Our laboratory is located in Potenza, a city in the Southern Italian region of Basilicata (former Lucania). The city is the highest regional capital in Italy, overlooking the valley of the Basento river in the Apennine Mountains of Lucania

The first settlement of Potentia was probably located at a lower elevation than at present, some 10 kilometres (6 miles) south of today's Potenza.

The Lucani of Potenza sided against Rome's enemies during the latter's wars against the Samnites and the Bruttii. Subjugated during the 4th century BC (later gaining the status of municipium), the Potentini rebelled after the Roman defeat at Cannae in 216 BC. However, the Battle of the Metaurus marked the end of any Carthaginian aspirations in Italy, and Potentia was reconquered by the Romans and reduced to the status of military colony.

In the 6th century, the city passed to the Lombard Duchy of Benevento. Incursions by Saracens raiders menaced the city until the Norman conquest of southern Italy secured the area. In the 12th century, Potenza became an episcopal see. After pillaging by Emperor Frederick II, the city remained loyal to the Hohenstaufen: as a result, it was almost totally destroyed by Charles I when the Angevin lord conquered the Kingdom of Sicily. On December 18, 1273, an earthquake further devastated the city.

In the following years, the city existed quietly under various feudal owners. Potenza was the site of riots against Spanish domination, and in 1694 it was almost completely destroyed by another earthquake.

With the declaration of the Neapolitan Republic in 1799, Potenza was one of the first cities to rebel against the king. After temporary Bourbon repression, the city was conquered by the French army in 1806, and declared the capital of Basilicata. A revolt broke out in 1848 and was again put down by Bourbon forces, and a third devastating earthquake followed in 1857. Potenza rebelled for the last time in 1860, before Garibaldi's revolutionary army brought about the unification of Italy.

The University of Basilicata, located in Potenza, Italy, was founded in 1982 and is organised in 6 Schools. (find more here: www.unibas.it)