Matera. History, tourism, territory, food and wine.
Arriving in Matera is impressed by its color and its light. It is a scene carved by time, a story full of history, a crossroads of peoples, spirituality and humanity. In every corner of the city you will feel a big difference compared to the beautiful places of art that have made Italy famous the world. Whether it's a simple walk through the alleys of the Districts or a bike trip between the wild and the wonderful rock churches, Matera enchants for its purity and authenticity. The Sassi characterize strongly, but are certainly not the only reason to take a visit to the city. Matera also attracts art, gastronomy, traditions, hospitality, cultural activity, the beautiful surroundings. A stay in Matera is also an opportunity to experience a place that everyone envies and that UNESCO has declared a World Heritage Site. A fairy land that the senses do not get tired of exploring and that remains etched in the memory of visitors.
The city of Matera has ancient origins. Its territory, rich in natural caves and ravines, was in fact characterized by human settlements in Paleolithic and Neolithic. Prove as important historical underground tombs, cisterns to collect water and numerous ceramic finds. Subsequently, in the age of metals, the community on the territory settles on the promontory which then become the urban core of the Civita and begin to develop the first forms of trade that will give rise to the city.
Trade with neighboring colonies of Magna Grecia, located along the side metapontino, exercised in classical a strong cultural influence on the city while less obvious are the traces of Roman civilization, period in which Matera was part of the Third Augustan Region. With the arrival of the Lombards around 580 d.C. the central nucleus of homes is fortified by walls and over the following centuries the city was repeatedly fought over by the Byzantines, Saracens and Lombards and finally destroyed completely by Ludwig II. From this period and throughout the Middle Ages, arriving from East hermit monks and monastic communities that settle permanently in Matera. They are popular in the caves of the Gravina and turn them into rock churches and crypts, first inhabitants of what is now the Sassi, place since then retains the charm of an ancient history of centuries.
The Church's presence in the districts of Sassi has always played a key role in the development of the city. Around Mille begins the long domination of the Normans and Matera becomes royal city, expands well beyond the walls of Civita and populate the Rioni Sassi. With the Normans were the first Benedictine monasteries: Sant'Eustachio, Santa Lucia delle Malve was Santa Maria de Armeniis, and some rock sanctuaries as Santa Maria della Valle Verde along the Appian Way. Later, thanks to the dynasties of the Swabians and Angevins become an influential city and its architecture is enriched by the construction of palaces and monasteries. Become capital of Basilicata, role he held until 1806.
After the two world wars, following a deep agrarian crisis, the living conditions of the peasants inhabiting the Stones are becoming more extreme. A national law requiring the evacuation of the inhabitants and their transfer in the neighborhoods of new construction, supporting the gradual abandonment of the Sassi.
Today the popular Rioni Sassi were almost completely recovered and restored and in 1993 have obtained the recognition of UNESCO World Heritage Site. In 2019, Matera, will be the European Capital of Culture together with the Bulgarian city of Plovdiv.
How much history and how much culture in town! The Sassi, The Rock Churches, Cathedral of 1270, the National Museum of Medieval and Modern Art of Basilicata, the National Museum Ridola, the MUSMA - Museum of Contemporary Sculpture, the Casagrotta Vico Solitario, The Sculpture Park Palomba, Castle Tramontano, the Conservatory of Music and. R. Duni, Palazzo Lanfranchi, Although Casa – retrieved from the FAI tells the local history and, at last, Churches Plan built out of Sassi. This is the rich historical and cultural heritage of the City.
Also the surrounding area is an attraction for tourism! The Park of the Murgia Matera, the Pollino Park, Park of the Val d'Agri and the Park of the Lucanian Dolomites, Regional Reserve Small Lake of Monticchio, Regional Reserve Abetina Laurenzana. All areas created specifically to protect and spread the great natural heritage of the region. Among the most important attractions is definitely the “Angel's Flight” between the towns of Castelmezzano and Pietrapertosa.
Rounds a tourist forbitissima local food and wine. The territory of the Murgia is considered the “Granary of Italy”. So many recipes available to the local cuisine. The vineyards instead, lend themselves to the production of a red wine soft and fragrant, with deep ruby color E’ is produced largely with Aglianico and Sangiovese.
A trip to Matera is easy to organize, and the city offers many types of hospitality. Dal bed and breakfast all’albergo, everyone will find its ideal size for a pleasant stay. The cuisine will not disappoint the expectations with the many restaurants in the city, all careful to satisfy the palate of the most demanding.