Wednesday, April 06, 2016

Matera

Because of Easter, we squandered our time in Bari (we plan to return for a future Easter), and we cut our time in Matera to 24 hours from the three nights in our original plan, figuring it as a tourist trap considering the many movies it had been in.

1. We arrived on the Tuesday after Easter. Matera had a good number of tourists, but not crowded.
2. The town is set on one side of steep of gorge. The second morning we walked over to the view point on the other side, looking back to town.
3. Half of the buildings in town are still condemned after the government moved out the impoverished residents in the 1950s, who were still living in medieval conditions and, according to what a local told us, "bringing shame on Italy".
4. If people back home thought Cary NC has strict sign regulations, Matera has NO signs. They must want the town to look as it did in Jesus' time, for movies.
5. According to our landlord, the most amazing part of Matera is not its setting, its cave dwellings, etc. Instead, it is their sophisticated water management system, collecting water, channeling to public and private cisterns and wells, separating clean water and sewage, that allowed Matera to be one of towns with the longest continuous human habitation.
6. It was great fun trying to navigate the 3D maze, up and down the stairs.
7. Their duomo just open for Easter, after 13 years of restoration. A whole generation of Matera don't remember ever having been in their own duomo, or seeing its facade!

It is uncertain how fast Matera will change. We are sure glad to have come now.

Preventing a self-portrait disaster, NOT!, on the train to Altamura. ;-)
Matera, Basilicata, Italy

As I said in an earlier post, Apulia has a pretty good transport system. Here Sun-Ling studies the transport map for the area around Bari.
Matera, Basilicata, Italy

The cathedral of Altamura.
Matera, Basilicata, Italy

Altamura back streets.
Matera, Basilicata, Italy

Matera, Basilicata, Italy

Buying some of the traditional local bread with its distinctive shape. Tasty!
Matera, Basilicata, Italy

Matera, Basilicata, Italy

And now, Matera.
Matera, Basilicata, Italy

Matera, Basilicata, Italy

Across from our B&B are these formerly condemned dwellings, now being rehabilitated.
Matera, Basilicata, Italy

Inside the newly opened cathedral.
Matera, Basilicata, Italy

More Matera.
Matera, Basilicata, Italy

Matera, Basilicata, Italy

Matera, Basilicata, Italy

Matera, Basilicata, Italy

Matera, Basilicata, Italy

Informal folk dancing. The main musical instrument is the tambourine.
Matera, Basilicata, Italy

Matera, Basilicata, Italy

The hike down into the adjacent gorge and up to the viewpoint back to Matera.
Matera, Basilicata, Italy

Matera, Basilicata, Italy

Matera, Basilicata, Italy

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