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  • Bronze bust of Carlo Levi at Aliano belvedere
    Bronze bust of Carlo Levi at Aliano...
    by hquittner
  • A Methane gas well
    A Methane gas well
    by hquittner
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    A Source of power

    by hquittner Written Nov 21, 2005

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    Favorite thing: While trevelling from Tursi to Aliano we saw this facility alongside the road. It has been a boon to Basilicata. They have discovered a deep underground pool of methane gas and it is being piped to an electricity producng plant not far off thus allowing for relatively inexpesive power for this economically deprived area.

    Fondest memory: The Basilicatans need so much and have so little, but they acept their situaton stoically and sometimes with wry humor.

    Related to:
    • Seniors
    • Historical Travel
    • Budget Travel

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  • hquittner's Profile Photo

    Carlo Levi: He who returned Basilicata to the map.

    by hquittner Written Aug 8, 2005

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    Favorite thing: Carlo Levi and his sister were rich Italian Jews who went to medical school in the 1930's. She became a pediatrician and he an anti-fascist activist and talented painter, activities which led Mussolini to have him sentenced (in 1935) to "solitary confinement" in the most desolate part of Basilicata.(the town of Aliano). In 1947 he published his account of his 2 years of experience among these destitute, chronically ill uneducated , miserable peasants(and their ability to survive. He titled it "Christ stopped at Eboli"-a known folk maxim(indicating that even the Saviour recognized that He could do no more). Both horrible and poetical it became an international best-seller. Peeping out from its pages are medical and human details of the squalor in the Sassi of Matera observed by his sister on a visit to him,"they were like a school-boy's idea of Dante's Inferno,,,most families have one cave to live in and there they sleep together: men,women, children and animals. This is how 20,000 people live" The furor in the Italian Parliament about the conditions in the South has not completely subsided even yet. (The War on Poverty is hard to win). Levi became richer, continued his solitary life as a painter and activist writer until his death (1975). The government built nice tenements with greenery, playgrounds, hospitals and clinics and shopping areas in a suburb of Matera and forcibly removed the peasants from the Sassi and physically prevented their return. Recently under very strict laws, a selective regentrification is permitted for individuals with "papers" , finances and "plans" for developing holdings in the Sassi.(see our Travelog under Matera).

    Fondest memory: The desire to survive is a strong human trait, even here.

    Related to:
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    • Eco-Tourism
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