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L'Aquila Matera Chieti Potenza

Basilicata lays between Campagna, Puglia, and Calabria at the upper heal of the Italian boot claiming a tiny bit coastland on the west and the Gulf of Taranto at its bottom edge. Most of the region's land is parched and dry, making Basilicata one of Italy's worst agricultural regions.

The standard food staple is vegetables and pasta, with meat held for special occasions. Nearly every vegetable consumed in Italy is eaten in Basilicata, including local bitter onions, mushrooms, fava beans, artichokes, potatoes, and peppers. Peperonata is a local favorite consisting of sweet peppers, tomatoes and chili pepper, often mixed with chunks of pork. A custom in southern cooking is the liberal use of chili pepper.

Pork is this region's choice of meat, vividly reflected in the region's specialties: lucanica, a spiced sausage renowned throughout Italy, and pezzente ( "beggers") , a chili-spiked salami unique to Basilicata that contains the less costly parts of the pig.

With the exception of the region's flavorful lemons and oranges, there are not many sweets eaten here. Those that are often consist of almonds. No grapes are native to Basilicata, but the region does produce a small quantity of red wine and white wine from vines brought by the Greeks many centuries ago.  

Inquiries accommodations We welcome inquiries for available accommodations for the region of Basilicata and surrounding areas. Contact us for listing requirements. (Hotels - Motels - Villas - Bed & Breakfast - Condo Rentals, Agriturismo & all related accommodations)

Information:
Abruzzo official site Regione Basilicata official site

Matera

 

Matera

Matera Basilicata  ItalyIt seems as though everyone in this region moved into caves, which came to be known as i sassi (stones). You would think Sasso Caveoso and Sasso Barisano (which begin at Piazza V. Veneto) were just typical Italian hilltowns until you realize the "houses" are all windowless grottoes with damp walls and earthen floors, where the family's animals slept side-by-side with the humans.

Far from being uncivilized, these rock towns had intricate hydraulic systems that kept water fresh and cool year round. Eventually the caves gained façades and roofs, but the interiors remained virtually unchanged. Nearly 15,000 people were still living in them in 1952, when the government finally declared them unhealthy and outlawed their use. There are several places where you can visit a typically furnished sasso: the most indicative is probably the one at Vico Solitario 12, in Sasso Caveoso.

Of course, there is more to this town than caves. Do not come to Matera without visiting the Domenico Ridola National Museum, which is located in a splendid former convent (again the product of the Italian State's "liberation" of church property in the south). Faithful readers of In Italy will remember our mentioning the serious fiscal problems encountered by Italian art patrons who wish to give their treasures to the public. Luckily for us, Senator Ridola made his donation in 1911, before today's tax laws had been concocted to thwart philanthropy. The vast collection includes Paleocene, neolithic and Bronze Age finds, as well as pottery and statuary from the 6th to 4th centuries BC.

What to taste What to taste:

Matera has much in common with the region of Puglia: Orecchiette (handmade pasta) prepared with fresh tomato or with turnip greens, broccolis, cauliflower or with breadcrumb and sultana. In this province hot pepper is very used called in three different ways: diavulicchiu, frangisello, cerasella.

Another typical dish is the cotto di fichi (cooked figs)a kind of cream made of boiled and dried figs. The dish changes a bit with prickly pears instead of figs. The local Cardoncello mushroom, cooked in different ways and or eaten row with ricotta cheese, lemons and olive oil from Murge of Matera. And then the wheat and chick-peas soup, the cialled a kind of soup with stale bread, eggs, olives, tomatoes and other vegetables, but also some traditional dishes linked to the religious events.

A typical Easter dish of Matera is the cardi with cacio and eggs and the pirc'dduzz (pasta dressed with cooked wine) and a typical Easter dish of Irsina is “fusilli” with fried breadcrumb and cooked figs.

In the Metaponto area fish dishes are very common as “scapece” (fried anchovies marinated with vinegar) and the dried salted cod prepared with peppers.

