The New York Times reported this weekend that filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola has turned his attention to his native region of Basilicata. He purchased a 19th-century palazzo in the small town of Bernalda close to Matera, where Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ was filmed, and plans to open it this year as a 10-room hotel.
At Dream of Italy, we’ve been covering Basilicata for years as it is a most fascinating place filled with beauty and history and a tinge of the bittersweet. Our friend, the prolific travel writer David Yeadon, inspired by Carlo Levi’s Christ Stopped at Eboli, spent a year living in the remote Basilicata village of Aliano, where the non-fiction book took place. He graciously allowed us to excerpt his writings (which became the book, Seasons in Basilicata) AND exquisite drawings of the region in our October 2004 issue.
But Basilicata isn’t just caves and rocky villages, one of my favorite places in all of Italy remains Maratea (see our free article), the Italian resort rivaling the Amalfi Coast, which is part of Basilicata’s mere nine miles of coastal access. Basilicata = bellissimo!