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Basilicata region of southern Italy, also known as Lucania

Basilicata region of southern Italy, also known as Lucania

Feb 16th, 2003, 01:38 PM
  #1  
cmt
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Basilicata region of southern Italy, also known as Lucania

This thread fell out of Fodors indexing system about six months ago and cannot be found by normal search methods. Since apparently Fodors is unable to fix the problem, I will re-post the thread, because without it there is relatively little information about the Basilicata region.
Here is the first post:


visiting the Basilicata region of southern Italy, also known as Lucania

Author: Carol
Date: 06/09/2001, 06:14 am
Message: I just returned from a trip to the Basilicata (also known as Lucania) region of southern Italy. Here's what you'll find there if you go before it changes: Beautiful, rugged scenery; complex, culturally varied, interesting history; kind, hospitable, unjaded people; ancient folkways, pageantry, manners, and lifestyle still practiced in many parts; delicious, simple, robustly flavored cooking of wholesome natural food; in many parts (other than relatively famous places like Matera and Maratea), zero foreign tourists (except for you if you're fortunate enough to go there).

From May 21 to June 2 I was on an 11-day soulful tour of the region organized by a woman in New York, then went on a 4-day visit on my own to the small town of Accettura (birthplace of one of my grandparents), where I watched various phases "Il Maggio", also known as "La Festa di Sangiulino", a fascinating multi-day festa of ancient pagan origins centering around the "marriage" of two trees, one of which is carried for hours from the forest into town by 50 pairs of oxen, accompanied by folk musicians and people of all ages and walks of life from both town and surrounding countryside. (These days, this pagan festival is strangely combined with a more traditional patron saint celebration, which takes place on the 50th day after Easter.)

I'd recommend both the organized tour of Basilicata (Lucania) and the independent visit to Accettura during the week of the Sangiuliano festa. I'm posting my real e-mail address (for a change) because I'd be glad to answer any questions from people who might consider visiting Lucania.
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Feb 16th, 2003, 01:49 PM
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I'm not sure what you mean by not able to be fixed. I just clicked on the "cmt" above this post and get the entire old thread.

I know someone had topped just a week or so ago.
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Feb 16th, 2003, 01:54 PM
  #3  
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That's amazing. Just a half hour ago it wasn't there! I searched for Basilicata and for Lucania and it didn't come up. Really. I wonder whether my retrieving it to cut and paste it somehow re-activated it. (???!) Nah.... It must be just coincidence that Fodors just now fixed it, just the night when I finally decided to repost it. (I'm probably the one who topped it recently. I had it bookmarked so I could still find it without searching the normal way.)
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Feb 16th, 2003, 01:55 PM
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Here's the link to the original thread:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/pgMessages.jsp?fid=null&tid=1300139&numresponses=1 05&start=0&screen_name=cmt

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Feb 16th, 2003, 01:58 PM
  #5  
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I think that you're both right. Something about having "passed through" the "black hole of no indexing" (there were two actually, in June-July, and a separate one in July-August doomed certain threads forever.

Becayse cmt did find it and top it SINCE registration it can be indeed be found by clicking on her name.

But still NOT by the normal search method.

Bizarre.

Best wishes,

Rex
[email protected]
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Feb 16th, 2003, 01:58 PM
  #6  
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Patrick: I see the problem. It can be found by clicking on my ID, but it still canNOT be found by a normal word search. So it is "lost" for practical purposes, since someone coming here to find info on Basilicata will search for Basilicata or Lucania, NOT for "cmt"!
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Feb 16th, 2003, 01:59 PM
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The original thread still doesn't come up using the search engine. Here's a link to it that keeps the usual frames:

http://www.fodors.com/forums/threadselect.jsp?fid=2&tid=1300139

Now hopefully if someone searches for "Basilicata" this thread will come up and lead to the original thread.
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Feb 16th, 2003, 02:25 PM
  #8  
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second cluster of posts:

