The Rich Agricultural Region of Basilicata

Basilicata (June 5-25)

basilicata italy      Forming the instep of the Italian “boot,” Basilicata is a territory predominantly consisting of mountain and hill landscapes. The Lucanian Dolomites, a mountain range in Basilicata, are a particularly nice area of the Appennines with densely wooded terrain containing a number of picturesque lakes. Basilicata is bordered by Campania, Calabria, Puglia and the Tyrrhenian Sea. Although the primary economic source for Basilicata has always been agriculture, the infertile soil and erratic rain conditions in this region have often presented challenges.

        The charm of Basilicata lies in the numerous small ancient villages decorating the region. Over centuries, locals have learned to maximize the raw materials the land provides. Because of this, the cuisine is simple, but hearty. Shepherds and farmers dominate the economy. Ingredients come from produce and meats raised in the immediate vicinity. Various chiles and peppers – both sweet and spicy – are incorporated and used to accent many traditional dishes. The spicy seasoning of the cuisine of Basilicata pairs well with the region’s “Vulture” wines, made from the grapes grown in the shadow of Mt. Vulture. It’s a great match with the full-flavored dishes of the region; try a glass of the Aglianico/Donato with the Braciolette con Cavatelli (rolled beef scaloppini with pecorino, garlic, breadcrumbs and parsley) or Garette d’Agnello (lamb shank braised with vegetables, herbs and red wine).

        Preservation of food has been practiced throughout the history of the region, because of its difficult terrain. Olive growing is a historical tradition because olive oil assists in the preservation of many foods. Olive oil from basilicata has long been considered among the highest quality in Italy.

Passaporto holders who taste the menu and receive their final stamp for sampling the last six featured regions will receive a $20 Complimenti Card or 2,500 bonus points and a chance to win a Trip for Two to Italy!

If you didn’t participate in the January to June Festa Regionale, don’t despair – the new Passaporto Program starts on July 3rd with Veneto. Be sure to pick-up your new Paper Passaporto from the restaurant or download the app for your Digital Passaporto to begin your next journey with Il Fornaio!

Make your reservations nowfor a taste of Basilicata!

View Full Basilicata Menu


Garetto d’Agnello (Lamb shank braised with vegetables, herbs and Sangiovese wine; served with sautéed spinach and mashed potatoes).

Braciolette con Cavatelli (Rolled beef scaloppini with pecorino, garlic, breadcrumbs and parsley, baked with tomato sauce and red wine; served with cavatelli pasta).