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“I am a grateful daughter of this land,” Francesca Barra, journalist, writer and TV presenter says as she sums up her relationship with Basilicata in an interview during the filming between the Ionian coast and its inland areas, in order to promote the territory of APT. Policoro, her hometown, Tursi, Cracow and Valsinni are all different stages in the journey undertaken with a very special travel companion, her son Ryan.

Today you are in the Basilicata for work. When you return here at your leisure, what do you get up to?
I was born and raised in Policoro until I was 18 years old, so when I get the chance to come here I escape and spend time with my family. My heart beats fast as I have such a love for this land.

How do you describe the region to someone who does not know it?
The beauty of Basilicata can be admired and can be identified by its beautiful valleys, canyons and landscapes. I think it is fundamental to retain and look after nature and we should not force it to go away or to be destroyed.

TV and radio Presenter and journalist. Who is Francesca Barra?
A curious, versatile and enthusiastic person who likes to link both truth and stories to her work. I like to think that the stories are the main tool to get to the heart and conscience of an audience. Francesca Barra is a lover of everything she does. I am a mother and my son can be seen in the video tour. He lives in Milan and is a child of the city. It is good that he understands what it means to me to have been raised in a different place from where he has grown up.

You are a mother of two children, how have you educated them about your upbringing?
I educate them all the time about this place. My son is eager to come to Basilicata and he recently told me that he likes most of the Maldives because there is everything from animals, good food, perfect weather, the sea and the mountains. If you want to stay indoors then you just have to open the windows and watch the beautiful wild and untouched countryside. I am a grateful daughter to this land and am pleased that I have been able to educate my children about this land.
Speaking of good food, I’ve also written numerous books on the Mafia and one about the kitchen, titled: “At home, Jo.” Are you inspired to gastronomy Lucan?
I am from Basilicata. My father is from Calabria. My mother Bologna and I married a Milanese and I lived in Rome. So it’s fair to say that my kitchen is full of a variety of things. I am always looking around the kitchen and cooking things like tortellini at Christmas. I love the home-made pasta, frizzuli, sauces and buns. In Milan I found a shop that sells products I love, so there is no shortage of flavour in my meals. I find that meat bought in by Macelleria seems to be made of stone, in comparison to the meat bought from high priced markets.

You have written several books, the last titled “All life in a day”, and then “Giovanni Falcone, a hero only”, and “The Fourth Commandment”. All these books are focused on major themes, why?
I’ve always been attracted to the truth and as I do not know much about the massacres of ’92, I decided to write on the other side of the coin. I could have chosen the easiest path, but I feel that I could live a month in the streets with the homeless. My job requires me to tell a story, and then if you get into the story then you have to experience it yourself, for example if I have dirty shoes, then I must suffer with those who suffer.

What adjective would you use to describe your personality reflecting your origin?
I have many faces which can be seen, such as a landscape ranging from hot, sour, wet from the sea and crossed by mountains, windy as in these days of filming and then back to sunny. The adjectives better suited are “versatile” and “nothing boring,” because every time I go back I always discover something different. This happens to those who are with me, you do not get bored.

What is missing (if anything) Francesca Barra?
A property in the Basilicata region is what is missing. I would love to build a creative writing school to help kids who do not know they have talent or do not have the opportunity. As for my work, I am so happy that the rights to my book have been bought and it will become a movie. I have a wonderful family and I cannot ask for anything more, except myself, providing my happiness to help others.




There are numerous good reasons to take a trip to this largely untamed, undiscovered part of Southern Italy but we’ve pulled together ten - just in time for Christmas! Wander around [...]