SOCIAL SCIENCES

Basilicata: Authentic Italy

Hiller. Aug. 2020. 236p. ISBN 9781734832204. pap. $17.95. TRAV
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Taking the road less traveled led Haid (Calabria: The Other Italy) to explore Basilicata, the mountainous region of Italy. Locals in this less-prosperous region are surprised to see tourists who are not there to explore their genealogy. While the concentration is on history, literature, and arts, Haid participates in local festivals to honor saints, visits beaches, and explores the country’s largest national park. Local foods appear in most towns—there are descriptions of crispy peppers, truffles, and black chickpeas that will entice even the most particular of foodies. Buses may be late or not come at all, and posted hours on museum doors are more suggestions that fact. A chapter is devoted to activist and author Carlo Levi, who was exiled to this area. The historical quarter, I Sassi, of ancient cave dwellings, is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. As a solo woman traveler, Haid takes everything in stride, and her meetings with residents are the best parts of the journey. Visitors looking for an authentic experience need not look far—everything in Basilicata is authentic.
VERDICT An intimate exploration of an often overlooked region of Italy. Recommended to readers who appreciate all things Italian.

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