Author: Rex
Date: 06/09/2001, 06:16 am
Message: Welcome back, Carol. Nice report.
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Author: cmt
Date: 06/10/2001, 04:39 pm
Message: Hello again. I would really like to encourage thoughtful, curious, flexible travelers ("tourists" OK) to visit this beautiful unspoiled area before its old traditions fade away. I will therefore be topping this message every now and then. Thanks for reading. Feel free to ask me any questions you may have.
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Author: tonyccc
Date: 06/10/2001, 08:42 pm
Message: Carol;
We stayed in Matera for 3 nights last year as a part of an independent trip we took to Southern Italy.
We arrived in Matera two days before the Feasta della Madonna Bruna, which is held every year on July 2nd. There was a nightly festa leading up this day, with music in the piazza nightly,
and all the streets festooned in festive lights.
Matera is renown for having a great passeggiata, with most of the townspeople taking a nightly stroll. With the approach of the feast day, it seem liked everyone for miles around was
there. Finally, on July 2nd the Festa
began. At dawn a cart , with a statue of the Madonna in it, drawn by eight mules and guarded by men wearing folk costumes makes a trip throughout the town, and finally to the Duomo. There it goes around the square in front of the Duomo 3 times. Then the Madonna is removed and brought into the church.
Then, with fireworks blasting amid the confusion, townspeople destroy and demolish the cart, taking pieces of it with them for souveniers.
That evening there is a fantastic fireworks display.
We loved Matera and Basilicata.
The Sassi in Matera were remakable.
We got lost twice roaming through them.
The people were warm and friendly.
The food was good and inexpensive.
We ran into no American tourists.
Unfortunately, because we only had a few days to spend in Basilicata, the only other towns we visited were Bernalda and Metaponta, although we drove around the countryside from Potenza
We plan on going back sometime in the near future and exploring the region more thoroughly.

Author: cmt
Date: 06/13/2001, 10:26 pm
Message: Hi, Tony. It was nice to find your comment. I found Matera (i sassi) very interesting and unusual, but we were only there for a day trip. Remember how dry Matera is? Well, the day we were there, there was a surprise deluge and we all got soaked. I wanted to stay longer anyway, despite wet clothes, but majority ruled and our visit was cut short. Basilicata does seem to have some of the best pageantry anywhere, e.g., the festa you saw in Matera, the pagan "Maggio" in little Accettura, and the spectacular parade of the Turks in Potenza just to name a few. You're probably familiar with this very good website about the region. I found it over a year ago, but strangers who also discover it keep recommending it to me, and I keep recommending it to others because it's so good: www.basilicata.com. The photos are beautiful, info is useful, and it's easy to use. The "guestbook" message board is actually where I heard about the tour that I ended up taking! (I think it may be the only USAmerican tour strictly to Basilicata.)

