Basilicata (capital city Potenza, second most important city Matera), also named Lucania, is the only Italian region with two names (the first being the official, the second the historic name). Its inhabitants are still called, due to the ancient name, Lucani.

The old region of Lucania was so called from the people Lucani by whom it was conquered about the middle of the 5th century BC. Later, its eastern coast was partly colonized by the Greeks, being included in the Magna Graecia. The etymology of the name Lucania remains still uncertain: it could mean “the land of wolves”, due to the large number of wolves that inhabited this area in the old times (lupus– wolf), or “the land of forests”, because of the extensive forests that overgrew this range once (lucus– forest), or the land conquered by the people who followed the sun (from the Indo-European word luc meaning light) And… many more! 🙂

The name Basilicata for the first time appears written in a document from XII century- even though it’s been used way before, since X century. Most likely it derives from the Byzantine emperor’s name Basilio II, or, according to another theory, from the Greek word basileus/ bazyleus, what meant king, master.

The actual Basilicata’s borders do not correspond with those of the ancient Lucania, the latter including some territories now belonging to the region Campania. Contemporary Basilicata’s shores are lapped by the sea both in the eastern (Ionian Sea) and western part (Tyrrhenian Sea). The central and southern part of the region is covered with mountains, with its 2267 m summit Serra Dolcedorme and the biggest National Park in Italy- Parco nazionale del Pollino). The Eastern part is covered with hills and hillocks, while ,close the the eastern coast, we find the biggest plain of the region. In Basilicata there are also some lakes (San Giuliano, Monte Cotugno, Pertusillo), and rivers ( Bradano, Basento, Agri, Sinni). This unusual variety of landscape offers almost infinite possibilities of discovering the beauties of Lucania.

Basilicata is also a dream place for those interested in archeology- its roots reaches the prehistory! The oldest traces results from Palaeolithic period ( animal’s remains near Venosa, everyday use objects found in the caves of Matera, and much more …).

Despite all that, Basilicata is not yet a mainstream destination for tourists. We will show you that travelling across Basilicata has a taste of adventure, that here you’ll feel like an explorer of the old times, and that the overwhelming variety of landscape will allow you to be by the seaside, in the mountains and by the lake almost at the same time 🙂