Lamb and sheep are also very common in this province. Another typical dish is the gnummaridd, special rolls filled with sheep and kids giblets. It's worth to taste also eels with hot pepper, tomatoes, mint and laurel. Typical cheeses are: ricotta cheese, sheep milk cheese and burrata (fresh mozzarella and cream cheese).

Typical desserts are: figs with honey, pasch'nisch, a September dessert prepared with semolina and cooked must; the cuccìa, as in Potenza province, a boiled wheat dessert mixed with chocolate, pomegranate, walnuts and cooked wine.

Typical wines are: Val Bradano, Sangiovese, Moscato, Malvasia, Elixir of walnuts 

Commune di Matera - Municipality of Matera Commune di Matera - municipality of Matera

Following Towns Cities & Towns:

Info municipalites Abruzzo More info her on all the Municipalities, Cities, Towns and Villages - Matera

What to do What to do:

• Matera has many natural parks, right places to wander and discover the lush vegetation and the rich local fauna. In all the reserves it's possible to organize trekking trips, cycle trips or horse rides, just to enjoy these special places.
• The wildlife reserves of Bosco Pantano e Policoro are real lush areas for bird-watching and photography lovers. There are many kind of birds as the western marsh-harrier, the cormorant, the waterhen, the white heron, the grey heron and the coleopteran. The Natural Park of Gallipoli - Little Dolomiti Lucane - is reported on the best bird-watching reviews, because it's very easy to see wonderful kites, buzzards, kestrels, peregrine falcon, barn owls, owls and hoot owls, as long as mammals as wild pig, wolf, fox, badger, porcupine, wildcat, hare, hedgehog, dormouse, squirrel, weasel, stone marten and in the river, otter.  
• The tortoise of Herman is a little rare turtle with yellow spotted shell that lives very close to the clearing and to the garrigue (in Italian macchia mediterranea). Anyway, Matera is the right place for sea holiday lovers; it has 30 km. of coast on the Ionio sea, not much cement, wide fields and the garrigue close to the big stretches of sand. Policoro, Metaponto and Pisticci are three of the main seaside resorts.  
• The area is rich in tourist attractions. The Ionian coastline is famous for its pristine beaches, for its history and artefacts dating back to Magna Grecia and for its wholesome, delicious cuisine.

Places to visit Places to visit: Churches, Museums, Ruins, Piazzas, Fountains,

• Matera has gained international fame for its ancient town, the "Sassi di Matera" (meaning "stones of Matera")
• It's worth a visit to the little rupestrian Church Santa Lucia of the Malve, founded by a Benedictine community around the 8th century, the Church of the Madonna of Idris, leading to the crypt of San giovanni in Monterrone and the four rupestrian churches of the Convicinio of Sant'Antonio.
• In the Sasso Barisano there is the Church of San Pietro Barisano, one of the main church of Matera dug into the rock, the Church of Madonna delle Virtù, included in a very ancient monastery and the Church of S. Agostino built in 1591 in baroque style. The city has also a Cathedral, built in 1268-70 in Romanic style, Palazzo Lanfranchi, symbol of the architectural of 1600 century in the city, and the various museums of the city as the National Archaeological Museum “Domenico Ridola”, the National Museum of Medieval and Modern Art and the MUSMA, Museum of Contemporary Sculpture of Matera.
• In the neighborhood of Matera there is the Archaeological historical and Natural Park of the rupestrian Churches of the Materano, that shows an important historical and archaeological heritage: more than 160 rocky churches, three Neolithic villages (Serra d'Alto, Timmari and Murgia Timone), and many prehistoric tombs.
• In the south-eastern area of Matera there are many beautiful little cities as Montescaglioso, with its wonderful Abbazia of San Michele Arcangelo, Miglionico with its great Castle of Malconsiglio, Bernalda with its 1400-century castle and Tricarico, Grassano, Irsina and Ferrandina all full of monuments to see. Going on to the south, you reach the suggestive Calanchi area, with white clay hills, pinnacles cones and small canyons dug by sun and rain. In this area it's very nice the uninhabited village of Craco with a lot of historical places, the castle and a group of houses on the rocks surrounded by little streets, stairs and little squared.

