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1/23/13

FOOD, WINE, SCENERY AND AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCES IN BASILICATA - ANSA for Italy - ANSA.it

Il sito Internet dell'Agenzia ANSA
ANSA for Italy

FOOD, WINE, SCENERY AND AUTHENTIC
EXPERIENCES IN BASILICATA
By Sandra Cordon
21 gennaio, 17:27

Basilicata
(ANSA) - Rome, January 21 - Visitors looking for a truly authentic experience of Italy could find few
better regions to explore than Basilicata.
Located in the arch of the Italian boot, the region offers mountain peaks, warm Mediterranean beaches,
and genuine hospitality.
'The one word that everyone uses once they've come here is 'authentic',' says Valerie Schneider, who
offers tours in the region as well as services to anyone attempting to trace their family roots in Italy though
her company My Bella Basilicata. Such a search was what first drew Schneider to the region that she has
now come to love and regards as home.
'People come here and say, 'Gosh, this is the real Italy.' Traditions are still carried on here'.
According to Schneider, Basilicata is perhaps the least-known region in Italy, although a significant degree
of the country's diaspora came from here. Its sparse population is tucked between Puglia, Calabria, and
Campania, and is known as 'Lucani' for the ancient name of the region, Lucania.
When Schneider and her husband first began to explore the region, and her family's roots, they began in
tiny towns cascading down the sides of mountains. And since few tourists have really begun to explore
Basilicata, she says they were treated as honoured guests.
'We quickly came to realize that behind their curious smiles was a real desire to assist and a strong pride in
their towns and traditions'.
www.ansa.it/web/notizie/rubriche/ansa4italy/travel/2013/01/21/FOOD-WINE-SCENERY-AUTHENTIC-EXPERIENCES-BASILICATA_8112550.html

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1/23/13

FOOD, WINE, SCENERY AND AUTHENTIC EXPERIENCES IN BASILICATA - ANSA for Italy - ANSA.it

Of course, not all visitors are on a quest to find their ancestral roots. But they can expect to find a warm
welcome, and some of the best food and wine that Italy has to offer, says Schneider.
There are valleys and plains near the neighbouring region of Puglia where wheat is grown and rolling
hillsides produce some of Basilicata's most popular grapes and wines. Perhaps the best known, and most
historic, is the Aglianico, a historic grape brought to the region from Greece. Aglianico, the name of the
original grape, is a corruption of the word 'Hellenic' or Greek.
Also popular is a dry style of Moscato, as well as Sangiovese, Primitivo, Greco, and Malvasia di Basilicata.
The countryside offers spectacular mountain scenery, as well as outdoor sports and adventure for those
interested in hiking, skiing, white-water rafting, or ziplining between two mountain peaks.
There is also deep and ancient history to Basilicata. That is reflected in the UNESCO designation of a
neighbourhood in the city of Matera as a World Heritage Site.
The quarter Sassi di Matera, named for the ancient stones of the neighbourhood, boasts dwellings that
have been carved out of the rock formations.
It's believed that these may be among the first human settlements in Italy, with some suggesting these
dwellings date back 9,000 years. Visitors will also find seaside resorts and hotels that are far less
expensive than those in more popular - and crowded - areas such as the Amalfi Coast.
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