If you love to explore like I do, then, Matera is a perfect destination for you, as it is filled with alleyways, and tiny streets to walk down. One of my favorite things to do, when I arrive in a new place, is to check out the local produce/food market. Matera’s market is located a block or two away from Piazza Vittorio Veneto, in the newer section of town. It is a relatively small market, but was full of activity, wonderful produce, and meats.
In the tiny Piazzetta della Cittadinanza Attiva, there is the lovely statue of an older man at work, making a large kitchen pot, named “Al Calderaio”, by the artist Nicola Morelli.
Nearby, you will find the lovely Piazza del Sedile, at the end of which is the Palazzo del Sedile, which dates from 1540. Take a few minutes, at least, to admire the palazzo, for it is a treasure in and of itself. The statues in the niches of the facade represent the four Cardinal Virtues: Justice, Fortitude, Prudence, and Temperance. At the top of the palazzo, in-between the two bell towers, there are statues of the city’s two patron saints: Sant’Eustachio and the Madonna della Bruna. The palazzo houses the Egidio Romualdo Duni Conservatorio Nazionale. Duni was an Italian composer who was born in Matera. There is nothing better than to sit at one of the cafés that line the piazza, with a drink, and listen to the music coming from the school, which not only occupies the palazzo, but also some of the other buildings surrounding the square.
Palazzo Bernardini, also known as Palazzo Guidicepietro, was home to the aristocratic family, the Ferraù. The building dates from 1448. The entrance gate, which we see in the photo below, was built in 1806, in honor of the occasion of King Giuseppe Buonaparte’s visit to the city.
As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I have made numerous trips to Matera. Every time I have visited, the city’s Duomo was closed, due to restoration or another reason. You can only imagine how delighted I was, when I realized that the church was finally open, and I could go inside!
The Cattedrale di Santa Maria della Bruna e di Sant’Eustachio dates from the 13th century. It sits on the highest point of the city, dividing the two Sassi districts.
A plaque, on a nearby building, marks the place where Giuseppe Zanardelli, then Prime Minister of Italy, stayed while visiting the city in 1902.
For dinner, we went to Ristorante Francesca, where we had a wonderful meal, with a delicious bottle of wine. Afterwards, we made our way back to our own Sasso, and called it a night!
Next up: We explore the Sasso Caveoso!
In these troubling times, it is important to keep faith and hope alive in our hearts. We will beat this disease that has swept across our planet. Be smart. Be safe. Be healthy. Hopefully, we can all travel again soon!
Note: This blog is written in English and Spanish, and the authors take 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!