Basilicata is a region in southern Italy, lying between the Ionian Sea and the Tyrrhenian Sea, known for being rich in art, culture and enchanting views. In its small villages, time seems to have stopped and the ancient traditions are still very present.
In this region, there are beautiful mountainous and marine locations, some of which are still wild and untouched. Today, thanks to the growing development of the tourism sector, this land of particular and evocative beauty is finally getting the recognition it deserves.
Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Saracen, Lombard and Norman land of conquest
Lucania (as Basilicata was called from 1932 to 1947) derives its name from the Latin word, Lucus, which means wood, because it was once rich in huge forests, or from the Greek word, Likos (wolf), for the packs of wolves that populated its woods, or, according to some historians, from the word Luci, ancient populations that came from the East through the Illyrian coasts around 1500 B.C.
The name Basilicata, on the other hand, comes from the eastern Basilian monks who populated the localities of Matera where there are still numerous testimonies of monasteries, underground churches and cloisters, or from the Basilikos, Byzantine imperial officials, when in the 10th century the region came under the dominion of the Eastern Empire.
In any case, the Lucanian land is reminiscent of glorious periods and important historical events that are a living part of the history of Italy.
Always a landmark of people, it has experienced both glory and darkness with moments of great prosperity alternating with domination and devastation.
The Greeks passed through in the eighth century B.C. and founded the Greek colony of Siris (so flourishing and prosperous as to arouse the envy of the Achaeans who invaded and defeated it in 570 B.C.) as well as colonies on the Ionian Sea. Then it was the Romans’ turn, extending the Via Appia to Brindisi around 298 B.C.
At the end of the 5th century, Basilicata was already largely Christianized and after the fall of the Roman Empire, it remained under the Byzantine dominion until the Lombard conquest. The Saracen raids led the local populations to abandon the settlements in the plains and on the coast in favor of more protected centers in higher altitudes. Tricarico and Tursi, however, experience a longer-lasting Arab domination that has profoundly influenced the structure of the settlements that retain an Arab layout, still clearly visible today in the Ràbata and Saracena neighborhoods in Tricarico along with Rabatana in Tursi.
Conquered by the Normans and the Swabians of Emperor Frederick II, Basilicata underwent its last domination by the Bourbons, just before the unification of Italy.
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