Basilicata: Authentic Italy

Basilicata book

Basilicata: Authentic Italy

Journey to the small, rocky region in the heart of the Italian south, to a land where ancient pagan rites live alongside those of the Catholic Church, world-class wine washes down edible hyacinth bulbs, zip-lines parallel old mule trails, and the air is infused with the ideals of Roman poets and brigands. Best known for the evocative cave dwellings of Matera, Basilicata packs an incredible diversity into the unassuming instep of the Italian boot. To discover what makes this region tick, the author traverses Mediterranean beaches and Alpine forests, visits medieval castles and modest homes, attends folkloric festivals and samples earthy local cuisine, uncovering Basilicata past and present, from pre-Greek to the story of emigration that continues today.


“Karen Haid’s Basilicata: Authentic Italy dives into a corner of Italy much less well-known than the Venices and Romes of the bel paese. While other writers have simplified this region as a place of poverty or misfortune, Haid’s deep appreciation for Basilicata offers a truer story: of generosity despite poverty, misfortune alongside a rich cultural heritage. Through vivid narratives, Haid’s warm straightforward style takes readers on a journey through the authentic Basilicata – from exuberant festivals to quiet rituals of daily life, hikes through forests and small-town museums, delicious food to perilous drives…. into the stories and culture of the region – reaching back and forth between Haid’s own journey and the history of cities that stretch back thousands of years. Haid’s striking depth and curiosity in her exploration and writing brings the reader a sense of familiarity that immerses you in Basilicata, without losing the wonder of a newcomer. Whether you’re content to visit from the comfort of your armchair or are already planning your next trip to Italy, Haid makes an excellent travel companion, one full of understanding and affection for the people and places she visits.

Ambassador Magazine of the National Italian American Foundation

“Ideal for both the armchair traveler and the on-site visitor, Basilicata: Authentic Italy is exceptionally well written, organized and presented. Impressively informed and informative, Basilicata: Authentic Italy deftly showcases both the famously well known and the obscure off-the-beaten-path sights to see, places to visit, and people to meet. Especially recommended reading for anyone contemplating or embarking on a visit to Italy, Basilicata: Authentic Italy will prove to be an immediately welcome and enduringly popular addition to personal, professional, community, and academic library Contemporary Italian Travel Guide collections and reading lists.”

Midwest Book Review

“Taking the road less traveled led Haid to explore Basilicata…. (She) participates in local festivals to honor saints, visits beaches, and explores the country’s largest national park… There are descriptions of crispy peppers, truffles, and black chickpeas that will entice even the most particular of foodies… 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.

Library Journal

“Karen is a natural writer with a smooth, crisp style. Each page flows seamlessly with in-depth information and provocative insight. ‘Basilicata: Authentic Italy’ is much more than an educated traveler’s visit to an Italian region. Rather, it is a love letter for a land and her people by a writer whose soul now belongs to Italy. ‘Basilicata: Authentic Italy’ is awesome.”

PRIMO Italian-American Magazine

Buy Basilicata: Authentic Italy

Available in Paperback and all E-book versions 

Outside the US – or google it in your country

Also by the author

Calabria: The Other Italy

A nonfiction book that explores daily life, culture, history, the arts, food, society and tourism of Calabria, the region in the toe of the Italian boot.

Calabria book

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