Basilicata, a province of S. Italy, situated chiefly E. of the main Apennine ridge, and between it and the gulf of Taranto, occupying the greater part of ancient Lucania; area, 4,122 sq. m.; pop. in 1871, 509,089. The chief rivers, the Sinno, Agri, Basento, and Bradano, form extended valleys bounded by offsets from the Apennines, which latter slope gradually toward the sea and settle into low plains within 10 m. of the coast. These plains, famous in antiquity as the plains of Metapontum and Heraclea, are still remarkable for their fertility. The interior is mountainous, rugged, and little visited, and the inhabitants retain primitive modes of life. The principal tree is the pine. The most extensive forests are along the Sinno. In the most northern part of the province, watered by the Ofanto, is the volcanic region of Mount Vultur, which extends N. and S. between 15 and 20 m., and is 20 m. wide. The mountain proper is situated between Melfi and Rionero, and is 3,000 ft. high. Disastrous earthquakes occurred here in 1851 and in December, 1857. Basilicata is rich in cattle, silk, wine, and saffron. Cotton and olive oil are produced moderately. The chief cereals are maize and buckwheat.
It is divided into the districts of Lagonegro, Melfi, Matera, and Potenza. Capital, Potenza.