Basilicata, Italy: a Tiny Treasure of Passion and Peppers

A Basilicata landscape

The Basilicata, located at the instep of Italy’s geographic “boot”, is one of the country’s smaller regions, one of its least-densely populated, most mountainous, and most often overlooked. But within its 3,869 square miles (slightly under 10,000 square km) are: a UNESCO World Heritage site (Matera) Italy’s largest national park (Parco Nazionale del Pollino) the longest ... Read Full Article

Italy from Bottom to Top: On to Matera

Church on Cliffs

I’ve left Italy’s Puglia region and entered the Basilicata region, which lies to the northwest. The region is poorly served by trains and buses, likely because of its mountainous terrain, but I want to visit the town of Matera once more before heading north. I spent the better part of this morning trying to find a good train or bus route to the town, but there’s just no comfortable way other than ... Read Full Article

The Sassi Caves in Matera, Italy

The view from Belevedere

I recently visited Matera, Italy with a group of friends and found ancient architecture built on the brink of a sprawling green canyon with a picturesque river running through its bottom. What more can I ask for? A lot of the city’s notoriety comes from being the setting for Mel Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ, and I can certainly understand the choice to film the movie here. Take away a ... Read Full Article

Italy From Bottom to Top: Tasting and Talking about Puglia Wine

Mattie John Bamman

Follow me as I journey from the southern tip of Italy’s Puglia region all the way up to the Trento Alps. I’ll be focusing on budget-friendly travel, and I’ll rarely use a car. Along the way I’ll sample traditional foods, visit lesser-known ruins and cities, sample excellent wines, and visit local cooking schools, the entire two months living out of a backpack. . . Day #8 Fabio Ingrosso and I ... Read Full Article