Author: cmt
Date: 06/17/2001, 06:40 am
Message: Is anyone interested in seeing a folk dance group from this region? I don't know the details, but I thinks one will be in NYC and possibly in Princeton, NJ in Jan.
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Feb 16th, 2003, 02:37 PM
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Author: Marly
Date: 07/08/2001, 12:44 am
Message: Carol,
I'm fascinated. My grandmother came from Brindisi di Montagna. I always thought that the Basilicata region was remote and unappealing to tourists, and have never read of any tours that went there. It's particularly interesting to learn that the tours are only in the Basilicata region, rather than of several more "popular" areas of Italy.I went to the site you referenced, but it's written almost exclusively in Italian, which I don't read or speak. Does this woman who handles the tours run some of them with English speaking guides? Thanks for bringing this to my attention.
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Author: Pauline
Date: 07/08/2001, 01:18 am
Message: I just finished a good book called Dancing with Luigi by Paul Paolicelli. He spent 3 years living in Italy and researching where both sets of his grandparents came from. One grandfather came from Matera, the other from a town in the Abruzzo. The book gives you a good understanding of growing up Italian-American and I enjoyed reading about his travels in Italy searching for records of his relatives.
Pauline
www.slowtrav.com
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Author: Janice
Date: 07/08/2001, 08:29 am
Message: Carol, did you see my message about needing a hotel for one night in Basilica? We need it to be near the Autostrada, as a stopover from Tuscany to Sicily. I think Cosenza will be too far south. We have been trying Maratea, but I can see that it is very busy in August. We need a room for Saturday night, August 4! Any ideas?
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Feb 16th, 2003, 02:37 PM
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Author: carol
Date: 07/08/2001, 09:13 am
Message: Janice, since I was on a tour and only had to find my own hotel in Accettura (easy--there's only one) I don't have much experience booking my own hotels in Basilicata. Also, I personally didn't drive at all -- never do on vacations, and never will in the mts. in a foreign country. I liked our hotel in Muro Lucano (Hotel delle Colline, tel. 39-0976-2284, fax 39-0976-2192), a beautiful medium-sized hill town, but, though near the highway, it's way up a steep hill, so maybe not very convenient for you. I don't think Basilicata is such a likely place for a quickie one-night stop, but FYI Potenza is the largest city in the region and probably has the most hotels, though lacks the unspoiled charm of small remote towns. The most touristed places in Basilicata (where there are probably the most hotels) are Maratea, Metaponto and Matera, and Potenza is probably the busiest town. Maratea is beautiful, but it's a resort, and probably the hotels are very expensive and as heavily booked as Taormina Sicily during the "in" season. I've never been to Cosenza, which is in Calabria. When I was a teenager, I stayed one night in Paola, Calabria, with my parents. It was a medium-sized pretty town near the highway, and at the time (1963) there seemed to be no tourists except us, but I don't know how it is now. For names and #s of hotels in Basilicata, try the website www.basilicata.com. Click "alberghi" and then choose the province (Matera or Potenza) and then the particular town(s) you've IDd as maybes based on location. (The site is not entirely up to date re hotels, e.g., it listed a Hotel Croccia in Accettura that has been closed a few years.) If you find a SMALL town with a hotel, it will probably have vacancies unless there's an annual festa or some big wedding going on. However, a SMALL town is unlikely to be right along the highway.
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Author: carol
Date: 07/08/2001, 09:22 am
Message: Pauline, I never read the book you mentioned -- will look for it. Most of my reading re southern italy (e.g., Christ Stopped at Eboli, Fontamara) dates from my college days. I've been to a lot of the more "famous" parts of Italy, and lately I've become more interested in seeing the towns of my ancestry. Last year I stayed briefly in the little town in the Nebrodi Mts. (prov. of Messina) in Sicily where 1/2 my roots are. However, unlike many people who visit their ancestral villages, I'm really not that interested in genealogy -- more in the way of life, cooking, folkways, economy, dialect, crafts, history, farming, meeting people, etc.
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Feb 16th, 2003, 03:02 PM
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Author: Carol
Date: 07/08/2001, 10:49 am
Message: Marly, in the previous posting I forgot to reply re that website (www.basilicata.com). Yes it's all in Italian, except for the message board, which is called "guestbook" and which has messages posted in any language the poster feels like using, mostly Italian, English, Spanish and Portuguese. You may still get some use out of that website, though. On the home page, click on "Il Territorio" which will lead you to a table of geographic areas and topics. Click on the various options and you'll see a few pretty photos. i have other web addresses with photos of the region but I think all the words are in Italian. If you enter the guestbook (view) and scroll down you'll see some entries re the tour. Thst's where I heard about the tour. I also "met" another American on that site who'd taken the tour a previous year and with whom I have cousins in common.
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Feb 16th, 2003, 03:02 PM
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Author: Dona
Date: 07/08/2001, 06:58 pm
Message: Carol -
Thanks so much for sharing your wonderful trip to Basilicata. It's an area I have planned on visiting but not yet done it. I appreciate your inspiration...

Dona
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Author: Marly
Date: 07/09/2001, 12:17 am
Message: Carol,
Thank you so much for your generous reply. I did go to the message board on the Basilicata site once again, scrolled down, and found the name of the woman who runs the trips. I'm going to put myself on the mailing list to learn of future trips. One other question: would my fairly healthy mother who is in her eighties and walks slowly be able to handle this type of trip? I'm thinking of the hills and such, and how much walking is involved. Thank you again.
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Author: cmt
Date: 07/09/2001, 07:08 pm
Message: Dona, I hope you do go!

