Stones of Matera, Italy
Justin and I spent our Columbus day in Matera, Italy. It’s old town is known for stone houses and churches carved out of the caves and cliffs. It was also the location for several biblical films, including Mel Gibson’s Passion of the Christ.
The sassi are famous for having been continuously inhabited since the Paleolithic era, though it has been modernized and updated to include electricity, gas, and such. Back in the 1950’s the poor used to live there next to their stable animals until they got forcibly removed by the Italian government over sanitation, over-crowding, and safety reasons. Nowadays, rich people live there and dwellings are being renovated. Not only do you have to be rich to live there now, but you have to be fairly young…there is only one street for cars, so you have to be able to climb lots of stairs.
It is not a large place to explore, but it certainly tuckered us out as every street has a million stairs or is sloped. It is easy to get mixed up in the sassi and have no clue where you are going. I guess that’s part of the charm. While in Matera, we also sampled local artichoke spread, olive oil, red pepper chips, and wine. We also sampled some gelato…always good.
Some of the pictures are from the bus ride to and from. Cheers!