The Info List - Basilicata

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Coordinates : 40°30′N 16°30′E / 40.5°N 16.5°E / 40.5; 16.5


Region of Italy





• PRESIDENT Marcello Pittella (PD )


• TOTAL 9,995 km2 (3,859 sq mi)

POPULATION (2012-10-3)

• TOTAL 575,902

• DENSITY 58/km2 (150/sq mi)

DEMONYM(S) Lucano (sing.), Lucani (pl.)



GDP/ NOMINAL €11.4 billion (2008)

GDP PER CAPITA €19,100 (2008)


WEBSITE www.regione.basilicata.it

BASILICATA (Italian pronunciation: or ), also known as LUCANIA , is a region in Southern Italy , bordering on Campania to the west, Apulia (_Puglia_) 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 km2 (3,900 sq mi) and in 2010 had a population slightly under 600,000. The regional capital is Potenza . The region is divided into two provinces: Potenza and Matera . The president of Basilicata is Marcello Pittella.


* 1 Etymology * 2 Geography

* 3 History

* 3.1 Prehistory * 3.2 Ancient history * 3.3 Middle Ages * 3.4 Modern and contemporary ages

* 4 Economy * 5 Demographics * 6 Government and politics * 7 Administrative divisions * 8 References * 9 External links


The name derives from "_basilikos_" (Greek : βασιλικός), which refers to the _basileus _, the Byzantine emperor , who ruled the region in the 9th–11th centuries. Others argue that the name may refer to the Basilica of Acerenza which held judicial power in the Middle Ages . During the Greek and Roman Ages, Basilicata was known as Lucania , named after the tribes which populated the region in the Iron Age .


A view of the Vulture region

Basilicata covers an extensive part of the southern Apennine Mountains between Ofanto in the north and the Pollino massif in the south. It is bordered on the east by a large part of the Bradano river depression which is traversed by numerous streams and declines to the southeastern coastal plains on the Ionian Sea . The region also has a short coastline to the southwest on the Tyrrhenian Sea side of the peninsula.

Basilicata is the most mountainous region in the south of Italy , with 47% of its area of 9,992 km2 (3,858 sq mi) covered by mountains. Of the remaining area, 45% is hilly, and 8% is made up of plains. Notable mountains and ranges include Monte Alpi , Monte Carmine , Dolomiti lucane , Monti Li Foj , Pollino , Toppa Pizzuta , and Monte Vulture .

Geological features of the region include the volcanic Monte Vulture and the seismic faults in the Melfi and Potenza areas in the north and around Pollino in the south. Much of the region was devastated in the 1857 Basilicata earthquake . More recently, there was another major earthquake in 1980.

The combination of the mountainous terrain combined with the rock and soil types makes landslides prevalent. While the lithological structure of the substratum and its chaotic tectonic deformation contribute to the cause of landslides, this problem is compounded by the lack of forested land. This area, similar to others in the Mediterranean region, while originally abundant with dense forests, was stripped and made barren during the time of Roman rule.

The variable climate is influenced by three coastlines (Adriatic , Ionian and Tyrrhenian) and the complexity of the region's physical features. The climate is continental in the mountains and Mediterranean along the coasts.



Venosa , fossil elephant skeleton

The first traces of human presence in Basilicata date to the late Paleolithic , with findings of _ Homo erectus _. Late Cenozoic fossils, found at Venosa and other locations, include elephants, rhinoceros and species now extinct such as a saber-toothed cat of the genus _ Machairodus _. Examples of rock art from the Mesolithic have been discovered near Filiano . From the fifth millennium, people stopped living in caves and built settlements of huts up to the rivers leading to the interior ( Tolve , Tricarico , Aliano , Melfi , Metaponto ). In this period, anatomically modern humans lived by cultivating cereals and animal husbandry ( Bovinae and Caprinae ). Chalcolithic sites include the grottoes of Latronico and the funerary findings of the Cervaro grotto near Lagonegro .

The first known stable market center of the Apennine culture on the sea, consisting of huts on the promontory of Capo la Timpa, near to Maratea , dates to the Bronze Age .

The first indigenous Iron Age communities lived in large villages in plateaus located at the borders of the plains and the rivers, in places fitting their breeding and agricultural activities. Such settlements include that of Anglona , located between the fertile valleys of Agri and Sinni , of Siris and, on the coast of the Ionian Sea , of Incoronata-San Teodoro. The first presence of Greek colonists, coming from the Greek islands and Anatolia , date from the late eighth century BC.

There are virtually no traces of survival of the 11th-8th century BC archaeological sites of the settlements (aside from a necropolis at Castelluccio on the coast of the Tyrrhenian Sea : this was perhaps caused by the increasing presence of Greek colonies, which changed the balance of the trades.


Metaponto : the Temple of Hera

In ancient historical times the region was originally known as Lucania , named for the Lucani , an Oscan-speaking population from central Italy . Their name might be derived from Greek _leukos_ meaning "white", _lykos_ ("gray wolf "), or Latin _lucus_ ("sacred grove "). Or more probably Lucania , as much as the Lucius forename (_praenomen _) derives from the Latin word _Lux_ (gen. _lucis_), meaning "light " (

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