Marly, the walks are not long and, with very few exceptions, are not at all strenuous for an average middle aged person or an athletic elderly person, though they might be for an octogenarian. (There was just one short, somewhat strenuous walk to the top of castle ruins in Pietrapertosa, but only two of us opted to go. another walk, while not strenuous, involved clambering around paths broken in an earthquake and the footing was therefore pretty tricky. Only four of us chose to go on that walk.) All walks are optional, but some places (e.g., i sassi in Matera) can only be seen by walking. There's always the possibility of sitting on a bench somewhare, or having a cold drink at a cafe (or even sitting in the bus) while the others walk. A person who prefers not to walk could still soak up a little of the atmosphere of a town that way, and it might actually be very pleasant to do that sometimes. However, I have to point out that this is a rugged region and most of the towns are old HILL towns. (That's the beauty of it.) So even the shortest, slowest walk requires careful stepping on uneven surfaces and on streets that may be constructed right into the hill itself. This would be true no matter what tour you took to this area or if you traveled there independently. Sometimes because of travel time to/from the hotel, the time available to enjoy visiting a particular village or site may be quite limited. Therefore, while the group may walk slowly to see the sights, it could be a problem for the group if someone with EXTREME difficulty walking on rough hilly streets attempted to come along and had great difficulty keeping up even the slow group pace. So remember, waiting in a nice comfortable place, watching people, having a snack, taking pictures, or even napping is always an option and may be a nice way to experience a town.

I'd suggest also asking the tour organizer this question, as the tour is always being modified in response to perceived needs, and there may be new options available that I'm not aware of.
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Author: Janice
Date: 07/10/2001, 03:23 pm
Message: Dear Carol,
Thanks for your information on hotels in Basilica. I will keep searching. I am a little concerned about safety and reported road work along A3 south of Naples. Should I be? Thanks again.
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Feb 16th, 2003, 03:05 PM
  #13  
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another cluster of posts

Author: DJ
Date: 07/11/2001, 01:08 pm
Message: Carol,
I enjoyed reading your post and all of the responses. I'm pretty excited about this area as I recently purchased a book called "Southern Italy" which is an Insight Guide that talks about this area, it's history, food, culture, etc.

Unfortunately I'll only be as far south as the Amalfi Coast this fall but I'd like to plan 2 more trips to Italy soon, one focusing on the southern end on one on the northern end. It seems there is SO MUCH to see it's overwhelming. I've never been to Europe and wonder if I'm just reacting this way because this will be our first time and our first country.
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Author: cmt
Date: 07/11/2001, 06:23 pm
Message: DJ, some of us are just always excited. It's mostly a good thing. That's how we can tell for sure we're not dead yet! When you do your southern Italy trip, don't forget Sicily. And yes there IS an enormous amount to see in Italy (and in most countries), and we'll never see it all.

Janice, I have no personal experience with driving south of Naples, and in fact on this trip I did not travel along the coast south of Naples. However, 29 years ago, when my friend and I were taking a public bus to some place along the Amalfi coast, the bus was unable to proceed at one point because of some huge construction site in the middle of the road that the bus co, apparently hadn't heard of (???!).

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Feb 16th, 2003, 03:07 PM
  #14  
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Author: russ i
Date: 07/12/2001, 02:19 am
Message: If anyone ins interested, an excellent book set in this region is the classic, Christ Stopped at Eboli, by Carlo Levi. It is the true story of Levi's "house arrest" there in 1935-36 for his opposition to Mussolini. Fasinating.
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Author: carol
Date: 07/13/2001, 01:33 pm
Message: I agree that Christ Stopped at Eboli is very much worth reading. I read it in the 1960's, and it made such a strong impression on me that I was very pleasantly surprised when I visited the region last month that so much of the land in Lucania is so green and fertile --either productive farmland or lush woods-- and though still quite poor and underappreciated, the region is not DESPERATELY poor or TOTALLY neglected. The town called "Gagliano" in the book is Aliano in real life. It is set in a strange landscape of dry, infertile, clay(?) cliffs. If you visit there you can see some of the houses mentioned in the book and can see paintings by Levi of some of the real characters in the book. Also, I was very interested in some of the discussionms of the local dialect (see p. 209 and 186 of book), especially re the words for layers of tomorrow. I learned during my visit to the region about a month ago that these unusual dialect words are still used in everyday speech in some nearby towns (e.g., Cirigliano and Accettura). They're probably still used in Aliano, too, but I didn't happen to get a chance to ask anyone.
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Author: Carol
Date: 07/15/2001, 07:01 pm
Message: If you'd like to get some idea what Basilicata looks like, you can see a few of my photos on the part of Sally Fowler's website for Fodorite photos:
http://geocities.com/dhfsbf/fodorite/fodor.htm

