A land to discover. And all to live. It is with this spirit that my colleague Angela Milici of A Spasso in Basilicata and I led the “Esperienza Basilicata” tour from 25 to 29 September. For five days we took 15 bloggers from Calabria, Campania, Lazio, Abruzzo, Tuscany, Lombardy and Veneto and also from Spain, Belgium and France, to discover the extraordinary beauties of our region: a sensory journey, which has exalted the sight, taste, smell and touch, between history, culture, nature, gastronomy and traditions. The right dose of adrenaline did the rest.

Il Ponte alla Luna, Sasso di Castalda

Il Ponte alla Luna, Sasso di Castalda

We have passed from the fairytale scenery of the woods of the Parco dell’Appenino Lucano with the villages of Sasso di Castalda, Sant’Angelo Le Fratte and Viggiano to the majestic Lucanian Dolomites of Castelmezzano; from the lunar landscape of the Calanchi di Pisticci to the Murgia Materana. With the full involvement of mind and body at each stage: in Sasso the adrenaline-filled experience of the Ponte alla Luna, a Tibetan bridge suspended 100 meters high and 300 meters long, in Sant’Angelo Le Fratte the stories “told” in color with characteristic murals on the facades of the houses in the village, in Viggiano the intense spirituality of the effigy of the Madonna Nera, Queen of the Lucan people; in Castelmezzano the panoramic walk in the village nestled in the rocks; in Matera the spectacular trekking from the Sassi to the Murgia crossing the bridge over the Gravina canyon and then the visit of the ancient districts of the city, Civita, Barisano and Caveoso.

The 15 boys, however, were not simply spectators but also and above all protagonists: in Castelmezzano, with the wise and friendly guide of chef Antonietta Santoro, they learned to cook cruschi peppers, black chickpea soup and sausage with lard, authentic delights of Lucanian gastronomy; in Viggiano they prepared ferricelli, a typical local fresh pasta, helped by the women of the village; in Pisticci they discovered the secrets of Amaro Lucano in the museum next to the factoy; in Matera they experienced the unique sensation of putting their hands in clay in the ancient workshop of the master potter Pasquale Di Lena and then they learned the ancient history and all the secrets of Matera IGP bread, a true symbol of millenary history and culture of the city in a historic bakery, where they then tried to make it and bake it with the help of the baker Enzo.

An experience that filled his heart with emotions and that they will surely repeat soon, perhaps to discover the many other beauties of Basilicata: from the golden beaches with the vestiges of the Magna Graecia of Metaponto and the whole Ionian coast to Mount Pollino, from the “ghost town” of Craco to Vulture of Melfi and Venosa, from the San Fele waterfalls to the Tyrrhenian coast of Maratea, from the medieval villages of Tricarico, Tursi, Irsina, Montescaglioso and Miglionico to the lakes of Monticchio …

Ba ba Basilicata, Ba ba Basilicata, tu che ne sai, l’hai vista mai, Basilicata is on my mind“.