Events Events:

• The Madonna Della Bruna festival is celebrated every year on the second day of July. This is a celebration of the life of Madonna Della Bruna (the patron of the city), and throughout the day, the town fills with parades and processions, all honoring this important figure to the town’s history. The day ends with an elaborate fireworks show. 
• The New Wine and Oil Festival is held in Scanzano Jonico every year in the beginning of November. This is the time of year after the grapes and olives of the local vineyards have been harvested, and the process of making the year’s wines and oil has been started. During this festival, it is possible to sample many wines and olive oils, all made by local inhabitants to the region. 
• The Tricarico Carnival is unlike most carnivals held in Italy . Ancient traditions are followed in this town during the festival, which has groups of people dressing up as farmers, bulls, and cows. 

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• A visit to Matera cannot fail to include tasting some of the typical local products. Apart from the famous Materan bread and wines, the city offers simple and plentifull food to be enjoyed in every season. We advise you not to miss the tasty goodness of simple ingredients such as olive oil and cheese such as mozzarella, caciocavallo and pecorino. Also vegetables cooked in many special ways, take pride of place in the delicious cuisine of Matera. Matera has many ancient culinary traditions linked to its history and the local culture. Perhaps the best known dish is La Pignata, a mutton stew cooked in a terracotta pot with vegetables and aromatic seasonings. Equally famous is il Cutturiddu, which consists of mutton cooked in a pan with tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, onion, garlic, oil and a pinch of salt. La Fedda Rossa is a simple slice ofgrilled bread with oil and salt.All of these dishes go very well together with the Matera DOC red wine,with its fruity aroma and harmonious and full-bodied flavour 
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Potenza

 

Potenza

Potenza Basilicata  ItalyPotenza is the capital of Basilicata, which is divided into Potenza and Matera provs. (named for their capitals). The region is crossed by the Lucanian Apennines; its main river is the Bradano. Because of a dry climate and a scarcity of groundwater, farming is difficult, although it is the occupation of most inhabitants of the generally poor region.

Potenza was mostly rebuilt after an earthquake in 1857. This, plus the severe damage caused during the Second World War, meant that, sadly, it has lost many of its historic buildings. However, there is lots of restoration work going on and the atmosphere in the town is vibrant and enthusiastic a perfect place to go to in its own right or use as a base for visiting the lovely string of medieval towns lying to the north.  

It has a lively atmosphere, best seen during the evening passeggiata, with many lovely little piazzas, alleyways, bars and restaurants. Olives, plums, and cereals are grown, and sheep and goats are raised. There is also some fishing. The transportation network is very limited, and commerce and industry are minimal, except in the Pisticci zone where a chemical plant is located.

What to taste What to taste:

• Typical tastes of the delicatessen from Basilicata are very strong: the chilli pepper, aromatic herbs. The basic food is pork: natives from Basilicata are very good in making ham, sausages, capocollo (salami made with pork neck) and bacon.
• Typical dishes are for example: "cotechinata", fried pork, "peperonata" with pork, "sanguinaccio". Sheep and lamb are also very common.
• Fish dishes are typical of Matera as the delicious fish soup, eels, trouts and baked codfish. But the main dish it's always the starter and in particular all kind of handmade pasta: "orecchiette", "cavatelli", strozzapreti" and "strascinate" and the typical dish "fusilli" with broad beans.
And don't forget about cheeses: soft cheese, "provola" ( fresh cheese made in a round shape from buffalo's milk), ricotta cheese; "caciocavallo" that means "Cheese on horseback". Its name comes from the maturation method used: the curd is left to dry by placing it "straddling" upon a horizontal stick or branch; and of course the "pecorino from Moliterno".
The three most famous wines from Basilicata are: the red Aglianico (which have the Controlled origin denomination -Italian quality assurance label), the white and sparkling Moscato and the dessert wine Malvasia.

Following Towns Cities & Towns:

Info municipalites Abruzzo More info her on all the Municipalities, Cities, Towns and Villages - Abruzzo

What to do What to do:

• Sea lovers can find in the province of Potenza 30 kilometers of coast with clear sea, little hidden beaches, green areas all around the rocks and wonderful landscapes. Potenza offers many possibilities of underwater sports: diving, underwater photography and fishing ( traditional or breath-held), boat trips, water-skiing, canoe and windsurfing.
Hiking, horse riding school and farm holidays offering right solutions for all kind of experience of horse riding and skiing resorts, like the district near La Sellata, very close to Potenza.

