Sunday, January 2, 2011

Exploring Italy - Matera, Basilicata

Today is Sunday, Jan 2, and we didn’t want to stay at home. We decided to make a trip to Matera where we've been going to from long time.

This town is not big and it’s placed in 150 km from Brindisi in Basilicata region. Matera is listed in 1993, in the World Heritage List by UNESCO. World fame was brought to it’s old house-caves, carved directly into the rocks. These rock structures are called the Sassi (Stones). The oldest of them have about 7000 years. In a new caves there are churches, some of which age date to the VI century. In some churches remained intact frescoes dated to the XI-XII century. Many famous directors made their films here, including the film of Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ".

Up to 1950 those caves were habited by people. You will not believe it, but there were lived about 15,000 people, the half of the population of the city! They had no sanitation, and the water was collected in a stone tank during the rain.

Currently, Matera consists of two parts: a modern
upper town and a historical low town, which is called Sassi. Going down to the old city, you come like in a different world. Beautiful view of the low town:
This is view of the most an
cient rock caves from the low town. They abandoned long time ago and placed on the other side of river.

Here is one of the abandoned house-caves:

Here's another one:

This house is kept intact as a museum. House par
tially caveted in the rock, partially built. In this small accommodation has lived a family of 11 persons: two adults and 9 children, with all domestic scrap. Animals lived in the same room in the corner.
This is kitchen:
You think, where they all sleept? Adults with one/two of smallest children sleept in the b
At night, the bottom drawer dresser and a chest for storage of food were turned into beds.
On this little bed slept another baby:

Matera in miniature:

Piazza del Sedile (Sedile square) in upper town:

After the walk we were hun
gry and went to find agriturismo, a restaurant-ferm in the nature near the city. This is a magnificent panorama of fields around the town:

We didn’t find agriturismo, but in the neighboring town Altamura we tumble on such a beautiful little restaurant. Many years ago, it
was a church. Owner told that it was built in the XV century, but from the original church now you can see only two small frescoes.

6 коммент.:

Vikulya said...

Very beautiful places! Ekaterina, thank you so much for such interesting excursion!

Natalka said...

It's so beautiful! Thank you!

TonyaUtkina said...

Beautiful! I will go there one day... :)

Stephanie said...

beautiful photographs!!! love it!

jewelry by NaLa said...

A fascinating travelogue, Ekaterina!

I'd like to take this opportunity to give you the "Stylish Blogger Award" for your awesomely stylish blog! :)
This award is passed on from blogger to blogger. I received the award from someone, and I'm passing it on to others.
If you choose to accept the award, write seven things about yourself in a blog post, then pass the award to 15 other recently discovered blogs you think deserve an award, too.

You can see my post and the link for the award here:

SocksAndMittens said...

Absolutely great post! I'd like to travel Italy more, I have never been in this part of country. Sounds pretty interesting, thank you for sharing!


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