10 May 2009

Touring Basilicata


We spent almost four weeks in Basilicata, the region where Valerie’s Italian family has roots. Before we have to return to the USA we wanted to spend some time exploring more and just enjoying the great hospitality we always receive from the Lucanians.

We love Ascoli Piceno where we lived for more than two and a half years but we feel a special draw to Basilicata. Perhaps after living in New Mexico for twenty years we see many similarities with the Lucanian landscape. The calanchi between Pisticci and the Agri Valley remind us of the landscape north of Santa Fe, the mountains that rise in the central and northern section of the region are reminiscent of the mountains that cover a good portion of New Mexico and the low rolling hills between Melfi and Matera mimic the eastern highlands of the Land of Enchantment.

As New Mexico is sparsely populated in many areas you will also find vast stretches of windy roads in Lucania where there is nothing but endless vistas unobstructed by industry or dense populations. If not for the nearby seas and abundance of charming historic hill towns I might think we were in our adopted home state.

We were able to explore areas that were settled by Greeks and Romans, controlled by Templar and Malta Knights and strongholds of the Briganti who resisted the Savoia invasion. In the time we were there spring began to arrive as the landscape was a lush green and the trees in the high mountains were just beginning to bud.

As always we enjoyed the great food Lucania has to offer, the wonderful hospitality of the locals and made some new discoveries of places to return to again in the future. We will return…di sicuro!

We have returned to Ascoli Piceno for one more week to say goodbye to all the friends and acquaintances we made living here before returning to Rome to prepare for our departure to the United States.


Anne in Oxfordshire said...

I might not of commented very much on your blog, but I have enjoyed reading and looking at all your fantastic photos, you have had a wonderful journey through Italy. Thank you for sharing this wonderful time, wishing you a safe and happy return to the United States, such brilliant memories you are going to have!!!

Anonymous said...

I have thoroughly enjoyed reading about your life in Italy. Thank you for sharing your adventure! Your entries about contemporary Italian culture, food and off-the-beaten-path Italy, will be missed.
Good luck on your return to America. I know you will always have Italy in your daily life even though you are far from it. This is true for me and I was just there for a few weeks.

Garret Sanchez

Jane said...

Bryan, I hear the silent longing in your post--leaving Italy is very difficult. Having lived there will color all that you do in the future. You will return to the US not being the person you were when you left. But, take it slow. Don't rush the emotional transition. Just let the reacclimation happen in its own way and time. God has plans for you and Valerie so be open to them.

Gil said...

I too have enjoyed reading your blog and am completely shocked to hear that you are returning to the US. I always thought from reading your blog that you had left the US for good and thought that you were just moving to a different part of Italy.

Good luck in your move back here.

Bryan said...

Thanks everyone! It is difficult saying goodbye, just as it was when we left New Mexico after 20 years. However, as I mentioned in March (http://2italy.blogspot.com/2009/03/life-is-goodliving-is-hard.html) we view going to the US as a temporary stage.

erin said...

this place looks amazing! glad you're seeing a lot before you guys have to leave!