Places to visit Places to visit: Churches, Museums, Ruins, Piazzas, Fountains.

The Duomo of San Gerardo is the most important religious place in the city. The cathedral had been originally built in the 12th century but had to be renovated in the 18th century quite heavily. From the original structure the beautiful rose window and the apse still remain and these are the most noteworthy aspects of the cathedral. The interiors are quite beautifully decorated.
• The church of San Francesco dates back to the 13th century. The church is mainly worth a visit due to its beautiful interiors. The bell tower and the portal were added later in the 15th century to the church. Inside the church is a beautiful Madonna done in the Byzantine style and De Grasis Sepulchre, both dating back to the 13th century. Although, not as important as the cathedral the church is still worth visiting.
• The palazzo Loffredo was built as the noble residence in the 17th century. The palace is quite intimidating in size and has been beautifully restored. The interiors are just as beautiful with careful attention to detail. The palace is now used to house the national archeological museum of Potenza.
• The city once used to be surrounded by ancient walls that were built for protecting it against invaders centuries ago. The walls have been destroyed long back but the three gates that were a part of the walls still exist. These gates used to be the point of entry for entering the city. The gates are Porta S. Luca, Porta S. Giovanni and Porta S. Gerardo
• The church of San Michele is believed to have been made in the 11th or 12th centuries. The church is built in the Romanesque style and has been fairly restored and renovated over the years.
• Potenza has the ruins of an old Roman villa that was believed to be a residence during the Roman era in the city. The ruins are open to visitors for exploration and are located in the Poggio Tre Galli part of the city.

Events Events:

• Turkish Parade on 29th May
• Feast of San Gerardo on 30th May
• Feast of SS. Redentore in the Montocchio district on 1st June
• Feast of S. Antonio in the S. Nicola district on 1st June
• Feast of S. Antonio in the Barrata and S. A. La Macchia districts on 8th June
• Feast of S. Giovanni Bosco in the Risorgimento district on 22nd June
• Feast of SS. Pietro and Paolo in the Francioso district on 29th June
• Feast of the Sacra Famiglia in the Rossellino district on 29th June
• Feast of Gesù Maestro in the S. Maria district "Prince of Pemonte" on 29th June
• Feast of the Madonna delle Grazie in the Lavangone district on 6th July
• Feast of the Madonna del Carmine in the Cozzale district on 13th July
• Feast of San Rocco in the San Rocco district on 16th August
• Feast of S. Raffaele in the Canaletto district on 24th August
• Feast of the Sacro Cuore di Gesù on 24th August
• Feast of the Madonna delle Grazie in the S. Luca Branca district on 31st August
• Feast of Maria SS Immacolata in the Cocuzzo district on 7th September
• Feast of Santa Cecilia in the Poggio Tre Galli district on 14th September
• Feast of Beato Bonaventura in the Malvaccaro district on 21st September
• Feast of S. Michele Arcangelo in the Bosco Piccolo district on 28th September.

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• The restaurants in Potenza serve fairly simple food and are quite rustic. Most restaurants in the city serve Italian food and regional specialties. However, there are a handful of restaurants that serve international cuisines. As in all other cities in Italy, there are plenty of good pizzerias that serve freshly made delicious pizzas and are perfect for any time of the day. There are also quite a lot of restaurants in town serving European and Mediterranean dishes. Some good restaurants in the city are Ristorante II Grifo, La Dimora Dei Cavaliere, Ristorante Al Nord and Pantagruel.
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Regions in ItalyRegions of Italy
Abruzzo region ItalyAbruzzo
Basilicata region Italy Basilicata
Calabria region ItalyCalabria
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Friuli Venezia Giulia region ItalyFriuli Venezia Giulia
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Liguria region ItalyLiguria
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Marche region ItalyMarche
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Piemonte region ItalyPiemonte
Puglia region ItalyPuglia
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