I have traveled through Italy. I have seen many of the beautiful cities...Rome, Florence, Venice. I've explored Tuscany, Cinque Terre, Lake Como and the Amalfi Coast. Nowhere has ever disappointed when it comes to beauty and charm. But it is when I go home, home to my roots, that I am reminded of how beautiful ALL of Italy truly is. The region of Basilicata is not usually on anyone's top 10 lists. The majority of American tourists have probably never even heard mention of it. I would love to see that all change.
Basilicata is a small region, at the in-step of the boot. It is a mountainous region, with expansive rugged landscapes, beautiful small ancient towns, the friendliest of locals and amazing food and wine. It is, in fact, the source of some of the best wine in Italy, Aglianico. A visit to this region offers something for everyone…lakes, mountains and beaches. Vineyards and castles dot many mountaintops. Small family-owned agriturismi and restaurants are easily found throughout and offer a wealth of local fare.
Culture and history also abound in Basilicata. The city of Matera is a UNESCO world heritage site because of the famous Sassi - the ancient cave dwellings in the old town. Matera was recently declared the Italian host of the European Capital of Culture for 2019. The town of Melfi has a well-preserved Norman castle that dates back to the 11th century. Venosa is the birthplace of the famous roman poet Horace. Maratea is a small town that offers some of the most pristine and spectacular beaches in Italy.
Basilicata is not only the region that I call home, but as you can see, one that is definitely worth a closer look. It is a beautiful region that deserves to be explored and be at the top of everyone's top 10 lists…hopefully someday it will be!