Author name: Karen Haid
Genre: Non-fiction culture/travel
Books: Calabria: The Other Italy, Basilicata: Authentic Italy
News: In these times of restricted travel, I feel very fortunate to have had the many wonderful experiences abroad that have enriched my life and on which I can now reflect as I remain close to home. While disappointed with having had to cancel the tours of my fledgling travel company, Karen’s Travel LLC, I used the time to work with my designer for the cover and interior of my new book and I am very pleased to announce that I have recently published my second book Basilicata: Authentic Italy!
Reflecting back 12 years ago, when I moved to the region in the toe of the Italian boot, I would never have imagined that my 4-year Southern Italian immersion would have resulted in two books and a blog about the area. After Calabria: The Other Italy, My Italian Blog and related social media pages, I turned my attention to another lesser-known area of Italy and began my on-the-ground exploration and extensive associated research of Basilicata.
Why Calabria? Why Basilicata? Visitors to Italy complain of the crowded trails of the Cinque Terre and a mobbed Venice. Why not travel to a place with a little elbow room? Not to mention where the locals outnumber the guests. In Calabria and Basilicata, I have often felt as though I had the whole place to myself. Just me and the locals.
In Basilicata, I traversed Mediterranean beaches and Alpine forests, visited medieval castles and modest homes, attended folkloric festivals and sampled earthy local cuisine, as I uncovered the past and the present, from pre-Greek to the story of emigration that continues today. My writing mixes personal experience, history, culture and contemporary social topics in a travelogue format. What’s the genre? Exactly what all the experts advise against: difficult to categorize.
If you would like to journey to the rocky region in the heart of the Italian south, to a land where ancient pagan rites live alongside those of the Catholic Church, world-class wine washes down edible hyacinth bulbs, zip-lines parallel old mule trails, and the air is infused with the ideals of Roman poets and brigands, check out Basilicata: Authentic Italy.
You may just be curious as to what it’s like to sleep in an ancient cave in the historic Sassi di Matera, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and last year’s European Capital of Culture.
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