Basilicata is a region in the south of Italy, bordering on Campania to the west, Puglia to the east, Calabria to the south, it has one short coastline on the Tyrrhenian Sea and another of the Gulf of Taranto in the Ionian Sea to the south-east. The region covers 9,992 km² and in 2001 had a population of about 600,000 inhabitants. The regional capital is Potenza. The region is divided into two provinces: Potenza and Matera.
The region is as a whole mountainous, the highest point of the southern Apennines being Monte Pollino (7325 ft). Monte Vulture, in the northwest corner (Vulture area), is an extinct volcano (4365 ft). The mountainous terrain made communications difficult until modern times, and Basilicata was one of the least developed provinces of Italy. Large-scale emigration meant that Basilicata's population grew by only 12% during the twentieth century, the slowest rate in Italy. Basilicata also used to be one of the poorest regions in Italy, but has become significantly richer over the past couple of years because of the discovery of oil.