view of Salandra, Matera, Basilicata, Italy by Antonio DiPersia

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Salandra, Matera, Basilicata, Italia

Italy has 20 regions.  In a governmental sense, each region is the rough equivalent of a state in the United States.  Basilicata is a region in the south central part of Italy, the instep of the “boot”, if you will.  
In arguing which is the most beautiful region, some people might say Tuscany or Emilia-Romagna.  No one would say Basilicata.  It is a semi-arid climate with some shrubs, but very few trees.   This barren landscape is dotted with sleepy hilltop towns.  It is just not very pretty. 
Basilicata is divided into two provinces, Potenza and Matera, surrounding the cities of the same names.  Basilicata has 131 local municipalities called commune in Italian.  Salandra is a commune in Matera province.  (Just to confuse things for the average genealogical researcher looking at old records, Basilicata used to be called a "province" and Matera used to be called a "district".)  150 years ago, Salandra had about 3,000 residents.  It has about the same population today. 
Here are some photos of Salandra.  They are current photos, but it doesn’t make much difference.  Things haven’t changed in centuries.  The old men with their dark pants and white shirts walking around the piazza, remind me of my grandfather. 

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