There are very recent photos from the following places in Basilicata (Lucania): Muro Lucano, Pietrapertosa, Accettura, and Potenza. (The other pictures of mine are from Sicily last year.)
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Feb 16th, 2003, 03:07 PM
  #15  
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Author: carol
Date: 07/16/2001, 08:53 pm
Message: still shamelessly topping

(At least I admit it!)
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Author: Mauro
Date: 07/18/2001, 10:05 am
Message: Carol,
Thanks for directing me to this site. Sounds like a listing of people that Luisa would be interested in reading about.
Mauro
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Author: cmt
Date: 07/19/2001, 12:08 am
Message: In case anyone's interested, I think you can send away for free tourist info about this region and its attractions by writing to this e-mail address:
[email protected] (This is the tourism promotion ofice for Basilicata.) Some of the free guidebooks are very good, with beautiful photos. (Some of the materials are available in English, French, German, Greek, etc., but I'm not sure whether the people reading the e-mail inquiries will necessarily be multilingual.)
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Author: Marly
Date: 07/19/2001, 05:36 pm
Message: Carol,
Thanks again for this newest bit of information. I keep an eye out each day for any new posts from you. Loved your photos.
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Author: Carol
Date: 07/20/2001, 12:51 am
Message: Thanks, Marly. As much as I'd love to attract some attention to this beautiful and forgotten region, I'm going to run out of new things to say if someone else doesn't start asking questions or adding comments.
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Author: cmt
Date: 07/20/2001, 07:02 pm
Message: Why can't I find this thread when I do a simple search for either "lucania" or "basilicata"? Even the search function is neglecting this underappreciated region!
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Author: JOdy
Date: 07/20/2001, 07:22 pm
Message: It's "Dances with Luigi"by Paul Paolicelli, I'm in the middle of it. It's wonderful in 2 ways for me, His adventures in Italy and he's from my hometown , Pittsburgh and mentins so many things I remember. A real delight and makes you want to do what he did.
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Feb 16th, 2003, 03:09 PM
  #16  
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trying to post the next cluster:



Author: carol
Date: 07/16/2001, 08:53 pm
Message: still shamelessly topping

(At least I admit it!)
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Author: Mauro
Date: 07/18/2001, 10:05 am
Message: Carol,
Thanks for directing me to this site. Sounds like a listing of people that Luisa would be interested in reading about.
Mauro
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Author: cmt
Date: 07/19/2001, 12:08 am
Message: In case anyone's interested, I think you can send away for free tourist info about this region and its attractions by writing to this e-mail address:
[email protected] (This is the tourism promotion ofice for Basilicata.) Some of the free guidebooks are very good, with beautiful photos. (Some of the materials are available in English, French, German, Greek, etc., but I'm not sure whether the people reading the e-mail inquiries will necessarily be multilingual.)
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Author: Marly
Date: 07/19/2001, 05:36 pm
Message: Carol,
Thanks again for this newest bit of information. I keep an eye out each day for any new posts from you. Loved your photos.
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Author: Carol
Date: 07/20/2001, 12:51 am
Message: Thanks, Marly. As much as I'd love to attract some attention to this beautiful and forgotten region, I'm going to run out of new things to say if someone else doesn't start asking questions or adding comments.
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Author: cmt
Date: 07/20/2001, 07:02 pm
Message: Why can't I find this thread when I do a simple search for either "lucania" or "basilicata"? Even the search function is neglecting this underappreciated region!
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Author: JOdy
Date: 07/20/2001, 07:22 pm
Message: It's "Dances with Luigi"by Paul Paolicelli, I'm in the middle of it. It's wonderful in 2 ways for me, His adventures in Italy and he's from my hometown , Pittsburgh and mentins so many things I remember. A real delight and makes you want to do what he did.
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Feb 16th, 2003, 03:12 PM
  #17  
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oops--that was a duplicate--here's the new bunch:

