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Travel Blogs from Matera
... to visit. There were positives and negatives about the drive. By taking the smaller, non-toll road we passed through a mix of farming areas, mostly olives, but also quite a lot of commercial areas. Most of the service stations were closed, giving the place a bit of an abandoned look. Certainly a negative was the litter, including places where there was obviously bags of domestic rubbish on the side of the road. For most of the way from West to East, back to the ...
We wake up to one of our very few rainy days and decide to go into the town anyway. Fortunately the camp has a free shuttle into the town centre. So out come the jeans, boots and rain coats and off we go.
Matera dates from about 7000 years ago and was one of the earliest large towns in Europe. . The typical houses were caves (Sassi) cut into limestone and were inhabited until as late as the 1950's. Over the ...
... is basically carved out of the limestone rock, which forms the basis of the whole town. The amazing thing about the town is that at its height 15,000 people lived in the sassi, with no electricity, or running water, and a lot of generations of these families were still there right up to 1958 !!! The only reason they all left was because the government viewed the sassi village as the "shame of Italy" due to the bad living conditions these people had to ...
We wandered around Matera today, in and out of sassi (caves), churches, monasteries, etc., just looking. All very interesting. One cave has been furnished as it would have been when inhabited. Donkeys would have shared a living space with the families. Most of the caves were lived in and they had a unique system of collecting water using channels and cisterns, which is partly why it has become a ...
... at a table and the other inviting us to sit and have some bread and oil, olives and dried broad beans and a glass of wine. Subsequently a young Italian couple joined us and we were then served up two sorts of bean soup with herbs which were delicious. Following that he cooked some ravioli and orecciette pasta with tomatoes and herbs. The ravioli had sweetened ricotta inside. All the time he carried ...