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The southern region of Basilicata is located in the “arch” of Italy’s boot. Large and rural, it has a very low population density and lots of countryside, not to mention mountains – the Apennines run right through here. People have lived in Basilicata since the Palaeolithic times, and you can still see Neolithic cave dwellings in Matera, the number-one city in Basilicata to visit (and a World Heritage site). One of Italy’s poorer regions, Basilicata is also one of its most beautiful naturalistic, filled with forests, lakes, and tiny villages.

Visit Basilicata if: you’re driving (public transport isn’t great here); you want to really go off the beaten path and explore areas of Italy that tourists hardly ever visit; you like the outdoors; you want an active holiday; you’re traveling on a budget; you’re fascinated by Matera.

Major cities of Basilicata: Matera, Potenza

What to eat: Red Bell Peppers, Baccala, Scorfano, Senise Peppers, Lucanica Sausages, Matera Bread