San Giorgio Lucano and the “grottaroli” people
On arriving in Basilicata, in the Parco del Pollino, you feel as if you have crossed a “space-time barrier” taking you back to the past where time passes slowly.
“Naturally, there are modern day contaminations, but they are marginal, not significant. They probably belonged to travellers who have crossed the barrier and gone back”. That is what someone who has never been to Basilicata would think.
Yet once you set foot on Lucania soil you feel you belong it. Its wild nature, different landscapes from any cardinal point you set your eyes on, calm air, silence, and people’s sincere generosity take you back to a more intimate dimension, of the human being itself.
If the traveller is lucky, he can run into the “grottaroli people”. They are the inhabitants of San Giorgio Lucano, a village overlooking the Valle del Sarmento, in the Lands of Silence.
For centuries, the people of San Giorgio have kept on stubbornly pickaxing the rocky sandstone cliffs to create caves. They have made around 1200, more or less one per inhabitant.
They use them daily and, as they always have done, breed pigs, chickens and hens in them; preserve wine and cold meats. Those caves, with the pigs and vineyards, are the central element of this small village’s economy.
Then if our traveller should start to spend time with the locals, he could be invited to taste the delicacies inside those caves.
If you are fascinated by this story and these places and you should want to live this experience come and see us; you will be very welcome.