Basilicata



Basilicata, also known as Lucania, is a region in the south of Italy, bordering on Campania to the west, Apulia to the north and east, and Calabria to the south. It also has two coastlines, one 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 kmq and in 2010 had a population slightly under 600,000.

Basilicata has an otherworldly landscape of tremendous mountain ranges, dark forested valleys and villages so melded with the rock faces that they seem to have grown there. Its isolated yet strategic location on routes linking ancient Rome to the eastern Byzantine empire has seen it successively invaded, pillaged, plundered, abandoned and neglected. In the north the landscape is a fertile zone of gentle hills and deep valleys, once covered in thick forests, now cleared and cultivated with wheat, olives and grapes. The purple-hued mountains of the interior are impossibly grand and a wonderful destination for hikers and naturalists, particularly the soaring peaks of the Lucanian Apennines and the Parco Nazionale del Pollino.

Poverty, civil strife and natural disasters have in the last two hundred years contributed to substantial emigration from the area. In fact, the region from 1860 through to the present has had the highest per capita rate of emigration of any region of Italy. Therefore it should not be surprising that substantial emigration was occurring as early as the beginning of 19th century. Starting in the mid 19th century immigration to the U.S started and continued in ever increasing numbers. Encouraged by job opportunities and democratic principles people from the area began immigrating to the U.S in surprising large numbers early on. As is widely reported approximately 4.5 million Italians immigrated to the U.S. between the years 1850-1930. Of the 4.5 million who arrived on U.S. shores only 6 percent or 250,000 came from Lucania/Basilicata. So, as a percentage of the whole Lucani made up only a small fraction of the regional patchwork that makes up Italian American heritage and place of origin.

Our travel packages including stay in Basilicata in a charming affiliated Accommodation (example):


Stay will include traditional "colazione lucana". Special dates and requests are subject to availability of accommodation at time of reservation.
 

Ancestry tour (half day or full day) includes :
  • Walk through your family’s ancestral village
  • Visit churches, cemeteries and ancient palazzi from your grandparents’ past
  • Cultural mediation, logistic support and assistance
  • Pick up service with private driver
  • Engage in helpful-and often colorful-conversations with the locals
Extra Activities :
  • Cooking Classes of "Cucina Lucana"
  • Arts & Crafts Tours
  • Food & Wine Tours
  • Wedding Planning

The price of Ancestry Tour (including stay of 3 nights) starts from € 550 per person in a double occupancy.