Basilicata is one of those regions of Italy where the foot of a Russian-speaking tourist rarely steps. Largely guilty of its geographical location and lack of information. The Basilicata includes two provinces of Matera and Potenza. They are located between the regions of Puglia and Calabria and, as it were, sandwiched between them. The region is located in the very south of Italy near the Gulf of Taranto (Ionian Coast), and its western part is washed by the Tyrrhenian Sea.
History of Basilicata
Historically, Basilicata has two names. In ancient times, it was called Lucania in honor of the tribes of the "Lucans", who from ancient times lived on these lands. The word "Lucus" in Latin means "forest." The region began to be called basilicum in the time of Byzantium, and it comes from the Greek "basileos" - this title was called emperors.
Basilicata mentioned in the writings of many authors since ancient times. In the pre-ancient era, the region was inhabited by tribes of lucans, which are believed to have descended from Samnites. In VIII BC the era of Lucania, despite the desperate resistance of the locals, the Greeks began to colonize, and in the IV-III century. BC. they were replaced by the Romans.
Basilicata is still a land almost untainted by human intervention.
The arrival of the Romans marked the beginning of the decline in Lucania. Later, during the sunset of the Empire, Lucania was subjected to numerous barbarian invasions and passed from hand to hand until, finally, it became part of Byzantium. Since then, Lucania received the name Basilicata and has preserved it to this day.
Starting from the second half of the 9th century, the region becomes an integral part of the Principality of Salerno and is in its composition until the 11th century, and then it is part of the kingdom of both Sicilies. After its collapse, Basilicata becomes part of the Kingdom of Naples, and since 1861 it is part of the United Italy. From ancient times to the present, Basilicata has been an economically backward region. It is still one of the least industrialized areas of Italy.
Cities of Basilicata
The capital of the Region is the city of Potenza, located at an altitude of 820 meters above sea level. Part of the invaluable architectural monuments of Potenza died as a result of a powerful earthquake in 1980, after which the city was rebuilt almost from scratch and acquired a modern appearance.
But still, part of the old quarters survived and was restored. So in Potenza today you can see many historical monuments. The main historical sites of Potenza are located in Via Pretoria, the main street of the city that once led from the Castle to the gates of Portasalza.
Even after the earthquake, the Cathedral of San Gerardo, presumably built in 1197, but somewhat modified in 1700, has been well preserved. Very interesting is the church of Santa Maria del Sepolcro, which was built in the 13th century on the spot where the crusader chapel used to be. It is known for its magnificent triumphal arch, restored after the earthquake in its original form. Among the architectural monuments of the city, it is impossible not to mention the church of San Francesco, built in the Catalan style atypical for the south of Italy. The history of Potenza can be found in detail at the local Archaeological Museum, which has many historical exhibits found in the region.
Quarters built in different historical epochs are preserved in Matera
But Potenza is not the only city of Basilicata with an interesting history and ancient architectural monuments. There are other ancient and beautiful cities worth visiting in the region. One of the most popular in this part of Italy is the city. Matera. In Matera, neighborhoods built in different historical eras have been preserved. They are located in an area called Sassi, which means "stones". There is also an amazing cave city, carved into the rocks. The most ancient caves were created here as early as the VIII millennium BC. - These are rather primitive artificial formations in contrast to the premises of a later period. By the way, the famous scene of the crucifixion of Christ from the sensational film "Passion of Christ" was shot in Matera.
Malfi is an old, beautiful city with magnificent architectural monuments of various eras. It is known for some time serving as the residence of the emperors of the Holy Roman Empire.
Maratea - this city is called the pearl of the Basilicata. It is located on a high mountain, which offers breathtaking views of the gulf of Policastro, spread out below. The city has an ancient monastery and several picturesque churches.
The region is ruled by a typical Mediterranean climate. In the central part, the climate of Basilicata is more continental, and subtropics prevail on the coast. One of the important advantages of the Basilicata is the duration of the swimming season, which usually begins in May and lasts until November. The average summer temperature in Basilicata + 27-31 ° C in the coastal zone and +23 ° C in the mountainous regions.
Basilicata Coast - one of the pearls of Italy with almost untouched pristine nature. Picturesque, almost deserted beaches with golden sand, clear clear water and wild majestic cliffs. Unlike most coastal regions, Basilicata's tourism infrastructure is poorly developed. But this is the highlight of the Basilicata. Rest here is much cheaper than in other regions of the country, and leaves a lot of opportunities for tourists who want privacy in the background of magnificent nature.
The town of Muro Luciano is located at an altitude of 600 m above sea level
The most famous resorts of Basilicata are Policaro and Metaponto, located on the Ionian coast. These are picturesque and calm places with beautiful and well-maintained beaches, along which there are many different cafes and taverns where you can enjoy cheap seafood dishes. If you wish, you can relax and improve your health by thermal spas Basilicatasuch as Terme La Calda, Terme Ala, Rapolla.
You can have a good rest in Basilicata in winter: the beautiful ski resort of La Sellata is located at an altitude of 1255 meters, only 25 km from Potenza. It is equipped with pistes of varying difficulty, which are suitable for both beginners and advanced skiers.
The pride of the Basilicata is the Polino National Park, famous throughout Italy, located on the slopes of the mountain range of the same name. It is famous for its diversity of flora and fauna, as well as the majestic and beautiful mountain landscapes.