her intellectual friendship with a Spanish Baron (someone will try to persuade you they had an affair, but that’s quite improbable due to her segregated life).
Castles & Ghosts:
The one where Isabella Morra lived, not so far from Matera, is one of the most popular. She’s said to be still there, reading and writing. But this region is definitely full of manors, most of them populated (local say) by spirits and ghosts. The Castle of Melfi is the best known, but one of the most fascinating is the one in Avigliano-Lagopesole, Castel Lagopesole where the spirit of the great Frederick II still lingers.
The Castle of Brienza is very interesting in August, when locals celebrate with shows of fires, lights, and theatre.
More than just trekking and mountain walking! Basilicata is the region in Italy with more facilities for adventure sports, such as climbing, rafting, canyoning, paragliding, orienteering, hiking, flight of the angel and flight of the eagle.
Then there are also quieter things to do such as horse riding, cycling, skiing, archery, bird watching, sailing.
Small but amazing, the local coasts
Almost unperceivable when looking at the map, the 2 coasts of Basilicata are both amazing. The Ionian Coast to the east, white sanded, perfect for families and the Tyrrhenian Coast to the west, with cliffs leading to a network of beautiful sandy coves, more suitable for the adventurers.
Music & parks
In August you’ll find plenty of music festivals in the green heels. As in the case of the Pollino Music Festival, in Italy’s largest National Park. Jazz, rock, reggae, electro, ethnic music by Italian and international high profile artists/bands with more than 100,000 people expected.
If you need some more reasons to go, I’ll give them to you: it’s cheap, very cheap.