Author: Marly
Date: 07/21/2001, 12:41 am
Message: I'm curious about those of us who are interested in the Basilicata region, since it doesn't seem to draw many tourists (at least not yet). Do you have grandparents or other relatives who migrated to the U.S. in the late 1800's to the early 1900's who came from that region? My grandmother arrived at Ellis Island in 1905. She was only nineteen, and was leaving her homeland and much of her family forever. She told me many stories of her poverty-stricken life in Brindisi di Montagna, and I regret that I didn't ask more questions. I might be wrong, but I think that most of the immigrants from the Basilicata region settled in the eastern U.S. My grandmother eventually moved to eastern Pennsylvania, where I grew up. Are there any good stories that some of you would like to share?
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Author: cmt
Date: 07/21/2001, 07:46 pm
Message: My grandmother came to NYC as a teenager from the little town of Accettura in the province of Matera (in the Basilicata region) in the early years of the 20th century. She married another immigrant from the Calabria region. Neither of my grandparents told me much about the places where they had grown up. My grandmother sometimes sang songs or recited sayings she'd learned as a child, and her wonderful cooking and skillful needlework certainly reflected the culture of her childhood, as did the grape vine and the back and white figs trees in the tiny back yard. So what I learned about Lucania was mostly non-verbal. Though my Sicilian grandparents were never alive during my lifetime, I had far more solid knowledge about Sicily, from my father, who grew up there. I had such a great time visiting "my" little town in Sicily last year that I was determined to visit Basilicata as well. I was very fortunate to find a tour that went there, since I'm afraid to drive alone in the mountains in a foreign country, and it would've been difficult to visit more than just a few towns in the region if I had to rely on infrequent bus and train service, usually beginning and ending in Potenza.
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Feb 16th, 2003, 03:12 PM
  #18  
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Author: cmt
Date: 07/23/2001, 02:56 pm
Message: I think many emigrants also settled in South America, particularly Argentina but also brazil and some other countries. I know that relatives of mine from both Sicily and Basilicata settled in Argentina around the time that my grandparents came to the USA. I also notice on the "guestbook" of the www.basilicata.com website that there are a lot of postings from Argentinians,and to a lesser extent, from Brazilians, who are exploring their ancestry or interested in visiting the region that their ancestors came from.
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Author: cmt
Date: 07/25/2001, 11:16 pm
Message: Continuing the above….

Some of the Lucanian immigrants to the USA may have migrated to this country indirectly, after first living a while in some other American countries. This may have been because of the USA’s quota laws. The % limits did not apply to Latin Americans, so Italians might’ve circumvented the quotas by first going to another country, e.g., Argentina, and then attempting the move to the USA. Of course many also remained permanently in Latin America.

A major cause of the biggest waves of emigration from Lucania was, I think, the system of land ownership and economic exploitation there, as in other parts of southern Italy at the turn of the century. Estates were owned by absentee landlords who lived far away. A lot of them were very political, controlled the peasants’ votes, and influenced taxation and legislation in favor of their own interests. Many of them sided with northern politicians to promote industry in the north, in exchange for leaving the south’s medieval-like economy (which benefited them) untouched by reform. The absentee landlords rented their land to intermediaries, who sublet it to peasants to cultivate, under contract terms that were unfavorable to the peasants. The intermediaries were out to make a profit, so they favored land use practices that exhausted what little fertility the land had, with no concern for conservation or improvement.
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Author: cmt
Date: 07/31/2001, 11:04 pm
Message: Hello again,

I'm posting this info because I got some e-mails asking me for contact info re the tour I took and for info on other tours.

