Stone is everywhere in Matera. It is powerful, and yet, at the same time, one is surrounded by evidence that man has been able to manipulate it, turning it into a means of survival, by making it inhabitable.
The Torre Metellana can be found on Via Fiorentini. Originally built as part of the defensive city walls, it was one of six towers that were used for the city’s protection.
At the bottom of the ravine, on which the city sits, is the Gravina River.
The Altereno Café has been owned by the same family for generations. Housed in a former monastery, it is a perfect place for a refreshing drink or a coffee, with the stunning views from its cliffside terrace.
The structure housing the café dates from the 7th century. For many years, it functioned as the Convento di Santa Lucia ed Agata alla Civita.
The Sassi of Matera have been used as locations for many films over the years. Movies such as the 2016 version of Ben-Hur, Christ Stopped at Eboli, The Gospel According to St. Matthew, The Passion of the Christ, and Wonder Woman, have all been filmed there. That said, it makes sense that there is now a Museum of Cinema in the city. I have never actually seen it open, but it exists.
A plaque marks the facade of the house where the Italian philosopher, Eustachio Paolo Lamanna, was born in 1885.
The air quality in the Sassi is closely regulated today, and each cave/residence must have air vents, such as the one pictured below, to help control the environment inside.
The city takes on an especially magical quality, once that the sun goes down.
Next up: We visit the Cathedral of Matera, as well as the Sasso Caveoso!
Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Italy, and the entire world, as we all struggle with the pandemic that is affecting our lives. Be strong! Be Safe! Be well!
Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the author takes no responsibility for the quality of any other translations that may appear. If you have enjoyed this post, please, check out our archives for more posts from Matera, as well as other Italian destinations. Grazie!