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Information on Basilicata


605.940 abitanti




In the north and in the east with the Puglia, in the south with the Ionian Sea and the Calabria, in the west with the Campania.


This is the most important economical activity for this region; agrarian production is limited in its development because of the high altitude of the territory (therefore having unfertile soil) and irregular rain fall. At the moment, there are some projects to overcome this natural problems by mean of irrigation plants and the mechanisation of farming equipment. Because of this backwardness, there are a few important products such as wheat, apricots and mandarines. Goat breeding is just to say relevant while that of cattle and pigs is of little value. Fishing hardly exist.


A little less on half the area of Basilicata is mountainess; moreover, many of the hills are higher than normal and seem almost to be little mountains. In this particular, Basilicata is one of the bleakest and mountainess region in Italy. Here there are two groups of mountain: the Vulture and the Pollino. This last one is the highest of the region, even if some parts are in Calabria like the peak of Monte Pollino (2.248 m), the Serra Dolce (2.271 m) and the Serra del Prete (2.186 m). The only lowland of Basilicata is called "Piana del Metaponto"; its like a coastal area created by alluvional soil, very productive for agriculture. The climate is mild along the coast but, because of the mountain, is continental inland. The rivers of Lucania (the ancient name of the area) are torrent-like and some of them are relative long like Bradano (168 kms), Basento (149 kms), Agri (111 kms) and Sinni (94 kms). Topography: Mountain 46,8% Hill 45,2% Plain 8%


Industry is not develop in this region, but even so there are some small factories operating in chemical, mechanics and textiles. The most important industries are petrol-chemicals and handicrafts in ceramics and wooden tools have a reasonable lever of production. Pasta-factories,woolen and oil mills are of minor importance. Commercial and tourism are not competitives.


The region chief-town is Potenza; it stand on a hill which rises near the river Basento. The city economy, as in the region, is little develop and mainly centred in small industries of chemical, textile and building material. The agriculture sector is limited to cattle breeding and the growing of vegetables and citrus fruit yeld positive results. Commercial activity is on the way to developing as in tourism although its development is slower. Important monuments in Potenza are the churches of San Francesco (St. Francis) and San Michele Arcangelo (St. Michael Archangel) and the Cathedral. The only other city of Basilicata is Matera, which lies on the South-western slope of the Murge, a small mountain chain. Agriculture activity is the growing of citrus fruit, vegetables and cereals and the industry consist of building construction and chemical. Cattle breeding is quite important and along the Ionic coast, where the small town of Metaponto (an ancient Greek colony) lies, tourism is flourishing. There are no interesting monuments in Matera. Touristic resorts: Potenza for its few monuments and Metaponto for the wonderful ancient Greek ruins of 2,000 years ago.


Horace (his complete name was Quinto Orazio Flacco, 65-8 BC) was a very famous Latin poet, autor of wonderful poems like "Satire", "Odi", "Epistole" and "Epodi" (Satires, Ods, Epistles and Epodes). He was born of a modest family but having a very strict education (decided by his father). The young Horace went to Athens where he join the army of Bruto attaining the rank of Tribune. Returning to Rome, Horace began his literary career writing his first poems which immediately made him famous so much so Virgil wanted to introduce him to Mecenate, with whome Horace had a firm and sincere friendship; and this was so strong that Mecenate presented his friend with a villa in Sabina. He refused the post of personal secretary to Augustus and, for the rest of his life, was well-off and content with that he had. As he wrote in his will, Horace was buried in a tomb beside that of Mecenate. Another famous personage was Mario Pagano (1748-1799), a well-known jurist and patriot. his most important publication is "The political essay of principles, progress and decadence of societies" in which he professed "enlightment" ideas. And because he was in favour of the French Revolution, he was arrested, but then freed two years later. He come back to Naples in 1799, took part in provisional government of Parthenopeal Republic, for which made a plan for its constitution. He was arrested again after the failure of Republic, was sentenced to death and executed in October 29 of 1799. Francesco Saverio Nitti, borned in Melfi in 1868, was economist and politician. He was often in charge in Ministerial Office and in 1919 was President of Cabinet. He lived in exile during the fascist period and come back to Italy at the end of the Second World War. Nitti died in Rome in 1953.


At the beginning of the first millenium BC, the Greek were already settled in the territory of the Basilicata of today, where they founded numerous rich colonies. This flourishing historic period involved all the Lucanian territory and especially the ancient city of Sibari, which was a busy marcket and an important agriculture centre. This ended in the second century BC, when the Romans invaded and settled in the ancient Lucania. At first, Lucanian people did not want to be dominated by the Romans but later, because they suffered many defeats by the Roman army, they learned to live together their "Master" and so gained Roman Citizenship. Following this, there was a period of peace and traquillity and a notable increase in the agricultural production. At the fall of the Empire, however, Lucania suffered violent barbarian invasion. First they came under the rule of the Goths, then the Longobards, the Byzantines, the Normans and finally the Svevi. then followed the Angevins, the Spanish and then the French. Because the misery that followed these invasions, banditry fluorishing. In August of 1860, when thanks to Garibaldi enterprise, the region came into the Italian Kingdon, it became the task of Italian Government to combat this social problem.

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