For info on the tour I took and enjoyed in May-June 2001, and which is being offered in Oct. 2001 and May 2002, write to the organizer at this address: [email protected]. Or look up this website: www.unexploredworldtours.com

I know of one other company that offers tours in Basilicata, but they are much more specialized and cover a small portion of the southern part of Basilicata. The company is ATG-Oxford, a British walking tour company which I've heard is outstanding. However, I haven't taken one of their tours yet. ATG's website is: www.alternative-travel.co.uk/ ATG offers the following tours to Lucania:

Southern Lucano Trail (Journeys series)
May, June, Sept, Oct
11 days- $2395
mainly hiking in Pollino national park in southern Lucania near Calabria

Southern Lucano Trail (Week Away series)
June, July, Aug
8 days- $1110
I think this is an "economy" version of the "Journeys" trip

Mushrooms of the Lucano (Walking And series)
Oct.
8 days $1760
walking, mushroom hunting, cooking
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Feb 16th, 2003, 03:15 PM
  #19  
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Author: Elizabeth
Date: 08/04/2001, 10:36 pm
Message: Thank you for your interesting and enlightening report. I had thought this to be an almost invisible and desperately poor area. You have opened my eyes.

My husbands great grandmother Lucia Lacovara was born in Accetura and moved to Cirigliano as a young child.

We hope to visit someday.

Would like to find a tour that would allow us time in both those places.
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Author: cmt
Date: 08/05/2001, 09:34 am
Message: Elizabeth, it is very unlikely (impossible maybe???) that you'll find a tour that actually goes to both Cirigliano and Accettura. They are not "important" towns.

The tour I took, as far as I know the only American tour to Basilicata, went to the tiny town of Cirigliano so we could have a glimpse of a traditional "dying" town, which we could then compare with Pignola, a larger small town near Potenza, where we had lunch with a group of young educated men who explained their various projects: organizing interregional and international folkdance and folkmusic exchanges, promoting computer use in Lucania, developing educational shows re Lucanian history, etc. Pignola is not "dying" because its educated young are remaining and many people are able to commute to jobs in Potenza. In Cirigliano, which is in a more remote mountainous area, there is no hope of much work, so one day it will probably be a ghost town. The tour's itinerary changes somewhat with the seasons and through trial and error, and I guess it's possible that some day the May tour may visit Accettura in order to include the festa, which is quite unusual.

There are also Italian tours (i.e. for italian tourists) that go to Accettura for the festa, and if your Italian is fluent enough you might try hooking up with one of those tours from some city in Italy. When I was in Accettura I saw two busloads of Italian daytrippers. I did not ask them what part of Italy they were from. (I did, however, talk to independent Italian tourists traveling solo and staying the the hotel, who were visiting Accettura to see the famous pagan festa. They were from the Emilia Romagnna region, and from Bernalda, which is in Basilicata near Metaponto.)

Anyway, I think it's highly unlikely that you'll find a tour that goes to "your" two towns; there are just so many little towns (and so few tours!). However, it is very easy to find people to give you a ride to the little towns that interest you if you want to skip a day of the scheduled tour or simply remain in the region a few days after the tour is over, as I did.
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Feb 16th, 2003, 03:17 PM
  #20  
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Author: Grace
Date: 08/05/2001, 10:15 am
Message: I, too, have roots in Basilicata, in the towns of Tito and Picerno. In 1999 I took a trip there with 2 cousins, and kept a little journal of the trip. It was an incredible journey, and I returned again for Easter 2000. The journal is online at http://www.comunesofitaly.org/Stories/Grace.htm if anyone is interested in reading it. Pages 9, 10, and 11 are from Basilicata. The rest of the southern portion of the trip was through Bari Province and the Amalfi Coast/Sorrento. As long as I live, I will never forget the astonihing beauty of Basilicata - the incredible views from those mountaintops are indelibly etched in my brain.
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Author: cmt
Date: 08/05/2001, 06:35 pm
Message: Grace, thank you for the link to the website where your trip reports are saved. I enjoyed your spirited account of your experiences. I'm starting to feel like travelers to Lucania are a special breed: what we lack in numbers we make up for in enthusiasm and loyalty to the region.
Carol
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