Basilicata

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Coordinates: 40°30′N 16°30′E / 40.5°N 16.5°E / 40.5; 16.5

Basilicata or Lucania ([baziliˈkaːta]) is a region in the south of Italy, bordering on Campania to the west, Apulia (Puglia) to the north and east, and Calabria to the south, having one short southwestern coastline on the Tyrrhenian Sea between Campania in the northwest and Calabria in the southwest, and a longer one to the southeast on the Gulf of Taranto on the Ionian Sea between Calabria in the southwest and Apulia in the northeast. The region can be thought of as the "instep" of Italy, with Calabria functioning as the "toe" and Apulia the "heel". The region covers 9,992 km² and in 2008 had a population of less than 600,000 inhabitants. The regional capital is Potenza. The region is divided into two provinces: Potenza and Matera.

Contents

Geography

Basilicata covers an extensive part of the southern Apennines, between Ofanto in the north and the Monte Pollino massif in the south. It is bordered on the east by a large part of the Bradano river depression which is traversed by numerous streams and declines to the coastal plains on the Ionian sea. The region has a short coastline on the Tyrrhenian side of the peninsula.

Basilicata is the most mountainous region in the south of Italy, with 47% of its area of 9,992 km2 covered by mountains, where as 45% is hilly and 8% is made up of plains.

Geological features of the region include the volcanic Monte Vulture and the seismic faults in the Melfi and Potenza areas in the north and around Monte Pollino in the south. Much of the region was devastated in an 1857 earthquake. There is also a problem with landslides, which are caused not only by the lithological structure of the substratum and its chaotic tectonic deformation, but also by the lack of forested land.

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