“…After walking away a little from the station

I got to a street, flanked only on one side by old houses and the other one run along by a cliff. Matera is in that cliff… its shape was strange; it looked like two funnels side by side, detached by a small spurs and in the lower part , brought back together in a common peak…These overturned cones, these funnels are called Stones.
Their shape remind me the way we used to imagine Dante’s Hell, at our school times…”

(Carlo Levi, Christ Stopped at Eboli)

Thousands of years of history

He talked about a town that is unique in the world and for this reason in 1993 its “Stones” become a Unesco World Heritage Site. The parts of the town date to different ages, offering a diorama carved by the time, where you can read all the story of the men who lived there during thousands of years.

The Stones and the park of the churches built on the rocks in Matera are a relevant example of a traditional human settlement and a way to use the territory representing a culture, which from its origins had an harmonious relationship with its natural environment, but today runs potential risk.

A rupestrian settlement, like the one only found in Cappadocia that adapted to history without losing its own identity. A proof of the capacity to grow through centuries of poverty and isolation, accepting and not refusing a cultural identity, which lasts in the time.

European Capital of Culture for 2019

In such a special context, where the “ shelter” invited to meditation, the influence of religion marked the territory. It put the churches and the monasteries carved on the rock, close to the caves used as houses, to the walkways, the channels and the cisterns.

Different complexes for nature and type, where the various periods of influence neatly appear without fighting, but integrating themselves, since the objective of the place has always been more important than faith.

Today Matera is a lively town, careful, welcoming and fairly modern, known for its old part, that gives value to its medieval history, to the nature around and to the dynamic way of life offered in the new part of the town.

A reference place for worldwide tourism that in such an uncontaminated land, finds a varied and people-oriented welcoming, a cultural heritage and an exclusive local wine and food offer, which knows how to enhance the most genuine heart of Basilicata. Visit Matera, the European Capital of Culture for 2019.

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